What is community engagement?

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Course content

Intermediate
November 29, 2018
2
mins
Average: 5 (3 votes)
Community engagement drives the not-for-profit sector. It can take many forms, from a handful of volunteers staffing an op-shop with hundreds of local customers, to thousands attending a community event. It’s about people at the local community level feeling a connection with your organisation. In this course Sophie takes you through the fundamentals of community engagement, relationship building, engaging stakeholders, planning events and evaluating success.

Hi, and welcome to Lumin.

Community engagement drives the not-for-profit sector. It takes many forms – from a handful of volunteers staffing an op-shop with hundreds of local customers, to thousands attending a community event; or a nationwide appeal for donations to an international disaster relief campaign. It’s about people at the local community level feeling a connection with your organisation. They are very important stakeholders.

I’m Sophie, Manager at Lumin. I've got years of experience working with community engagement organisations, to help get their voices heard.

In this course I’ll take you through six important aspects of community engagement – what it is; why it’s important; deciding who you’ll engage with; planning community engagement activity; execution and evaluating success.

Okay, let's get started. what is community engagement?

It’s a broad term referring to the connections organisations make with local communities to build relationships over time.

Importantly, it’s very powerful. Engaging directly with the community can foster a strong and long-term sense of connection, of having a stake in what your organisation is doing.

Community engagement is a highly effective tool for any organisation, group, individual to form relationships with local communities – whether it’s a national behaviour change campaign or a small community group looking to build its reputation locally. People are included in your organisation’s activities, and decision-making, and it has benefits for everyone.

I’ve been talking here very much on a general level. Now we’ll get specific. It's a critically important thing to do, to identify what your organisation is looking to achieve.

Next lesson we’ll look at why building community relationships is important.
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About the instructor

Sophie Spence

Sophie is a dynamic communicator and project leader. She has significant experience in the social change and community sector having established a broad skillset during her time with Communications agency Think HQ and not for profit, Keep Victoria Beautiful where she sculpted a set of versatile skills across community engagement. Sophie is passionate about building the marketing and communications capacity of Australia's community and social change sector - creating effective and sustainable change.