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I am really keen to hear about research and authoritative material that this community know about starting and sustaining real-life, face-to-face, old school community groups? It would be nice to know what practices and strategies have been shown to work or have been detrimental to community groups. I realise that there may not be much research out there so happy with community reports or association reports or blogs, opinion etc.

I struggled to find any discussion around live community groups with traditional meetings, etc, but I found discussion about online community groups here - What are best practices for creating engaging experience in a forum-based community?

Authoritative reference works on best practices in online community building

  • This feels very broad -- best practices for "all things real-life group" would fill a book. Can you focus on a more specific question? Are you trying to form a group, revitalize an existing one, solve a problem within one, something else? – Monica Cellio Aug 18 at 17:33
  • Form and sustain a new group would be the best description. Thanks Monica. Will improve the statement – Poidah Aug 18 at 23:17
  • Thanks for the updates. A couple more questions (sorry I didn't think of these earlier): Expected group size? Does the group presume or require any specialized skills or knowledge? How many of the members are likely to know each other already? – Monica Cellio Aug 18 at 23:22
  • There is no expected group size. The aim of the group is to increase participation and engagement with a minority group in a conservative town. Members at the moment are from supportive organizations interested in diversity. Participation from the minority group is poor but then again the supportive organizations are not from the minority group. Anyways, my question is broad as I was keen to hear more about techniques that work rather than just focus on inclusivity and diversity. – Poidah Aug 19 at 2:50
  • Studies that look into why community groups, charities, etc shut down would be fantastic. But I struggle to find such studies. – Poidah Aug 19 at 3:13
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This set of suggestions from University of Kansas seem to be useful. I was more after evidence and research but couldn't find anything, so this advice seemed helpful.

  1. Determine why you need or want other people to get involved.
  2. Identify those who need to be involved in order to accomplish your group's objectives or specific projects.
  3. Reach out to those who can benefit and contribute (those we most want to involve) through people who can connect with and persuade others.
  4. Indicate core components of the effort to encourage participation and involvement.
  5. Use particular sources and influential persons and organizations to reach the specific groups you hope to involve.
  6. Create an atmosphere that fosters continued participation by staff and volunteers.
  7. Plan for involving new generations of people and organizations.
  8. Assess whether the participation plan is effective and make needed adjustments.

https://ctb.ku.edu/en/increasing-participation-and-membership

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