Posts Tagged ‘community’

For those of us old enough, I’m now singing that old Gap ad: “…fall into the Gap.”  Sorry about that.

photo by: kevinrosseel

If you are a nonprofit leader you are likely familiar with the organization Guidestar (if not, you can check it out here).  They recently released a report titled “The Effect of the Economy On the Nonprofit Sector”, a compilation of the survey results of over 7,000 nonprofit professionals.  I’ll share the link at the end so you finish reading this, so please don’t scroll down — it’s coming.

The report entails a significant amount of very useful data and information.  I would like to highlight 2 key results that present a profound opportunity (for the courageous).

63% of organizations reported that demand for their services increased.

58% of organizations reported that they reduced activities or services to reduce budgets.

See that gap?  It is massive.  It is opportunity.  We have to find it and fill it.  Now filling it can mean creative collaboration, shared resources, increasing our competencies — it is where growth and community impact lies.  It is what we do.  Communities are our customers, they need us and based on this report the need is growing.

Fall into the gap and fill it.

As promised, you can get the report here for download: Guidestar Report

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a session led by Sam Davidson of coolpeople.org. He made a statement that I found brilliant and timely.

“community is no longer defined by physical space”

True.  In a rough count, my wife, daughters and I  hold 27+ different memberships — both real and virtual.

  • newsletters
  • websites
  • gymnastic center
  • service clubs/chambers
  • sports teams
  • church
  • The Y (of course)
  • retailer loyalty programs

Each varies in the level of engagement as much as our involvement varies.  Does our involvement reflect their engagement?  Not sure, but despite outgrowing Webkinz, my 10 year old daughter continues to visit the website only to “feed” her pets so they don’t starve (virtually).  These groups also connect with us through multiple channels: IRL (in real life), texting, e-mail, mail, web and telephone.

photo by: d3designs

In serving members and customers we have an overwhelming number of channels (with more on the horizon) through which we can create and nurture our community.  It is important to create one community through all channels and not a community for each channel.

When in doubt, channel your inner member.  Take note of your own memberships — what are those that you could not live without doing to keep you engaged as a member?

What channels are you using for your business?  What strategies do you apply to bridge the experience between channels?

It’d also be a really good idea not to let them starve.