Business and Community Engagement


recently ran a session as part of the Synergize Hub Learning Lunches
series on “Business and Community Engagement”. Here’s a summary of the

I talk about engagement I mean getting people excited and bringing
people on board with whatever it is you are looking to achieve. This is
essential for any changemaking initiative and also very relevant to
businesses who want to engage more with their community, their staff or

been involved in many community and business initiatives over the years
that require bringing people on board. Recent examples include:

  • Getting funders on board to bring the School for Social Entrepreneurs training program to Bendigo
  • Getting people to attend our Outside the Square community events and activating ongoing participation
  • Working with Design Experts to bring their team on board their Working in Harmony community initiative

Here are my 4 top tips for engagement:

1. Have a vision
a vision that is bold. Whether this vision comes true in the future
doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that you are standing for
something big and people get inspired by that and want to be a part of

2. Share with everyone
keep your vision to yourself. Share it with everyone you know. Your
vision only has a chance of coming alive if others take it on too. The
more people you share it with the more chance you have of making it

3. Ask people to join you
you do, don’t ask people to ‘help’ you. Ask people to ‘join’ you. It
sounds subtle but it makes a big difference. Joining something and being
a part of making it happen is way more empowering than just helping out
for a favor.

4. Make it fun!
you want to get people on board you have to make it exciting and fun.
If it’s something that comes across as too much work, too hard and
boring there is much less chance of getting people along. Try being
creative and a bit out there in the way you attract attention or get
people involved.

During the Learning Lunch some other great tips and examples were shared by those that attended:

  • Develop a One pager with a clear vision, mission and what you want (Peter
    Jeffreys, City Greater Bendigo Economic Development Unit).
  • Create an open invitation to use your space (Amy Moylan, Schaller Studio)
  • Review your target audience and create engagement activities that suit that audience (Sean Quayle, Bendigo Mountain Bike Club)
  • Share stories of what you are doing via video footage of people involved (Craig Barker, Bendigo Ultimate Frisbee)

Send us your tips for engagement. Get in contact if you’d like to find
out how we can assist you with your own engagement activities.