In sharp contrast to how government institutions and individual citizens alike managed the notion of community engagement just fifty years ago, the contemporary practice of community engagement is marked by transparency, pathways to government accountability, and ultimately a sense of partnership and collaboration. Creating this open environment requires reforming not only how the public gains information about policy discussions, but ensuring they understand the complexities and inherent tradeoffs baked into the policy-making process.
By tackling public engagement with this lens, the civic participation experiment known as Oregon’s Kitchen Table works to tackle the challenges associated with collaborative governance by maintaining various in-person and digital platforms for connecting policymakers with their constituents and promoting a feedback loop between both parties.
Eventbrite.com is an online event management tool. The stated mission of Eventbrite is “to bring the world together through live experiences.” This tool allows organizations to
create and customize and event page
let attendees sign up and pay online
allow organizations and attendees to share the event on social platforms
track as attendees visit, sign-up, and pay
manage all these moving pieces
PLUS 24 hour customer support
Eventbrite is FREE for free events which is very appealing to non-profit and government organizations. There is a small fee charged when payments are collected, but this price can be worked into the fee as its collected from the attendees.
Salem Chapel – an 1,000 person non-denominational church – used Eventbrite to advertise and organize a week-long Community Service Project. The church worked with 8 community organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, the local school system, Pregnancy Support Center, Rescue Mission (supporting the homeless), Crisis Control (paying bills for those in times of crisis), and the Shepherds Center (supporting the elderly) to run a variety of projects at different times and on different days. Salem Chapel needed to organize over 1,000 volunteers as they signed-up to serve and then distribute appropriate information. Information for each volunteer was different depending on where they chose to serve, how often they chose to serve, and their age.
Eventbrite allowed us, the event organizers, to create an online platform that facilitated:
the church to advertise
the volunteers to see information about all opportunities
the volunteers to sign-up in as many ways as possible (while keeping volunteers under 18 to only projects for them)
the church to organize those volunteers
the church to communicate appropriately with each category of volunteer
the volunteers to donate as needed
The event “Crash the Dash” was a huge undertaking for a small church staff, but we knew that if we could keep the processes streamlined and organized; the volunteers and organizations could have a positive experience.
Eventbrite is innovative because it made running a complex event, involving many different moving pieces, efficient. The site can be set up in minutes and can be run through an organization’s already existing website. Additionally, to appeal more to non-profits, there is a 501(c)3 discount. Eventbrite provides easy to use resources to understaffed, underpaid organizations and makes them look good.