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Living in a virtual world can be described as both a blessing and a curse. Required changes and aftereffects of the pandemic have heightened the use of online activity in lieu of physical contact and communication. While this makes most forms of doing business or communicating with others more efficient, it has been difficult for some grassroots efforts. Philanthropy and fundraising efforts have also been hampered due to a shift to online notifications and habits. 

Social Media Appeals
One of the easiest ways to increase awareness of sustainability efforts online is through social media platforms. Almost everyone knows about videos that suddenly go viral and garner attention from around the world. Creating a video does not necessarily guarantee viral attention, but it is a quick and easy start. 

With basic equipment, even a smartphone, amateurs can create a short video describing their cause. Action shots and frames that promote an emotional response are most effective. Social media posts should be relatively short but compelling. Take care not to create content that could be construed as aggressive or shaming to readers or viewers. 

Virtual Networking Events
Nonprofit entities often join businesses from across multiple industries at local trade shows and networking events. Since many of these events are hosted in smaller areas or involve food and drinks, they have become scarce in recent years. Established and long-standing networking events have switched to a virtual platform to keep members active and engaged. Consider starting a virtual networking event or joining other local and national groups. Many businesses allow guest speakers to host an event to discuss their cause. A little research can go a long way in the effort to uncover networking opportunities. 

Personal Referrals and Shares
The most basic way to increase awareness of any particular cause is by utilizing existing relationships. Working with family, friends, community members, and coworkers instantly expands the networking efforts. Simple reminders to company headquarters or a community board help raise awareness and keep thoughts of sustainability in focus. Asking colleagues to share social media posts or pass out brochures immediately impacts sustainability efforts. The best practice here is to aim for free and low-cost options. Word of mouth referrals meets the criteria for being both trusted and free.