At our June 2016 GBVC Summit, each affinity group broke into a small group discussion of challenges commonly experienced across organizations. They were encouraged to pick one as a case study and then brainstorm solutions that might be implemented by all. Below are some notes from these exchanges.
This affinity group includes many non-profits with veterans as members, engaged in online and offline activities. They identified a common challenge of putting an event or message out only to have no one respond to it or engage with it. Some solutions that were identified included posting to social media platforms at peak activity times (for example, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2pm) or creating flyers with eye-catching photos or funny memes to grab attention.
This affinity group includes many organizations taking an advocacy role on behalf of veterans, whether on the local, state or national level. They identified a common challenge of getting information on their services and needing more information about organizations that can help support their work. They noted that a common email listserv to field questions would be helpful.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
This affinity group includes many service providers that provide health and mental health care. They identified making sure that veterans are aware of services and are receiving the best care as an utmost concern. Solutions identified can be ongoing events, including VetTogethers and GBVC meetings, which provide opportunities for warm handoffs and for organizations to share information about ongoing or new programs.
This affinity group includes many organizations providing employment services and programs as well as entrepreneurship training. They identified a challenge of connecting employers with veterans as well as leveraging social media. Solutions involved sharing information about veteran-friendly employers within the community as well as building engaging social media platforms that can promote services and initiatives.
This affinity group includes many colleges and universities with strong populations of veteran students as well as programs that support veteran success on campus. They identified a common challenge of getting the word out on their programs and initiatives. Some solutions that were brainstormed include attending national military education fairs, sending information to veteran service organizations so they learn about programs, including program information in trainings, and adding new initiatives to local networking consortiums.