What if nobody responded to your great idea? What would you do?
In today’s video, Amy Sample Ward from NTEN tells the story of how they built something they thought their community of folks would love. But the problem was, nobody showed up. So, they tried something else. And that didn’t work out so well either.
So what did they do?
They went to their community and asked them what they wanted. And guess what happened? People became much more engaged.
Amy has a couple of great take-aways from this experience. She shares them with you at the end of the video.
If you have any stories or advice on engaging your community, please share it with everyone else. Leave a comment under the video. Thanks.
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Christopher Davenport says
If you have any stories or advice on engaging your community, please share it with everyone else. Thanks. 🙂
Carol Haag says
Dear Chris Davenport,
I chair the donor committee for the Coalition for Peace Action in New Jersey and we decided to try a Thanks-for-Giving Party as suggested by Heidi Thompson in the #212 episode. We made it a simply thank-you event and the director shared successes their donations had made possible. No ask! It was very successful – lots of good will even from those who responded to the invitation that they could not attend – renewed inspiration for the cause – building community. We do not yet have any documentation if the event will have boosted our giving for the year, but I’m thinking this is more of a slow cumulative process.
Thank you, Heidi!
Tara Morgan says
We love using Thank-A-Thons for board members and key volunteers to interact with our donor community. It’s usually a win-win – board members get experience talking to donors and relating on their shared interest in the org’s mission and donors get to be thanked (with no strings!). Often there is a healthy amount of feedback that gets recorded on call sheets that makes its way back to the development staff and board leadership. Also our board members use pre-determined talking points and always have something to invite a donor to participate in – like a donor reception or the next community or member meeting.
Beth Ann Locke says
Great reminder to get out of your own head and find out what people want! Surveys are great.
Patricia Moen says
Great video! Our organization utilizes community engagement in lots of different ways, but we regularly listen to community to inform program development and evaluation. We are part of a collaboration of organizations working to document community engagement practices in a variety of fields and across diverse communities. We all find that ongoing engagement – as opposed to more traditional outreach – is a great way to bring more of your constituency into your work in meaningful ways. Over the last few years, we’ve been documenting our theories and practice to share with others at http://www.buildthefield.org. There is a section with an assessment tool, a video, and our impact graphic, which has been a great conversation starter and tool for talking across disciplines about community engagement and its impacts: http://www.buildthefield.org/tools/. We have all found that engagement practices have transformative benefit for organizations…from donor relations, enhanced programming, engaging new constituencies, improved evaluation, and much more. Feel free to contact Theresa Gardella or Rebcka Ndosi at 651/289-7038 for more resources or technical assistance.