Eveything you need to know about developing a local community
Local Community activities
Creating your community
You have recently decided to create your local community, congratulations ! Here is what people usually do as they launch a new Ouishare Community:
- Connect a few people sharing an interest for the collaborative economy
- Organise an offline exchange at a party, around a beer
- Quickly organise, together with your local team, the first Ouishare Drink in order to federate the local community. Ideally, find a sponsor for this first event.
- Come and share your experience at a Ouishare Summit
- Update the Ouishare Agenda on the Google Calendar and on the website
Federating your community
When people get more involved, quickly create your local Facebook group, which will enable you to communicate with the entire community.
However, don’t stop organising Ouishare Drinks or any other kind of smaller event: people really get to know each other when they meet offline, rather than by communicating online on facebook.
Here are further suggestions to foster your community development:
- Organise your first OuiShare Talk on a subject of interest of community members, invite a charismatic personality
- Organise a small workshop on the collaborative economy for your members to understand the do-tank culture
- Organise and prepare a global or regional event (ex: a Ouishare Summit)
Developing your community
As you develop your community, OuiShare Talks and OuiShare Drinks will gain in quality of interventions, will become more specific as well. Your members will organise event in several fields of expertise. Your main goal will now be to promote a flagship project for the whole Ouishare Community, that will be key for your visibility and financial success.
Communicating with your peers
First steps as a Connector
- Keep in touch with as many local connectors as possible.
- Invite them to your OuiShare Drinks and OuiShare Talks in order to share best practices
In the case you are launching a local community, meet and discuss with other connectors to launch the process efficiently. Invite them to your first events to gain some insights on your work and share your experience.
As a Community Connector
Here are key advices to gain as much as possible from the best practices exchange within Ouishare:
- Contact other communities and share about your best practices in terms of initiatives, workshops, subjects, search for funding …
- Exchange best practices with a core-connector who will be able to spread them to a wider range of people
- Attend a Ouishare global event
- Animate or organise a Ouishare global event
- Contribute to Ouishare global actions and strategy
- Lead a study or a project related to a specific aspect of Ouishare
First steps of a community
One key advice regarding communication is to keep a smooth pace. Communication is touchy and as you are still discovering Ouishare's ways of working, external communication remains risky regarding OuiShare's global image.
The first communication steps as you create your community are:
- The creation of your Facebook local group
- The communication around your first Ouishare Drink: it should be targeting any Ouishare follower of your locality, willing to assist and take part in this adventure.
- Work on a first collective publication
Federating your local community
Concerning internal communicaton, as your community is growing, you will mainly communicate through your Facebook group, publishing articles and fostering debate and exchange. Invite as many entrepreneurs as possible in this group to have members focusing on this activity. Any initiative of your community is to be communicated to the rest of OuiShare: event, publication… Communicate to the rest of Ouishare through the Ouishare agenda and other Facebook groups you might be contributing to.
Concerning external communication, do not hesitate to start communicating through local media. Share your events and your progress in the media.
Developing your local community
- Keep sharing OuiShare initiatives on Facebook. Share on all events with other local communities.
- Try to mobilise local media by communicating on open events that your community organises. Contribute to specialised media newsfeed and communicate on any kind of media: papers, radio, TV, etc.
- Communicate on concrete initiatives as well as Ouishare values. As your communication skills and network develops you will be able to reach broader audiences and work with national medias.
How to integrate your ecosystem
- As you try to federate a community, intend to gather as many people as possible in your first events. This is the key opportunity to integrate people in the adventure; afterwards a community always becomes complicated to read from an external perspective.
- Your first events are also real opportunities to seek partnerships and meet local actors of the collaborative economy.
Become part of the ecosystem
- Once your community becomes more mature, it’s important to organise regularly open events to attract new members and renew the teams.
- In order to have a complete vision of your ecosystem, it’s also time to cartography the local actors of the collaborative economy and meet them.
- Be part of all significant events related to the collaborative economy and organise bigger ones. As a key connector of all actors of this field, you could contribute to entrepreneurs' development.
Community creation and finance
When first designed, a local community generally lives from the motivation of its volunteers. No budget or external source of funding is required. However keep in mind that finding funding is an important aspect that will enable your community to thrive. In particular, Ouishare Drinks should be sponsored from the beginning for potential future partnerships.
When does finance becomes important?
As soon as you start federating a significant number of people around your local community, finance becomes the key issue. Past the first Ouishare Drinks, when you start organising the first Ouishare Talks, your budget will no longer limit to a few decoration. Target a 10 to 20K€ budget in your search for funding.
Funding can come from :
- Private funding
Try to limit funding by contributions as much as possible: you cannot rely on it for a long period of time. Self-financing thanks to events organisation are the best way to be financially sustainable.
As your local community will be gaining in size, opportunities and visibility, you will soon reach significant budget needs (over 50 K€) :
- You will need to continue to rely on the previous financing means.
- Recurrent economic activity is also a good way to sustain your growth: try to rely as much as possible on sustainable funding, not sporadic donations, in order to be able to have financial projections.
- Consulting and reporting activities can be a good opportunity for your community depending on the city. Entrepreneurial projects, such as Sharitories, are also significant funding opportunities.
- At this stage you will also start remunerating Core Connectors according to the time they spend working for Ouishare.
As your community becomes mature you will contemplate hiring people. This will no longer depend on your event calendar.
Therefore two other sources of funding are usually used:
- Public call for tender response
- Global Partnership network
Want some more ?
This page is the synthesis of a more visual and complete table about the 4 phases of development of a local community available on the Google drive.
Feel free to share your experience and edit it !