Action Groups are live!

Action Groups are live, and ready for you to start one.

When I first shared this whole idea with you, I described those two people looking out their windows, dreaming about a garden below. Now we can start closing these gaps, and we’d love to do this with you.

You can start an Action Group for your neighborhood, workplace, school, university, or house of worship. Or you can choose to focus on an issue you care about, such as education, homelessness, or the environment.

The first and most important step is to define the community you want to serve, and start your group.

For now, please don’t worry about how you’ll get people to join it. We’ll work with you on that. But first we need to know that you want to do this.

As with everything we do at Idealist, we’ve started with the minimum set of features, and with your feedback we’ll build up from here.

To start, please let us know if anything is not clear, or if anything is not working the way you think it should. (Feel free to post your questions or ideas right on that page so that everyone can see them.)

Thanks again for your support over the past few weeks. With this last piece in place, we’ll soon be in a position to start promoting this whole initiative more widely, and we look forward to that.

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Next steps, and expectations

Before Action Groups go live, I wanted to give you some context for where we are now, and what’s happening next.

As of now, here are all the pieces we have in place:

1. The concept of Connectors, as people who want to inspire and ignite more action and collaboration around them.

2. Local Teams for Connectors to support one another in doing this work.

3. An initial menu of Tools and Tactics for Connectors.

4. Personal profiles that allow any person on Idealist to share their interests and skills, and connect with others on the site.

5. Coming today or tomorrow: Action Groups – started and facilitated by Connectors – where people can share their intentions and ideas, and help each other act on them.

And of course all this is sitting on top of the 100,000 organizations that are already using Idealist to list their jobs, events, and volunteer opportunities.

So what’s happening next? Three things, in broad strokes:

1. Tying all these pieces together, in every possible way.

A small example is that when you visit a Team page now, you can see a link to all the local organizations listed on Idealist. But there is much more we can do. People and organizations in city X who care about issue Y should know when a relevant Action Group is launched in their area. And so on… This will be an ongoing process, and the more ideas the better.

2. Outreach to the Idealist community

Right now, 99% of the people who use Idealist every day don’t know that most of this is going on – and that’s OK. Before inviting more people to join us we wanted to have all these pieces in place, and we are almost there. Next steps: a new homepage for to reflect all of the above, and an email to our whole list to tell them about it.

3. Outreach beyond Idealist

Once a new home page is up, we’ll be ready to reach out more widely and start building this ecosystem of possibility all around us, day by day and step by step.

All of this will take some time, but if I think of where we want to be by March 11, 2015, we still have 47 weeks to go, and at this rate we’ll be in a good place.

Thanks again for your ongoing support and feedback!

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