5 Surprising Statistics About Communities (And How CommuniBee is Addressing Them)

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 Stripe Setup Guide

CommuniBee Stripe Setup Guide

CommuniBee users can purchase products, such as memberships and event tickets, through the app. We use Stripe as our payment processing platform. It’s fully PCI-compliant and is used to handle payment processing for companies like Kickstarter, Shopify and OpenTable.

We don’t charge any fees for transactions, but Stripe, like any payment provider, does charge processing fees.

Non-profits may qualify for discounted payment processing fees. If your organization has non-profit status, email sales+nonprofit@stripe.com, or visit this support page for more information.

To enable your community’s marketplace and sell products to your residents, you’ll have to set up a Stripe account and connect it to CommuniBee. Here’s a brief guide on how to do that!

We’ve also created a training video, explaining this process. You can view it here.

Setting Up Stripe

Step 1: Create A Stripe Account by clicking here. If you already have a Stripe account, skip to Step 2.

Step 2: Click on “Developers” > “API Keys”. This section contains two pieces of information that necessary for connecting Stripe to CommuniBee: your publishable key and secret key.

Step 3: Copy the test publishable and secret key tokens from Stripe. The secret key token is hidden, so you’ll have to click to reveal it. The two tokens are circled below:

Step 4: Log into the CommuniBee admin dashboard. Under your community, click on “Configure Layout” and scroll down to “Marketplace Settings”.

Paste the test publishable and secret key tokens from Stripe into the dashboard (see image below). The click “Update”.

As you can see, the keys you pasted as test keys. These allow you to test whether the marketplace, specifically product purchasing, is working in CommuniBee. Once that’s confirmed to be working, you’ll have to switch the test keys to live keys in order to officially enable the marketplace.

Step 5: In Stripe, click on “Developers” > “API Keys”. Now, toggle “Viewing Test Data” at the top right to off (see image below). This changes the test keys to live keys. You’ll see their tokens change so that they now say pk_live and sk_live.

Copy the live publishable and secret key tokens from Stripe. Once again, the secret key token is hidden, so you’ll have to click to reveal it.

Step 6: Log into the CommuniBee admin dashboard. Under your community, click on “Configure Layout” and scroll down to “Marketplace Settings”.

Paste the live publishable and secret key tokens from Stripe into the dashboard (see image below). Then click “Update”.

Your marketplace should now be enabled, and your members should now be able to purchase products, including memberships, through the CommuniBee app!

Don’t hesitate to submit any questions you may have about Stripe through our support form. We’ve also answered common marketplace questions in our FAQ.

 

  • The CommuniBee Team

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The 6 C’S of Community Engagement (Part 1)

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:

1. Capability

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.

 

2. Commitment

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.

3. Contribution

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!

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