How Your Local Government Can Boost Resident Engagement in 2023
Four strategic ways you can increase community engagement.
Increasing resident engagement among your residents is crucial for any municipality’s long-term health and longevity. A solid community engagement strategy can include diversifying your local government’s programming.
Four Ways To Enhance Resident Engagement
Want fresh ideas to jumpstart your community engagement strategy? Here are four tactile methods that are a surefire way to raise resident engagement.
1. Public input sessions
One way to foster higher resident engagement in your community is by publicly prioritizing the well-being and progress of your local area. One of the most effective ways to do so is by hosting public input sessions and community forums. These events provide an excellent platform for individuals to express their opinions and ideas on critical issues affecting the community and residents. These gatherings hold the opportunity to help shape policies, decisions, and initiatives that can improve the quality of life in your community.
By hosting and positively participating in these activities, your local government can discover issues affecting your residents that may have gone under the radar. Community members can also better understand how decisions are made on the local municipality level. This can help create more informed and engaged residents and paint a less opaque view of local government operations. One way to make communication easier for all is to discuss everything in plain language. City government conversations can be convoluted to laypersons, and it’s helpful if everyone speaks as unembellished as possible.
2. Online surveys
One way to raise resident engagement is by sending online surveys to harvest feedback on crucial community topics and hurdles. Residents can share their thoughts and valuable insights on everything, from supporting the addition of new sidewalks to extending summer library hours. By participating in these surveys, community members can feel that what they say holds value in their local government’s decisions. Online surveys can assist municipalities in meeting their residents’ needs better and uncover previously unknown complaints in the community.
Email marketing is considered the original social media, so use it to your advantage and raise resident engagement through online surveys. It’s important to remember to create a community engagement strategy for less mobile residents, such as those in hospice care or addiction treatment centers. Email surveys on conversations surrounding topics like new community programming or park zoning work for older residents looking to stay engaged in their local governments.
3. Business partnerships
One of the most meaningful ways to boost resident engagement in your community is by pouring time and money into local businesses. Can you team up with nearby organizations to support initiatives that benefit the community? Whether your city volunteers its time and means to a local charity or organizes a fundraising event to garner support and donations for a cause that holds personal significance for the area, supporting local establishments can have far-reaching benefits.
You show your residents their local government cares about their success and the community’s overall health because you’re acknowledging the acute effects local businesses have on the market and the lives of the residents. You help bolster the local economy and contribute to strengthening resident engagement. Working within your community and directly with your residents creates a better-rounded, more connected municipality.
4. Community outreach programs
Volunteer participation is critical to increasing resident engagement in local governments. Develop programs that offer residents opportunities to participate in community service. The value of engaging residents is priceless. Whether you’re picking up trash at a local park or setting up holiday lights at a nursing home, make it less intimidating for community members to participate by providing flexible scheduling options or even virtual volunteering, where they can read to children in treatment for chronic illnesses. Allowing residents to feel like they’re positively and directly improving their homes and community can lead to higher citizen engagement.
The Right Community Engagement Software
Boosting resident engagement in local government takes the right balance of strategy and reach. CivicPlus® is a technology company focused on building trust in government by fostering consistently positive digital experiences for residents and staff. We serve over 12,500 global customers, and our various community engagement software solutions are used by over 100,000 administrative staff members and over 340 million people in the United States and Canada alone. Explore our white paper, Optimizing Civic Experience, for the secret to increasing revenue and citizen engagement and creating a more positive civic experience.