Community Engagement

If you have ever said the words 'nobody cares about their community anymore' this workshop is for you. 

It is true our communities are changing. At first glance it would appear that the change isn't for the better--but I would argue that it is just different, and that an engaged community can be one of our greatest strengths. In this workshop Community Leaders learn:

To develop a Community Engagement Plan by building on existing OCP and strategic planning.

We do this by:
1. Measuring the community assets, including everything from people, to business to geography to identify and focus on community potential. I use a quality of life process, but there are many other models you might prefer.
2. Measuring these assets against the goals of the community, and determining who are the people who can help.
3. Come up with a plan on how we are going to talk to people to let them know what we are doing and see how we can best engage them. There are separate processes for engaging people we know, and engaging people we do not know. It can be anything and everything from calling up an individual and meeting him or her for lunch, or setting up a series of focus groups.
4. Determine which activities we want to pursue, and setting up a timeline for doing them. In other words, an implementation plan that includes a measurement process.  
5. Follow up an necessary.

I know it seems quite formal, however, if we do not take steps to engage our community, the gap only widens between the leaders and the people that live within a community.

It is based on what is known as the Pollyanna Principles as outlined in the book: Community Engagement, Step by Step Action Kit by Hildy Gottlieb:

The Ends:
1. We accomplish what we hold ourselves accountable for
2. Each and everyone of us is creating the future, every day, whether we do so consciously or not

The Means:
1. Everyone and everything is interconnected and interdependent whether you acknowledge that or not
2. "Being the change you want to see" means walking the talk of our values
3. Strength builds upon our strengths, not our weaknesses
4. Individuals will go where systems lead them.

Where we Start to build sustainable communities:
1. Start where we all agree. Far more people care about their community than they care about the organizations within it so it is important to look out to the community as a whole.

2. Engage the community. You really cannot get done what you need done without the participation and support of the community.

3. Share resources. Figure out ways to partner.

If you need help setting up a program, please consider giving me a call.

Warmest Regards,
Lorri