Workshop: Community Opbouw

Active communities are becoming increasingly important, but how do you involve regional organisations using digital solutions?

This online workshop Community Building took place on 7 April. With best practices from Apeldoorn Pakt Aan and Lochem Doet, we discussed how technology can be optimally used to find and involve the right people in volunteering.

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Joannie Kooyman
Sociaal Werker
Apeldoorn Pakt Aan

Sonja Peterse
Projectleider Vrijwilligerscentrale
Stichting Welzijn Lochem

Hendrik-Jan Overmeer
Founding Team Member

Gerbrand Holland
Partnership Manager

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Key takeaways and learnings
The municipality of Lochem has a digital platform where the vacancy bank is central, but stories are also shared. Other initiatives include a festival of volunteer appreciation in all centres of the municipality of Lochem. The focus is on joining forces and connecting with each other.

It is important to work on a campaign basis. A good example is Mensen Maken Voorst, with the aim of capturing the attention and showcase volunteers with personal stories.

Community building is not only about communication, but especially about recognition of volunteers. This can be both direct (compliments, training, certification etc.) and indirect (giving a say, facilitating sharing, online interaction etc.).

Also help volunteers to see the bigger picture. Think about introducing new volunteers to the general approach, their role and expectations of available activities.

Technology plays an important role now and in the future. Think about the shareability of vacancies through social media, digital training courses and workshops, or online (highlighted) vacancy texts.

Shareability via social media or via newsletters is necessary, as it is a battle for continuous attention from the community. It helps to communicate in themes, pay attention to the readability of texts, use striking images and cleverly deploy content in multiple formats (video, infographic, blogs).

Technology alone is not sacred. We are dealing with people who want to help around, for example, Ukraine, full of energy. Make sure that the expectation is clear by structuring the communication.

Think of Google forms to process requests with all the necessary data about availability, employability, contact details.