Because Iâ€™m an extrovert to the core, Iâ€™m naturally a â€śjoinerâ€ť. Iâ€™m part of Parentsâ€™ Council for both of my kidsâ€™ schools, Autism-related support groups, special needs-related support groups, moms groups, etc. As a result, my schedule can get pretty filled between those groups, appointments for my son, field trip chaperoning for my daughter, being taxi-driver to ensure my son gets to IBI, etc.
Iâ€™ve seen groups that are well managed, others that are still growing, and others that have it so down pat that they are amazing! So, I thought I would compile a list of things I really like that groups put in place to help their members.
To communicate with your group:
- have a Facebook group
- keep a current membership list (this will look different for any group as some have fee-based memberships, others are just attendance-related)
- have an email distribution list (include members, â€śfriendsâ€ť of the group, speakers, sponsors, etc)
- send reminders of meetings/events a few days before via email and Facebook
- have a website and/or blogâ€¦BUT you only need this if you keep the information current! An out of date website is just a waste of time and virtual space
If you canâ€™t manage all these electronic ways to communicate with your membership, ask for help! Ask your membership if anyone is willing to help. Weâ€™re all on Facebook, Twitter, email all the time anyway, whatâ€™s an extra 5mins a day when weâ€™re all staring at our screens, waiting for some form of communication with a grown-up world. If no one steps up, ask me! ;) Iâ€™m happy to do it for groups I attend, and charge a small fee to set things up and maintain for other groups (itâ€™s easier to hand over to someone when things are already set up -- less daunting!)
A personal pet-peeve (primarily because of my former life being an event planner) is when I need to go to multiple places to find all information for an event being held by the group. If I see mention on the Facebook group about an event being held, that isnâ€™t in my events listing on Facebook (seriously, it takes 2 mins to send an event through Facebook!) and I want to attend, I DO NOT want to go searching for event details throughout the Facebook group, emails and your website. Basic event details include:
- Name of event
- Start time and anticipated end-time (if needed)
- Location (including street address and city)
- Cost for event, and payment method
- Appropriate ages for the event, if itâ€™s not â€śall agesâ€ť
- If child care is available and for what ages
- If there is a cost for parking
If you run a group, THANK YOU! I love attending groups and meeting new people. I know how hard it is, and how much time and effort goes into them because I organized and maintained them in my former professional life. Itâ€™s nice to finally see the other side of the coin when Iâ€™m the one attending, rather than organizing.