Although our ability to gather physically is currently limited, we need to continue to stay connected. CommuniBee can help residents make that possible.Continue reading
5 Surprising Statistics About Communities (And How CommuniBee is Addressing Them)
These eye-opening statistics shed light on why community is important
As people, we all require social interaction and support in order to thrive. We know this because studies have shown that lonely people suffer more frequently with conditions like cardiovascular problems, compromised immune systems, and depression.
But our need to connect with others is more than just a health concern, it’s also a fundamental part of how our opinions, cultures, and societies are shaped. When people come together and form bonds based on their location, interests, beliefs, or values, the positive impacts can be endless.
Whether it’s having a dependable support circle on which you can lean when times get tough, or benefitting from the trade-off of skills, goods, and services with the people around you, community building offers some form of advantage to every member of the group.
Thus, in this article, we’ll be sharing some lesser-known facts that highlight the benefits of community engagement, as well as discussing how community-based mobile apps can make building a sense of community easier.
Because ultimately, every person should experience the security and the empowerment that comes with belonging to a resilient and cohesive community.
Here Are 5 Community Building Statistics (And Why They Are Important)
1. One Third of Americans Have Never Interacted With Their Next Door Neighbour
When we feel close to someone, we’re more likely to be concerned about their well-being, and we also become more inclined to want to create a peaceful and respectful relationship with the people around us.
Getting to know our neighbours exposes us to local resources and information, expands our social circles, and increases safety. Yet, so many of us fail to introduce ourselves to the people who live closest to us.
Thankfully, a community app like CommuniBee can take the awkwardness out of getting to know our neighbours. By joining local discussion forums and sharing information in a convenient, designated online space, communication becomes simplified, and connections can be formed virtually before eventually transferring over into real life.
2. 60 Percent of Senior Citizens Who Live in a Nursing Home-Enviornment do not Receive Outside Vistors
Our elders have seen society evolve, contributed the longest to the communities they live in, and have invested the most time and energy into creating a better future.
Yet, too often, our elders suffer from isolation and loneliness in the later years of life.
This is particularly troublesome when you consider the fact that elderly citizens are the most likely out of all adult groups to give back to their communities via volunteering and financial contributions.
It’s evident that our seniors have a valuable and essential role to play when it comes to community building, but connecting with their demographic is often something communities fail to do.
Community based mobile apps like CommuniBee are a great way to bridge the gap between age groups. Seniors can log into the app via their tablet or mobile device, and receive relevant information about upcoming local events and activities in real-time. Keeping them informed and increasing the likelihood that they will participate in these outings.
Additionally, they can engage with their community members via a convenient and accessible online platform, giving them a way to engage from the comfort of their own home.
Lastly, a community app is a great place for senior citizens to form new friendships and social connections with other like-minded individuals. By discussing local issues, politics, or causes, they can establish contacts they may not have otherwise had.
3. Only 28 Percent of Americans Have Worked With Their Fellow Citizens to Solve a Community Problem Within the Last 12 Months
In today’s society, it is becoming increasingly common to completely disengage from the outside world. Online shopping allows us to have goods and services delivered without leaving our homes, and the emergence of technology has allowed us to communicate with one another via a screen, eliminating the need for face-to-face interaction.
But in order for communities to remain strong, resilient, and successful, we must be willing to work together.
This is where participation comes in.
Many times, local residents simply aren’t aware of the opportunities that exist to become involved in their communities. And other times, they don’t believe they can make a difference.
But with an online platform like CommuniBee, communities can make their opportunities for involvement known, and emphasize the importance of civic engagement.
By posting information about upcoming political campaigns, community events, or local organizations that residents can join, communities can boost engagement from their members and establish stronger ties.
4. 4.8 Million Canadians and 43.1 Million Americans Live Below the Poverty Line
The ability for our most vulnerable citizens to not only survive, but thrive, is one of the most compelling reasons why community is important.
Strong communities are able to offer resources like homeless shelters, food bank programs, literacy programs, and job training opportunities to those who are struggling financially.
By supporting disadvantaged and marginalized groups, we can ensure that these individuals are able to seize opportunities when they arise, and become healthy, contributing members of our communities.
Community based mobile apps are an excellent way to inform your community members about the resources, programs, and supports that are available to them.
The CommuniBee app even has a built-in directory, where communities can upload the contact information for any non-profit organizations, community centres, or government programs that may be beneficial for vulnerable residents.
5. 88 Percent of Canadians will Choose to Support a Local Business When Possible and 90 Percent of Americans Shop at a Small Business at Least Once per Week
In order to succeed in community building, the community itself needs to be self-sustaining. And a major factor in generating sustainability is to support local businesses.
When people buy from local businesses, they are supporting people just like you— residents who want to see their community thrive. Additionally, you are supporting employment opportunities and contributing to the prosperity of the society you live in.
Lastly, people who buy food and produce from locally-owned businesses have lower rates of mortality, obesity, and diabetes, since the goods aren’t subjected to the high levels of preservatives and pesticides that they would be if they had to travel long distances.
With the CommuniBee app, community leaders can promote their local businesses to residents. Specials and limited time offers can be shared in the CommuniBee benefits section, and the contact information for each business can be listed in the built-in directory.
Just another amazing benefit of our industry-leading community app!
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CommuniBee Update March 26 2019
CommuniBee just keeps getting more awesome! This release: streamlined community setup and user management, plus server optimization for faster performance.
This morning we published our latest rounds of enhancements to the CommuniBee dashboard and server. Here is a quick overview of the changes:
Community Configuration Streamlined
Previously, your community was set up on one page, and it got to be a very long page. We’ve broken it up, grouping sections together in a way that makes sense, like all things affecting appearance going under Configure Layout, so the app preview is always visible
This is where you select the features you want to enable in your community, and what you want to call them. This naming you choose will also be reflected throughout the dashboard now (i.e. you might change Amenities to Services)
If you want more control over who can join your community, this lets you specify one of three options:
- No approval required: all users immediately have access to your community
- Approval always required: users enter a pending state and need to be approved
- Email Domains Auto Approve: if users email ends in one of the specified email domains, they are automatically approved
Quickly change the access level of a group of users by uploading a list of email addresses (one email per line) and selecting the access level to apply
We’ve also added a ‘PENDING’ tab to manage not-yet-approved members
We’ve made a lot of progress optimizing Comunibee. Recently, we’ve improved the load times, responsiveness, and server load capacity. That means that your community can handle thousands of users on the app without missing a beat!
Upcoming: Questionnaire Simplification
One change we’ve been promising is to simplify the questionnaires set up. The new, simpler version will not be compatible with the current app, so we are disabling the questionnaire button for a few days so incompatible questionnaires are not created. The new questionnaire feature will be available shortly along with an update for the app that includes several other minor tweaks and fixes.
What is CommuniBee?
CommuniBee brings your community into the digital age. With easy to use mobile and web based solutions.
Create some Buzz in your community. CommuniBee was designed to bring Communities and Groups into the digital age. The application was developed to assist and increase engagement within groups. Some of the key features that CommuniBee offers include:
- Fixed price, software as a service, fast set up and easy to manage.
- Event management built in, easier than 3rd party, no cut on event tickets, more money in their pockets.
- Simplified membership purchase and renewal and increasing membership.
- Save time with central management of events and memberships, reduce volunteer fatigue.
- Real time news and notifications, save on newsletter printing costs and delivery.
- Sponsorship opportunities to promote local business and help offset cost.
By providing things such as real-time news and notifications, you can increase the connection and participation in your community. With approximately 89% of 29-49 year olds, and 73% of 50-64 having smart phones and nearly 90% of both having access to a computer with internet, reaching your members has never been easier.
The 6 C's of Community Engagement (Part 1)
Discover how CommuniBee can help you build upon these core aspects of community engagement
We all know that community engagement is a foundational requirement for a healthy, thriving, successful society— but how do we know when our efforts are working?
It’s a question many community leaders, municipal governments, and other organizations ask themselves frequently.
There are an endless number of ways to engage your community, but if you aren’t touching on the essential elements that contribute to a strong sense of belonging, your strategy will likely lose its luster over time.
Thankfully, by focusing on the six C’s of community engagement, local leaders can better gauge whether or not they are generating results, and identify gaps in their engagement strategy more quickly.
All of the six C’s are critical, and the strongest communities are those who put a plan into action, ensuring each category is being tended to.
In today’s blog post, we’ll be covering the first three C’s, with the remaining three to come in our next post!
So, let’s take a deeper look at these criteria, while simultaneously learning more about how a mobile community app like CommuniBee can help you achieve the outcome you’re looking for.
Here are the First Three C's of Community Engagement:
In order to build a strong community, your members must be capable of engaging in constructive, open, healthy dialogue. Otherwise, it becomes impossible to resolve issues or move forward with a shared vision.
How CommuniBee Can Help:
A mobile community app can make communicating with your fellow residents much more convenient. It eliminates the need to wait until a town meeting or physical interaction in order for thoughts and opinions to be expressed.
The CommuniBee app allows users to log in at any time, from anywhere they have cell service, and receive updates regarding the happenings in their community. And with the help of push notifications, members of the community are alerted of all the latest information even if they aren’t logged into their app— reducing the likelihood of miscommunication or knowledge gaps.
In regards to community engagement, a commitment is formed when community members come together to support one another beyond their self interests. Commitment creates a bond between citizens, motivating them to create a better environment for all.
How CommuniBee Can Help:
Before you can encourage your community members to commit to building a stronger network, they must first be aware of the importance of community involvement, and feel inspired to take part.
Using a mobile community app like CommuniBee is a great way to keep your members informed about upcoming community events, and to communicate how much you would value their participation.
The more welcomed and informed your community members are, the more compelled they will feel and the more invested they will be in their community’s success.
Contribution refers to the willingness of your citizens to volunteer and give back to their community.
How CommuniBee Can Help:
At CommuniBee, we believe that keeping your community members in-the-loop about opportunities to contribute is the first step to securing more involvement.
That’s why we make it easier for community leaders to manage their events and activities with features like a built-in RSVP system, and convenient dashboard that allows you to manage attendance.
Additionally, the real-time news section of the app makes it a breeze to post volunteer opportunities or event updates, giving your members the details they need, when they need them.
We also send automatic reminders to anyone who has RSVP’d to an event or activity, which can be delivered via push notifications.
Stop waiting for your community members to check out your physical bulletin board, or dealing with the frustration of emails or mail-outs that go unread.
A mobile community app is a cost-friendly solution that ensures your messages are received quickly, in a way that works for today’s tech-savvy society.
We’ll be covering the remaining three C’s of community engagement in our next post!
The Importance of Building Successful Communities
We discuss why connecting with the people around us will become increasingly crucial in years to come
Since the beginning of the information age, human beings have become more and more dependent on the internet, and as a result, the ways we interact with one another have shifted.
In fact, 62 percent of Generation Y and 64 percent of Generation X prefer to text rather than speak on the phone.
Statistics like these show just how much people are turning to their devices to connect with the people around them. Unfortunately, these numbers also demonstrate how real, face-to-face interactions are becoming less frequent.
To emphasize this point, it’s worthwhile to consider the fact that 60 percent of people admit to feeling disconnected from others when they are on their phone, and 88 percent of people have felt disconnected at dinner because of people they are eating with using their phone.
Numbers like these can be surprising, especially since the Internet should (in theory) be bringing people together and making them feel closer to other whom they would not be able to communicate with if not for the world wide web.
Additional surprising facts about the current state of connectedness in our world include:
The number who say they have no one outside of their immediate family to discuss important matters with has more than doubled, reaching a shocking 53.4 percent — up 17 percent since the dawn of the Internet and social media.
So, how exactly does community building address these concerns? And what are some proven methods for establishing stronger ties with the people around us?
These are the hard-hitting questions we’ll be addressing in today’s blog.
Here Are 3 Benefits of Belonging to a Community:
1. Improved Overall Health
Part of why strong communities are important directly relates to how they make us feel, not just emotionally but physically as well.
In fact, a strong sense of belonging has been proven to:
Lower the prevalence of mental health issues
Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Lower the rates of unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, not exercising, and drinking too much alcohol
Additionally, another study has shown that people with adequate social relationships have a 50 percent greater survival rate compared with individuals with poor social relationships.
Thus, the quality and longevity of our lives truly do depend on the depth and strength of our human connections.
2. More Opportunities For Personal Growth
One of the best aspects of building communities where members support one another and are bonded by a set of common goals is how each individual can benefit.
When people look out for each other’s best interests, individuals feel more capable and motivated to chase their personal ambitions.
One great example of this is communities that make free public libraries available to their citizens. It has been shown that among young adults (14–24 years of age) in households below the federal poverty line, 61 percent used public library computers and Internet for educational purposes, while 54 percent of seniors living in poverty do the same.
Thus, it’s no wonder that almost two-thirds of adult Americans say that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community.
The more communities come together to offer programs, services, and support, the more likely it is that their citizens will success professionally, educationally, and personally.
These programs, services, and supports come in a range of forms, from sports programs, to local food banks, to adequate health services.
3. Highlighted Inclusivity
Inclusivity is one of the most essential keys to building a successful community. When properly provided, inclusivity makes it possible for the basic needs of all individuals to be met – regardless of race, age, income, disability, or other differentiating factors.
This is critical when you consider the fact that 53 percent of kids with disabilities reporting feeling as though they have no friends, or that 42 percent of Muslims with children in K–12 schools report that their child has experienced bullying.
Thankfully, though, according to a report by Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, communities that are committed to promoting inclusion and equity and reducing racism and discrimination, experience an increased sense of cohesiveness and belonging. They also experience enhanced safety and security, and there is greater and more diverse involvement with the institutions and processes of community life.
These benefits are felt by all members equally, which results in a more engaged, happy, and driven community as a whole.
How CommuniBee Can Help
CommuniBee is a community based app that has been specifically designed and developed to make building communities easier and more convenient.
Our app makes it easier for people to experience the benefits of belonging to a community, connecting them with an expansive local business directory, a real-time community event calendar, community-based discussion forums, and more.
Some of the Benefits of CommuniBee Include:
Keeping people aware of upcoming local events
An easy to use, integrated event system
Increased awareness of local amenities
Convenient and effective promotion of community businesses
Built-in eCommerce system for purchasing memberships and tickets
The Advantage of Apps for Community Building
When you compare community based apps to other, traditional methods of community building, the benefits become more and more evident.
We encourage you to read our “3 Compelling Reasons to Swap Your Community Bulletin Board for a Mobile App” post to gain a more in-depth understanding of what an app can add to your community building strategy.
Introducing CommuniBee: The Comprehensive Community App
Discover how our mobile app can help you create stronger connections with the people in your community
Around the world, communities often struggle to keep their residents engaged in the activities, events, and conversations that are happening around them.
In fact, one third of Americans say they’ve never interacted with their neighbours. And only 36 percent of Americans say they have joined or participated in a community group/activity in the last year.
These numbers show that many of us are disconnected from the communities we live in, resulting in fragmented networks of people and less cohesive support systems.
These disconnected community members are often referred to as “weak ties”, since they have not yet solidified their relationships with the people they are closest to (geographically).
And believe it or not, a lot of research has been conducted into the concept of “weak ties” and how they impact our social environments. In fact, it has been proventhat when people have stronger ties with the people in their communities, they are more likely to turn to their neighbours in the event of an emergency, more likely to develop friendships with people in their neighbourhood, and more likely to come together to form community groups based on common values.
But what makes a strong community, exactly?
There are many features that contribute to a strong community, but some of the most crucial include:
Working together towards a common goal
Frequent positive interaction between community members
Constructive decision-making that promotes the happiness of all members
The support and promotion of community-based initiatives
The support and promotion of local businesses
At CommuniBee, our primary objective is to assist communities in achieving more of these criteria with the help of a convenient, accessible, and highly-engaging mobile app.
We believe that an effective and professionally-built community app is a powerful tool, giving community members the ability to interact with one another and remain in-tune with the events and activities that are happening around them.
What makes CommuniBee an ideal online community platform?
We incorporate features into our app that promote the health, well-being, and kinship of the people that make up your community.
Additionally, we accomplish these goals by using the latest technology and cutting-edge design to create a mobile app that is truly seamless and enjoyable to use.
Are you ready to learn more about what CommuniBee has to offer?
Here Are Three Challenges The CommuniBee App Can Help You Address:
1. Uninformed Residents
One of the greatest obstacles communities face with regards to strengthening the connection between their members is keeping everyone in-the-loop about new developments and occurrences that may affect them.
Thankfully, real-time communication is one of the many benefits of using a community app.
With CommuniBee, you can keep your residents engaged and informed with an active, real-time newsfeed that people can access at any time, from where ever they are.
And to make this process even more effective, you can send push notifications through the app, informing your residents of any updates, even when they aren’t logged into the mobile app.
Push notifications are extremely beneficial, since 52 percent of smartphone users enable them on their devices.
That means if you have 10,000 residents who are using your online community platform, 5,200 of them will likely allow your push notifications to appear on their phones, significantly increasing the amount of exposure your updates will receive.
This is even more compelling when you note that email marketing campaigns have an average open rate of 24.79 percent.
If keeping your residents updated and informed is a top priority, considering an app for community building could be the perfect strategy for you.
2. Event Management
Organizing and managing community events can be a handful. Especially when you consider that most community event organizers also work during the day, are raising children, or simply have other regular obligations to attend to.
This is why we decided to build a dynamic and easy-to-use event system directly into our community app. It allows community event organizers to create events, monitor registrations, and even accept membership payments, all from a convenient mobile app.
Community members who log into the app are then able to navigate to their community calendar and see all of the scheduled upcoming events and activities. They can even register and pay for event tickets with just a few taps of their screen!
And since studies have shown that event organizers who use a mobile registration software spend 90 percent less time on event registration than they did before, you can be sure that our community based app will save you valuable time and energy.
3. Promoting Local
In today’s world, one of the greatest challenges facing communities is encouraging residents to support their local businesses, amenities, and facilities.
Too often, community members overlook the local gems that are available to them just beyond their front door, opting instead for giant box stores and nationally-known brand names.
But when communities support their local resources, they can generate 3.5 times more wealth for their local economies – a benefit that most communities need to capitalize on in order to continue to grow and advance.
Thankfully, one of the benefits of using a community app is the ability to promote these local businesses and organizations. With the CommuniBee app, local businesses can promote special pricing, upcoming sales, discounts, and other relevant information to the communities they serve, increasing the likelihood that residents will avail of these offers.
This is highly advantageous, since the more informed and aware your residents are, the more engaged and supportive they will be of local businesses.
We are proud to be offering a solution to these common challenges that communities often face. If you feel a community app could be the solution you’ve been looking for, CONTACT US TODAY.