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People looking to increase community involvement may need resources to get started. There is a near-infinite amount of free and open-source resources to utilize, no matter what type of community or volunteer work needs to be done. Below are some of the most valuable resources leaders can leverage to increase involvement in their communities.

Develop Clear Recruitment Strategies

Increasing community involvement begins with recruitment. Luckily, it is easier now than ever before to draw interest to community engagement projects. Social media is an excellent tool for recruiting potential community members. Sharing relevant and compelling content can draw in new volunteers, and providing updates on ongoing projects can retain members. In that vein, offering online opportunities to get involved, like skills- and knowledge-sharing can capture a new subset of volunteers who might not have the time and physical capacity to volunteer in person.

Define a Goal or Core Value

Community involvement, no matter where it’s based, needs direction. Leaders who want to organize community members should have a clear goal or vision in mind before setting out to find volunteers. Whether the issue at hand concerns updating technology in the local schools or getting rid of potholes on well-trafficked roads, volunteers need to know what they’re fighting for before they donate their time and energy.

Provide General Knowledge Resources

An involved community is only as helpful as it is knowledgeable. Providing resources that support an organization or cause’s goal can help recruit and retain community members. For example, folks looking for mobilization to support elderly community members should provide resources around how to help with Medicare open enrollment or shop for senior-friendly grocery items. An organization that focuses on helping underprivileged kids get nutritious school lunches should be provided with basic materials about childhood nutrition.

Make it Fun

Community leaders looking to increase involvement in their towns and cities should not forget a core element of recruiting and retaining volunteers: Fun! Work to create an environment in which community members enjoy the work. For some, this could mean facilitating emotional and personal relationships. This could look like rewarding volunteers with a pizza party or free ice cream for others. Fostering an involved community is only possible if volunteering is sustainable, and fun is an essential piece of that puzzle.