I’m working with a large client in the Association space to revive their failed online community (community of practice, a mix of paying and non-paying members). Their first plan looked something like this: create ~300 smaller groups for their Chapters and Committees (dispersed across the globe), put Volunteers in charge, and call it an online community. Plus, they offered one global forum for member introductions.
We’re in the beginning phase of identifying key stakeholders and building out their strategic plan (shout out to the Strategic Community Management course!) and I’m hitting the same snag I’ve experienced with other Associations. Their core strategy is built on connecting members of local chapters, but due to the sheer number of Chapters and number of people needed to manage them (mostly Volunteers), it’s terribly difficult to 1) build a sense of community and 2) prevent these Chapter spaces from becoming ghost towns. I analyzed the client’s data from the past 6 months and found that less than 10% of their Chapters had any recent member activity.
This model goes against everything I typically teach on how to build a successful community. I have scoured the web and can’t find one Association who is doing community well. Anyone know of any? @richard_millington
After several weeks, they are starting to understand the need for a well-thought out global community strategy, in addition to their Chapters and Committees. Yeah!
How do you help build a successful community strategy plan for a community with 300 smaller groups, lots of volunteers, and a small paid staff that doesn’t have a dedicated Community Manger?
Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated!