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5 reasons to connect online with other community groups

freyaFreya Grummit is Community Manager at Project Dirt, a website that helps community groups connect with one another.

I first came across community social network Project Dirt in a previous role and was attracted to its mission to connect communities for good.

In short, Project Dirt builds connections between groups and makes it easy for them to find volunteers and resources. I’m now its Community Manager meaning I have the task of making these ideals reality for our 10,000 members and 2,000 projects.

In this blog, I will impart 5 key reasons, why our members have found it useful to link up with other community groups online.

1. Inspiration!

Even the most enthusiastic person can find running a community project confusing or frustrating from time to time. Lack of money, time and community involvement sometimes mean that projects struggle to get started or stumble at the first hurdle.

People also often tell me that they’d love to be more involved in their community in some ways but they don’t know where to even begin looking for opportunities, and presume you need a degree in gardening skills to fit in!

It doesn’t need to be this way, we provide a hub where people can easily and quickly find a regular stream of fun blogs, upcoming events, critical discussions and local projects with volunteering opportunities to get stuck into!

2.    Grants

We know money doesn’t make the world go around but it certainly helps! And that’s why throughout the year we help various companies and organisations run community grant schemes through Project Dirt. So far, we’ve leveraged over £150,000 for our community groups.

The folk at Paddington Farm Trust for example, gained funding from Timberland to further expand their work in hosting vulnerable groups on their West Country farm.

And SHARE community garden volunteers were sponsored by Neal’s Yard Remedies to create a wildflower meadow to attract bees and other pollinators.

3. Finding resources

Our forum area buzzes with caring and sharing individuals and groups offering up stuff they no longer need (but think someone else might!) and vice versa normally all totally free! From tools and top soil to whiteboards and chairs, over the years we’ve facilitated some weird and wonderful exchanges of resources!

4. Promoting your work

We love nothing better than helping to shout about the fantastic work that thousands of groups across the UK are doing. I consider our biggest success story to be raising the local awareness of certain projects and helping them to engage with new, interested audiences.

Sarah from Castlehaven Community Centre was so impressed by the number of people who turned up to her event after seeing it on Project Dirt she even wrote a blog about it.

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5. Connecting and networking with other movers and shakers

There’s nothing that makes us happier at PDHQ than learning that our site has helped bring people together.

Every day I see people connecting, talking, sharing and advising others – some hundreds of miles away which aids groups to overcome barriers and move forward to create more sustainable, resilient and engaged communities!

Now, you may be wondering where other social networks fit in? We don’t replace Facebook or Twitter – we work with them! Each page on Project Dirt has a “share” button whereby you can push out any content you create to a plethora of other social networks! So no duplicate work as we know your time is precious.

So if you’re looking to get more involved, coordinate your existing project or just want to be part of a progressive, friendly community check us out! It’s free, it’s easy and it’s social networking for a purpose: projectdirt.com/signup

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