Why is Giving Back to the Community Important?
“One of the greatest movements in my lifetime among educated people is the need to commit themselves to action. Most people are not satisfied with giving money; we also feel we need to work.” – Peter Drucker
“Community” and “engagement” are two frequently used words that, when used together, can have a great impact. Community engagement is the process of working with various groups of people who are affiliated by a region, special interest, cultural identity, or similar circumstances, and can be a powerful force for bringing about positive societal change.
Generally, community engagement involves creating partnerships that can leverage resources and change policies, programs, and practices. Community issues are diverse and complex, so any organization or individual needs to involve members of the community in a collaborative decision-making process. This ensures a more significant impact on the community as a whole.
What is the Importance of Community Engagement?
There are four major principles that are closely tied to community engagement:
A huge part of community engagement involves talking to people, but more importantly, it involves active listening. Connection builds trust and enables communities to be more receptive to your ideas. While involvement gives communities the feeling of being a partner with you, making them want to engage with you more.
As you create initiatives and partner with communities in your area, you must remember the importance of community engagement regarding your strategy and goals.
One of the most important reasons community engagement matters is that it leads to sustainable outcomes. The foundation of community engagement is relationships. The relational connections you make should be centered on achieving long-term results.
It is important to remember initiatives have end dates. Your organization should never just be focused on achieving project goals. Instead, the strategies you create should be relationships driven, which will continue to empower the community over time.
Along with establishing sustainable outcomes, successful community engagement initiatives also give the community a greater sense of ownership. Community members have a deep knowledge of the historical, technical, and cultural histories of their region as well as an intimate understanding of their needs. Utilizing that knowledge can help you improve the services you offer to the community. Community members feel they have played a crucial role in the positive change affecting their neighborhoods.
Community engagement is no longer about coming into a community and being its savior, and it is an ongoing conversation with key decision-makers. This enables your organization to make transformative and lasting changes that address the needs and aspirations of your local community.
Let us help you create successful partnerships with the communities you serve.
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