Community building activities help break down barriers between people. If you’ve been in one, you’ll notice how individuals learn to become relaxed and comfortable around other people in a community. Because of this, community-building activities are an essential element in boosting inclusiveness and forging group identity.
However, you need to look at the bigger picture as a community leader. Community building, after all, is crucial in community development.
In fact, according to the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, community building foremost involves the creation and implementation of projects that aim to build relationships between community members and use these connections to develop solutions to member-defined problems.
You should also know that community-building efforts focus on using existing assets within a community as opposed to hiring the services of commercial establishments or businesses within a community.
Community-building activities also provide numerous benefits for the community.
Benefits of Implementing Community Activities
According to one of the most influential think tanks in the US, Aspen Institute, community building contributes to improved community health status, physical infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, and safety. More importantly, it strengthens social relationships, encouraging mutual support.
Because of this, community-building activities connect individuals to supportive resources, organizations, and individuals outside the neighborhood. It helps communities develop partnerships and policies to promote participation, strengthen neighborhoods, reduce isolation, and address issues of ethnicity and race.
You can’t cure all community problems just by organizing a few get-together activities. Community building activities can’t answer all of that. It does, however, make a difference in people’s lives, which is important in today’s global crisis. It is, therefore, important for community leaders like you to prioritize it. Here are a few tips to help you boost and improve community-building activities in your community.
Let Community Members Shape the Activities
Let the members of your community enjoy activities around their interests. You can organize them but allow individuals to contribute their ideas. Avoid pushing your own agenda or other community leaders’.
As a community leader, you should take feedback and suggestions from people. Conduct community meetings, invite everyone, and encourage people to participate. Make sure to listen to people’s input. Allow them to spearhead activities and projects from time to time.
Remember, community leaders exist to serve members and not boss them around.
Choose Activities That the Majority Will Like
The main purpose of community building activities is to find hobbies, events, projects, and other endeavors that have mass appeal or that everybody will enjoy. You can’t organize a weekend fishing trip for the community to show off your Van Staal fishing reel. You can explore niche activities and other areas of interest.
Community building with activities that many people like have higher participation rates and better turnouts. When these factors are present, more experiences are shared and connections made.
Planning activities with mass appeal helps promote unity and fellowship. This allows members to get the full benefits these community-building activities provide.
Foster Diversity and Inclusion
A community means a group of individuals and families living together in a neighborhood. At first, these people will not mingle with each other. Be prepared to encourage and motivate every person to interact with each other. There will be people who need to be nudged to socialize with others. Make sure to include everybody in your community, even those who don’t want to be included.
In the same way, mix different people in groups. Make sure that your foster diversity in your community. And this doesn’t simply mean considering people’s race and ethnicity. Connect people from different backgrounds and statuses in life.
To help you understand everybody’s background, get to know members of your community. Make sure that they’ll feel safe even if they share details about their lives with you.
Maintain a Regular Schedule of Activities
Building a good community is an ongoing effort. This means you should keep people active and engaged regularly. To do this, you must stick to a schedule and maintain a regular rhythm of activities. People will be encouraged to save room in their schedule, even if they’re busy, for regularly conducted activities.
Activities should be set on predictable schedules — weekly or monthly. They don’t need to be on the same day each time. However, the number of interactions weekly or monthly should be consistent. This will ignite members’ energy and help them feel a sense of normalcy amid the pandemic.
Build Meaningful Connections
Human connections are crucial for individuals to survive. In the community, activities allow you to connect with other people. This is an important process that will eventually lead to community development, which is something that everyone will benefit from.
Organize activities that will build connections in your community today. Consider the tips above to help you achieve this.