Published by Angus on 24 Mar 2009 at 05:04 pm
Your community’s purpose is key to recruiting new members, raising funds, and staying on strategy. But too often in the rush to create online communities, we skip over this crucial step. Here are a couple of tips for developing that compelling statement of purpose to get your group off on the right foot.
- Do your homework – Do online searches on Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, WiserEarth, or Facebook to see how similar groups are pitching themselves and then look to see how people are describing you on Twitter, Technorati, and delicious.
- Gather your community together – Bring together your top contributors, your advisors, and your community manager for a one hour face-to-face, or if that’s not possible, a live chat, to start drafting your purpose.
- Define the ‘what’ - Quickly list out what it is that your group does. Try and use active verbs and sentences that start with ‘We’. Come up with you top 10. e.g. ‘We make water project proposals successful“
- Define the ‘who’- Identify who is your target audience – what types of people or groups do you support? Who are your constituents? E.g. “We make water project proposals successful for African non-profits”
- Explore the ‘how’ – What is it about your group that adds value to your members. E.g. “We make water project proposals successful for African non-profits by linking projects to expert peer-reviewers”
- Make it ‘personal’. In the social context of an online group you are really establishing a promise with your members. E.g. “We make your African non-profit water project successful by linking you to experts”
- Test drive your top five ‘purpose statements’ with community members who weren’t involved in the process and with people you want to recruit as members. What resonates with them? Can they clearly see what the ‘value add’ is for them if they join your group? Do they see you as distinctive compared to other similar communities?
|Here are three examples from WiserEarth Groups:
Sustainable Gardeners and Farmers: This group will create an open, global forum where growers can share practical knowledge with each other, pose questions and find answers. It is open to experts, amateurs and to beginners who look to enrich their lives by learning to grow food. It will also provide a space to share concerns about current food systems as well as sustainable approaches
The Story of Stuff Project: From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
San Francisco Green Festival 2007: Were you at the Green Festival in San Francisco? Did you miss a chance to connect with someone there? Join this group to keep in touch with others who were at Green Festival!
|To change you purpose statement on WiserEarth:
Go to your Admin Tools button and select ‘Edit Group Details’.
Then click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Group Info’ and change the Tagline.
Post adapted from “Sixty-Minute Jump Start for Developing a Purpose Statement” by CSA UC Berkeley | Photo Credit
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