Posts by Lorene Straka

Field report! Team meeting in New York City

This past Saturday, 30 Connectors from across New York City met at the Idealist office in midtown Manhattan. It was a chance for people to share their thoughts and questions about being a Connector and to talk about next steps.

Who was there? Backgrounds ranged from therapists and graduate students to mental health counselors, retired professionals, and even an office relocation specialist.

At the heart of the conversation was the importance of neutrality to the Connector role: it allows Connectors to have a greater impact because they can support more people taking action on more issues. How? By connecting them with just the right tool, resource, or contact to help them move forward.

Team meeting at the Idealist office

Team meeting at the Idealist office

People were excited to meet each other—so much so that the large group (there are 120 people on the NYC Team) agreed they’d rather stay together than subdivide into smaller Teams, at least for a while, so that they can all help support each other as everyone gets started.

Suggestions for next steps included drafting talking points for recruiting more Connectors, using the NYC Idealist office as a hub for Connectors to work on materials together, trying a Tool & Tactic, and completing their personal profiles so that everyone could see what skills and interests exist already in the Team.


Not a Connector yet? Get the details and sign up here! Want to start or join a Team in your area? Search the possibilities here.

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Intro to Tools and Tactics

As we move forward, one of the first things we’re doing is building a rich menu of all the ways in which action and collaboration can be promoted in various settings: neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, etc.

To start, we’re creating Tools and Tactics (T&Ts) for Connectors. These templates for action are meant to help answer the question: “What are all the things WE could do here to help more people take action?”

In this short video clip from the open session of the March 11 launch, Ami explains how T&Ts can help Connectors amplify action in their communities:


You’ll see that T&Ts vary widely, from a “Three Question” exercise that can be done quickly and informally in any setting to something as specific as a hotel encouraging its guests to support a local organization. Some can be done easily by one person, and others—such as a full-fledged volunteer fair—would require a team of people to work together for a while.

This week, we’ll be adding a few more to this list. We’ll also start making each template much more interactive. Here’s the first batch.

Connectors: we’d love to know what you think of the format: could you cook this dish? Is there enough detail here? You can add your questions, comments, or ideas to the open discussion at the bottom of the page.


New tech goodies for Connectors and Teams

Last night we rolled the site again, and now every Team page has two new links:

1. A link to all the organizations in that Team’s area that are listed on Idealist.

This is a handy way to see what resources are already available to you and your community and, in smaller places, you can also see who’s missing and invite them to join us on Idealist now. Like all searches on Idealist, you can narrow this by keyword and other fields.

2. A link to all the Connectors in your area

This will often overlap with the members of your Team, but on that page you will also see short summaries of people’s profiles, and you can search through all of them by keyword.

Where are they?

Both of these new links appear on the left side of the Team page AFTER at least one discussion has been started by someone on the Team. If you are alone in your Team, you can just post a “welcome” message to the next member, and these links will then appear on the left.

If you have trouble finding or using these new tools, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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