Community is at the heart of well-being. Maintaining strong social connections improves your overall health, decreases stress and inflammation in the body, lower rates of heart disease, and improves gut function. So, where do you start?
Many communities have activity groups that might catch your eye, but if you are still looking for one that sparks your interest, start your own!
Here are five steps to make your vision come to life and build connections in your community. Get ready to be creative, meet new people, and flex your leadership skills.
What is an Activity Group?
An activity group encompasses a variety of things. Use this article to guide building a series of events, meetings, or activities that unite people with similar interests. The possibilities are endless.
How to Start Your Own Activity Group
Step 1: Choose an inclusive activity
Do you want a place to gather with new people regularly for casual conversations or form a group that actively gives back to your community? Do you envision your group having many members or a small, intimate circle?
If you’re starting your activity group with other people, get on the same page and talk about realistic commitments for everyone. When choosing your activity, consider safe and inclusive options that welcome people in your neighborhood.
Here are a few to get your thoughts flowing:
- Volunteer at a local nonprofit
- Host a game night
- Create a book club or exchange
- Organize a seasonal block party
- Create a recreational sports club
- Invite the neighborhood to a monthly potluck
- Start a community garden
- Begin a regularly-scheduled running or walking group
- Host coffeeshop meetups to form new friendships
- Initiate a yoga or fitness-based club
- Organize monthly cooking classes
- Arrange rotating art lessons
- Create a neighborhood scavenger hunt
Step 2: Plan and set clear goals
Now that you know which activity group you want to start, think about your goals. Thinking about what you want to get out of this process will help you make decisions that set you up for success.
Here are a few decisions to make in the planning step:
- How often will you meet?
- Will gatherings happen in person or virtually?
- Where will gatherings take place?
- Do you need to rent a space?
- Do you need to fundraise to support the group’s growth?
- How many members do you want to start with?
- Which leadership roles do you want to assign to others?
Step 3: Recruit members
You can confidently attract members to your activity group. Think about the physical and online promotions that people in your area encounter. For example, your cooking club might gain new members by posting a physical flyer at a local grocery store. Attract parents to your art class series with a fun and personal invite.
Ask your current members to spread the word to grow your group. A “bring a friend” meeting or “get the whole family involved” event are easy ways to introduce new faces to your planned activities.
Step 4: Build a Rhythm
People with busy lives love consistency and planning for outside activities. A rhythm and schedule will help you as your activity group gets up and running. Your attendance will grow by committing to a day and time that works well for members for all future events.
Step 5: Clarify communication channels
Depending on your group size, it’s helpful to set a clear communication cadence and channel for members. For example, you could have a virtual chat room for events that welcome guests regardless of location or a Facebook group to organize and attract local members.
You can also create a newsletter, social media announcements, and consistent online posts to attract new members and excite current ones.
Ready, Set, Connect!
And just like that, your activity group is born! With a few simple steps and focusing on making your activity group intentional, you’ve created a group that excites you and is a service to others.