Prepare for a Community Reference Group

This article describes the best way to set up and recruit a community panel or reference group.

Gayathri Rajendiran avatar
Written by Gayathri Rajendiran
Updated over a week ago

Community reference groups encourage extra involvement from community members and allow you a dedicated engagement group for various issues.

A community reference group is a sample of your community that has indicated an interest in more engagement and helping your organization shape decisions. Your sample must represent your community to ensure a range of voices has a say.

This group's responsibilities can include the following:

  • Regular monthly surveys and forums

  • Attendance at workshops and meetings

  • Volunteering at engagement events

  • Online participation in major projects

  • Representing larger samples of their community through their unique voice

Community reference groups range in size from 50-500 people and include people from different age groups, suburbs, genders, or other established demographics of your choice.

Capturing interest in participation

Participation in community groups is voluntary, so you must inform community members about the group and gauge their interest in joining.

We recommend using a radio button question in your Signup Form rather than a separate form. This way, you'll already have all the information you need in your database, and your community members won't need to give information more than once.

Establishing your group

Once you've launched your site and your community has started registering, you can see the list of interested people in your participant database.

  1. Go to Participants in your main menu.

  2. Under +Filter by, use the Signup Form dropdown menu to +filter your list by the relevant question.

  3. With the filtered list of participants, use the other demographic details to compile your group and tag the participants you want to include in the panel.

  4. Use this tag to +filter your PRM again and create a group for your community panel.

You can now assign this group to protected projects; members of this group will need to log in to view the project, while other users will not have access.

If participants are no longer interested in being part of the panel, instruct them to update their user profiles by selecting the profile icon and choosing Edit Profile.

What next?

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