By Noel Schroeder, November 2, 2017 —

In June, 33 Alliance members from 15 countries participated in Raise Your Visibility, our online course that equips organizations with the skills to build their presence online to effectively communicate impact and reach new supporters.

Before the course, only 24% of participants said they understood how to engage audiences online. Only 18% of participants said they understood how to cultivate deeper relationships with supporters online. And only 38% said they could confidently develop and carry out an online engagement strategy.

Now, 100% of participants have these skills. All participants reported that they can now confidently communicate their organization’s impact and put into practice an effective online engagement strategy. These skills are critical to improving their visibility with donors, decision-makers, and the public.

Over the last three months, participants have been putting their new knowledge into action.

Bertille Bumwe from SFBLSP Burundi is one of those participants who used the knowledge and the skills she gained to effectively influence their advocacy activities. It is always a big challenge between theory and practice, but because we’ve integrated a lot of activities in the course, it becomes easier for grassroots organizations to add value from their real situations to carry out their advocacy activities. With confidence, Bertille  stated: “Having participated in ‘Raise Your Visibility’ has improved our advocacy actions, because I gained new knowledge that contributed to our organization being up to date with regards to advocacy for gender equality and above all that helped us connect with other associations working in the same field and communicate for the improvement of gender equality in our community.”

Despite the fact that our Alliance members are doing amazing work locally, sometimes they are not aware of the impact of their activities, therefore through the online course, they have learned how to use what they are already doing to raise their visibility. Accordingly, Bertille was very comfortable after the course when she was saying:  “…we have been able to develop a pamphlet with a good, clear, user-friendly text, clearly demonstrating our objectives with reliable statistics and data, which allowed us to strengthen our credibility…”

As many participants, Bertille ‘s organization also has a Facebook page just for posting photos and some highlights. She learned through the course how to update their Facebook page, what impact information needs to be posted, and how to organize this page and be visible online: “The knowledge gained from ‘Raise Your Visibility’ helped me to update our Facebook page, to update photos and related activities, and especially to know how to monitor comments. We were able to adapt our statistics to be able to use them in [the] transmission of any message and knowing how to adapt the message according to the target audience. Also, knowing how to compose a good story with a goal helped us to know how to talk to donors, knowing what they are working on and how they can help us.”

Beyond the capacity of members’ organization, there is a solidarity building movement around a common fight for gender equality, and a collective approach that can bring a real change for women and girls, or as Bertille said: “It was a rewarding adventure.”