Build belonging to make an impact and build a business


Build belonging to make an impact and build a business

The following is a republished edition of GroundSourced, a weekly newsletter from GroundSource on listening and community engagement. It features successful community engagement efforts, highlights missed opportunities for listening, and offers strategies that help you engage and listen to your community. You can subscribe to GroundSourced here.

We’ve started 2019 really thankful for our customers. Last month, we launched a survey to understand how GroundSource was performing for them. Among the things we heard is that it’s not just the technology or consulting we provide that they find valuable. But that working with GroundSource gives them the sense that they are part of a movement — not just subscribed to some technology platform. And I absolutely love that. It gives me a lot of meaning.

One thing we understand at GroundSource is that there are no easy solutions to the challenges journalism faces. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find community and belonging in the work in order to build solutions together. And we encourage our customers to take the same approach in working with their audience.

So our one feature this week touches on just that. And as always, let us know what questions we can answer, topics we should write about, or content we should feature in this newsletter.

Photo by  Kyle Glenn

Building belonging

The photo above is my girlfriend and I congratulating a long-time family friend on his wedding day. When I was a teenager, peaking in my perceived social isolation, his family’s friendship gave me a sense of belonging. This feeling of joyousness from being a part of something is missing from many people’s lives.

One in four Americans feel as they have no one to discuss intimate matters with. Half don’t trust their neighbors. One third of adults over the age of 45 describe themselves as lonely. And these statistics aren’t just calls to enrich people’s lives but to save them, too. Social isolation increases people’s chance of death.

As organizations, building belonging is more than just doing social good. It’s the way companies from Apple to REI to Whole Foods to SoulCycle have built businesses — by making their customers feel like they’re a part of something greater than themselves. And as mission-driven organizations, we don’t have to feel like we’re faking it when we build belonging into the value we provide.

Read more about how brands build belonging from Fast Company here.

What we’re reading

GroundSource is here to help you build a community-anchored business.