Eight Tips for Starting a Community Group

The time to act is now.

Forming a Safe Tech community group is fun, rewarding and easier than you think!

1. Collaborate

Work with someone else to get your project off the ground. Discuss your ideas together. What do you envision for your group’s mission and goals?  Will your group meet virtually, or face to face? Where will you meet and how often? (See #2 below.) How long will group meetings last?

2. Find a Meeting Space or Platform

Will you meet over Zoom? Or, if feasible, maybe at a community center, in a church basement, at the public library or in someone’s living room?

3. Invite Friends & Neighbours to join you

It’s okay to start small. Use the following resources to spread the word:

4. Plan your First Meeting

Use this Tool to Guide You:

5. Get Active

Join one of our Current Campaigns,

Or use one of these guides to help your group make an Action Plan:

6. Grow your Membership

Increase your reach by setting up an interactive stall at a local farmer’s market or community event.

Before the event – identify three “Asks.”

The first Ask is your high commitment request. The second is your mid level one, and the third requires the least amount of engagement. 

For example:

    1. Your first Ask could be inviting them to attend a virtual or actual social event where they can get to know others and learn about your campaign and upcoming plans.
    2. Your second Ask could be seeing if they will distribute info flyers at their workplace or in their neighbourhood.
    3. Your third could be asking them to read an info flyer or sign a petition.

At the Recruitment Event

Attract people to your stall by engaging them in a colourful, participatory activity – whether it’s a game where you get them to knock over blocks representing cell towers, have an art display, invite them to post safe technology solutions on a large happy face, make paper-mâché puppets, or blow bubbles and paint faces.

Be sure to have copies of the info flyers found here with you to share.

If the people you are talking to show interest,  make your first “Ask”. If they are interested in attending a social event, be sure to get their contact information.

7. Schedule a Meet and Greet

To increase your new member retention rates, schedule one-on-one intake meetings with new folks before they come to a group meeting. (This may be done virtually or by phone if needed.) Get to know the person. Find out what attracted them to the group, what kinds of tasks they enjoy or are good at, and how much time they have. Tell them more about the group and discuss what their involvement could look like.

Make sure the people who join you feel valued and appreciated. Notice and acknowledge new folks’ contributions, however small. Make time to check in with them outside of meetings. Ask their opinions often: What did they think about the meeting? The event? The action? Bounce your ideas off of them and ask for their feedback.

8. Minimize Email, Emphasize Face-to-Face Sharing, & Celebrate your Strengths as you Keep your Common Goal in Sight

Team work Makes the Dream work!