A community organizer knows the people she serves are unlikely to stand before a group of strangers and share their problems. That kind of courage (or vulnerability), will take a lot more time and a lot more trust.
So she goes from person to person, building one relationship at a time.
She earns the trust of one person and then the next.
Pretty soon, she can spot the patterns. She connects people with similar problems to discuss potential solutions. Better yet, she connects people with similar problems to people who have the skills, experience, or resources to help.
Each of these common problems forges new relationships between members. Each solution builds momentum and a sense of possibility for what the community can become. And it’s relationships and momentum which drive the community forward.
If you find yourself stuck when building a new community, whether for a few hundred or a few thousand members, go back to community organizing.
Reach out to a dozen people a week, have calls with them, connect them privately to one another, and find safe places within a community where they can work towards solutions.
Your community might need less community management and more community organizing.