Community development encompasses the creation of social and economic progress for an existing neighborhood. It relies on active participation from members of the community, as well as dedicated, driven strategies. Organizing events for better the neighborhood and getting people together for volunteer efforts can be daunting, but here are some tips for any community member or official to get a strong group together for enhancing everyone's quality of life.
1. Hold Regular Meetings
It is cruel for your town hall or community organization to hold frequent (at least every bi-weekly or monthly) meetings. The more everyone gets together to discuss neighborhood issues, the easier it is to brainstorm solutions and activities that can make a difference. It also holds people accountable, and when a pattern is established, it's easy to make the meetings a routine part of everyone's schedule.
2. Be Open to New Ideas
Meetings often bring up ideas for volunteering and events. The best way to make progress for all members of the community is to listen and be open to compromise. Perhaps this means holding multiple events for different religious groups around the holidays. It could also just mean that two different ideas are merged to make a larger event with more diverse activities.
3. Try to Work With the City
Depending on available funding and priority items, it can sometimes be difficult to get city projects underway. Be realistic about your goals and remember that projects can become delayed for any number of reasons. Stay pleasantly persistent.
4. Do not Give Up
There will be times when committees or other governmental groups will reject proposals, but it is important to continue working on projects that you believe in. Those who speak up are often the only ones to be heard. Patience and optimism go a long way when it comes to getting important projects completed.
Marketing strategies for community development meetings may sound strange, but they can be a good way of getting everyone together to discuss relevant topics and concerns. Think about flyers and Facebook pages that advertise meetings and future volunteering opportunities. A group page on Facebook, or even an Instagram page, can help to show what issues are at stake and provide photos of changes as they are made. Advertising is also a great communication tool. If some people are unable to attend recent meetings, they can use this as a way to catch up and to still voice their opinions.
Gathering a group of people together for bettering community development is an admirable goal, but it can be a challenge at times. With these tips, you can help your area come together in productive, meaningful ways.