Catholic Relief Services Builds Digital Bridge to Connect US Hispanic Community
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), one of the largest faith-based international aid organizations in the United States and one of the world’s foremost agencies for humanitarian aid and disaster relief, today further enhanced its outreach efforts to U.S. Hispanics. Through an updated digital platform, CRS will offer Hispanics a better way to connect with each other and make a difference around issues and events that affect the lives of ordinary people in Latin America and around the world.
Coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month, CRS has upgraded its online outreach to Hispanics anchored by a revamped and retooled Spanish-language website and an upgraded presence across multiple social media channels. These changes enable users to become better integrated into the online and offline extended CRS family by offering improved access to each other and to information on CRS efforts. Included among the updates are: ongoing education and sustainability initiatives, disaster relief, volunteer opportunities, project updates and opportunities to donate.
“Over the years, Hispanics have maintained a strong and growing relationship with CRS as they continue to comprise a greater portion of the overall Catholic Church in the United States and we want to enhance this relationship by providing better access to information, tools and resources to allow them to connect and give back to communities around the world that they care about,” said Lydia Dibos, senior adviser for Hispanic outreach, Catholic Relief Services. “Given the fact that Hispanics have been the quickest to adapt to digital innovations, especially on mobile and social media platforms, it only makes sense that we offer these resources across multiple digital mediums.”
The 2010 Census made it clear that U.S Hispanics are the key drivers for growth across all other sectors in the country, including population, the economy, technology, and accessing content online. U.S. Hispanics comprise 16 percent of the overall population and account for one in every two births in the country. The growth of the U.S. Hispanic market has also been keenly felt in the Catholic Church. Currently, 35 percent of the U.S. Catholic Church is Hispanic and fully 50 percent of Catholic Church members under the age of 25 are Hispanic.
Digital outreach updates introduced by CRS to reach this emerging majority-minority include:
- An overhauled and easier to navigate website connected to multiple information and sharing options through social media platforms
- A community manager actively engaging with Hispanic users on Facebook, YouTube and through email
- Robust internal website content including video, slideshows, radio features and photo galleries to provide users with information on CRS in the region and around the world at the touch of a finger
- Easy access to downloadable faith content, such as prayer and religious materials that users can share with their family and friends
- Up-to-date developments during natural disasters from the affected region on the website’s home page
- Access for volunteers and financial supporters of CRS to information about opportunities to engage and help, separated by country
- Redesigned individual country pages that include program and beneficiary information, CRS history in the country and specific issues which affect those communities
- Access for members of the media to timely content that will provide them with contacts for each region as well as access to experts throughout the CRS network available for interviews and story development