Online Networks to Offline Community Building


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The days of posting a paper notice on a bulletin board somewhere are mostly over... the days of virtual hubs as a jump-off point for in-person gatherings are here! With the rise of sites like, NetTuesday, WiserTuesdays and more, grassroots organizers are stepping up and the web is bringing visibility to local community meetups as never before. The masses are clearly hungry for connection!

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Online Networks to Offline Community Building

  1. 1. Virtually Seamless: Online Networks to Offline Community Building Peggy Duvette Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
  2. 2. Have better data, make better decisions, win grants, and collaborate better with Good Done Great. A Proud Sponsor of
  3. 3. Today’s Speaker Peggy Duvette Executive Director, WiserEarth Hosting: Assisting with chat questions:Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars
  4. 4. Virtually SeamlessOnline networks to Offline Community Building Presenter: Peggy Duvette Executive Director, WiserEarth Twitter Hashtag: #wiserearth #npwebinars
  5. 5. Online Networks Which ones? Do you know where you community is?
  6. 6. Online Movement building Huffington Post, 10.16.10 co-authored by Marianne Manilov and Taj James.
  7. 7. Online / Offline Balance It is one or the other?
  8. 8. Handshake still matters “Personal connections provide energy and cohesion” Jennifer Lentfer, How Matters
  9. 9. Case Study: WiserEarth
  10. 10. How it started •Collaboration between 3 organizations •Small group as a foundation •The first gathering was at a bar
  11. 11. Now is… • Network of over 395 members • Just had its 17th gathering • Co created with 6 other organizations a BarCamp conference last year • Trusted and respected local network
  12. 12. Beyond WiserParis • Expanded to 16 cities • WiserRio just had its first gathering last month • Local leaders that volunteer their time are key to success
  13. 13. Online Space Central place for local leaders to get started, connect with others, and share best practices
  14. 14. Local Gatherings
  15. 15. Our learnings • Start small • Engage volunteers at the right time • Commit to connecting with and engaging members of your community to co-create successful events
  16. 16. Our learnings • Each local group is different • Invite the community be part of setting the agenda and facilitating • Always follow up after face to face gatherings
  17. 17. Case Study: NetSquared NetSquared local events provide a chance to connect face-to-face with those interested in the intersection between social technologies and social change 79 groups meeting every month around the world 165 volunteer organizers around the network case study courtesy of Amy Sample Ward
  18. 18. Case Study: NetSquared • Does your organization hold events for members of your community? • Do you need to grow globally? • How do you intermix local and global? • Will you structure top-down, bottom-up or hybrid? • Who will play the role of intermediary? case study courtesy of Amy Sample Ward
  19. 19. Case Study: Learnings • Local planning • Strengths of mixing top-down with bottom-up case study courtesy of Amy Sample Ward
  20. 20. Case Study: The Climate Network Offline to Online to Offline “Build it and they will come” Great lessons learned
  21. 21. Case Study: The Climate Network The goal was to create a unified online community for the climate movement: - Provide local groups and organizers with the tools and give their efforts an online voice and platform to support their offline work; - Create political pressure by documenting and mapping the movement for legislators - Give each organization the ability to share supporters and content in a networked community to reflect the unity of the movement
  22. 22. Case Study: The Climate Network Lessons learned: - Project vision came from one group - Intended audience was not consulted - Technology use - A lack of capacity By Garth Moore, Michael Silberman and Liz Butler offline-lessons-learned-in-building-a-c.html
  23. 23. Your gatherings Tips for organizing your own successful community gatherings
  24. 24. Survey What does your community really want?
  25. 25. Engage Engage the community from the beginning!
  26. 26. Leverage People in your online community have skills
  27. 27. Volunteer Registration, Live tweeting, taking photos and videos
  28. 28. Start small It is not about the number of people
  29. 29. Quality of interaction Not everyone will come, that’s OK! Focus on the quality of interaction
  30. 30. Participative Format Encourage people to meet each other
  31. 31. Participative Format Use technology when needed but don’t get hung up on it
  32. 32. Who is who? Use the 3 tags format
  33. 33. Sustenance! Do I need to say anything?
  34. 34. Fun and empowering Make it fun!
  35. 35. Document the gatherings
  36. 36. Takes some photos.. Pictures inspire… and videos too!
  37. 37. Remember.. It does not end after the event… • Always send a Thank You to participants • Summarize what happened, who came, pictures/videos and next steps, then share it with participants • Continue the conversations after the event online
  38. 38. A few resources
  39. 39. Any questions Feel free to contact me: Peggy Duvette -
  40. 40. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register at April Hunt Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
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