Outreach Worker Job Description
Outreach Workers are an organization’s point of contact with the community it serves. They’re typically employed by nonprofit organizations that provide a service to a certain group of people. Outreach workers can either work for governmental non-profit agencies or private non-profit agencies. They can work in many niches within the nonprofit industry. Outreach workers are employed by nonprofits that work with at risk youth, the poor, the unemployed, veterans and any other group in need of assistance.
The role of Outreach Worker is an entry-level position in the Social Services industry. While some employers will hire candidates with a high school diploma, many employers prefer candidates with at least an Associates degree in Social Science or Communications. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Outreach Workers is set to increase 11 percent through 2024.
Outreach Worker Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties of Outreach Workers vary slightly depending on the target group of their organization. Outreach Workers who work in healthcare deal with the sick, while Outreach Workers who work with a youth organization deal with children in who live in undesirable environments. With that being said, here are the core Outreach Worker duties that are performed in all sub -industries.
Maintain Pipeline of Qualified Candidates
Similar to Recruiters sourcing candidates for job openings, Outreach Workers are responsible for maintaining a pipeline of candidates to fill the particular quota of their program. Securing funds depends on generating results, and generating results depends on a healthy stream of program participants.
Contact Potential Program Candidates
This is where Outreach Workers rely on their communication skills. They are responsible for being the organization’s point of contact for potential program candidates. Outreach Workers must be well-versed in speaking about the program’s benefits.
Onboard New Program Participants
Outreach Workers are still involved with candidates who decide to join the program. Onboarding these participants involves helping them fill out paperwork, as introducing them to the other professionals involved with the program.
Maintain Program Participant Log
Outreach Workers are responsible for maintaining a log of all of the people they contact. This is a clerical task that involves basic computer skills, as well as proficiency with spreadsheet software.
Participate in Case Management Meetings
Outreach Workers are often part of a larger case team that involves Social Workers, Case Managers and other members of the organization. They have to attend these meetings and be an active participant.
Outreach Worker Skills
Outreach Workers spend most of their time communicating, so communication skills are a must. Those who succeed in this position truly enjoy having conversations. Outreach Workers must also be able to maintain a consistently positive and upbeat demeanor. Even though no money exchanges hands, they are essentially the “ salespeople ” of a non-profit organization. They instead get potential participants to opt-in to their organization’s services. Outreach workers have to be socially aware and have an above average perceptiveness to best understand the unique situation of each participant.
The following skills were featured the most in our analysis of dozens of Outreach Worker job descriptions.
Written and Verbal Communication Skills: Most of an Outreach Worker’s day is spent communicating. They mostly rely on their verbal communication skills to clearly articulate program benefits to potential participants. They rely on their written communication skills when the outreach process involves writing professional emails.
Active Listening Skills: Outreach Workers have to be great listeners. They call upon their Active Listening skills to understand the specific situation of each potential candidate, and to recall this information in a follow-up conversation. It is a key skill for building relationships.
Social Perceptiveness: Most Outreach Workers are employed by programs that deal with people who live in a dangerous environment. They must be socially aware of the socio-economic situation of their area and how it affects their targeted group.
Interpersonal Skills: Interpersonal skills include things like compassion, positivity and patience. All three of these skills are used daily by Outreach Workers. They call upon their Interpersonal Skills to build authentic relationships with program participants.
Organizational Skills: Outreach Workers have to maintain the program’s pipeline of potential candidates. This takes someone who is highly organized, as it involves using spreadsheet software to keep track of potential candidates and where they are in the recruitment process.
Outreach Worker Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for Outreach Workers is $30,830. Those in the top 10 percent make above $49,570, while those in the bottom 10 percent make below $20,120.
Outreach Worker Education Requirements
It is increasingly difficult to get a job as an outreach worker with just a high school diploma. Most have at least an Associate’s degree in one of the social sciences, such as Sociology or Psychology. Employers also consider candidates with a degree in Communications.
During this coursework aspiring Outreach Workers learn sociological and psychological theories, such as social problems and socioeconomics. They also learn developmental psychology if they plan on working with children. Those looking to increase their starting pay often stay in school the extra two years to earn their Bachelor’s degree.
Outreach Worker Resources
Do you think the role of Outreach Worker is a good fit for your skill set and career goals? If so, then check out our resource list below.
HuffPost : Impact – Huffington post is one of the most popular blogs in the world. Their “ impact ” section is regularly updated with articles pertaining to the nonprofit world.
NonProfitMarketingGuide.com – This is the blog of Kivi Miller , who is an award-winning marketing adviser to non-profits. It is an excellent resource for aspiring Outreach Workers.
Pam “ The Marketing Nut ” - ran by Pam Moore, this blog is regularly updated with the latest successful marketing strategies ; specifically in the realm of social media marketing. Although not specifically a non-profit blog, there are a lot of strategies that can be applied by Outreach Workers.
The Nonprofit Times - The Nonprofit times is one of the most popular digital magazines in the nonprofit niche. It is a great place for Outreach Workers to keep up with general industry trends.
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