Engaging people is one of the primary responsibilities of an historic site, although we might call it membership, attendance, advocacy, support, fundraising, or “resources development” (yup, that’s what it was called at one place I worked). Expanding and growing engagement is usually focused on direct and simple efforts, such as working on individuals to give increasingly greater sums or putting out more announcements to increase attendance. Results are usually sporadic, rough, and unpredictable.
I recently learned of a thoughtful strategy from Gideon Rosenblatt, the former executive director of Groundwire, a company that helps environmental organizations connect, inspire, and mobilize their communities. He lays out engagement in a spectrum of six stages from Observers to Leaders and each has a decreasing number of people involved. This is best illustrated as a pyramid, with the large group of Observers at the bottom and the small group of Leaders at the top. He’s found that each group has a specific mindset and communication preference, and therefore, organizations can effectively engage Continue reading