If you want to grow your volunteer and donor pipeline, you must reach out to your locals and create an opportunity for input. Listen and find out what they love about where they live. If they see their ideas implemented, they are more likely to contribute their time and money, making Main Street’s mission much easier to achieve.
Community engagement works best where it is an ongoing cumulative process enabling relationships and trust to build and strengthen over time. There is a range of levels and techniques for participation. Resources are popping up to make it easier to navigate through it all.
From the Main Street America network, there is the new publication Community Engagement for Main Street Transformation, a guiding framework for understanding how to launch or strengthen the community engagement efforts. Thankfully, it does not stop there. Here are few worthwhile articles and resources:
- Community Heart & Soul (@Orton Family Foundation)
- 5 Ways That Planners Should Use Online Community Engagement (@Bang the Table)
- 4 Tips for Better Community Engagement (@Strong Towns)
- Let Me Tell You a Story! Storytelling to Enhance Urban Planning Engagement (@Planetizen)
- Tip Sheets – Engaging with the Public (@UM Extension)