Welcome to the new year folks!
That being said, let's take the time to reflect back on 2019! This time, we'll be covering the Closer Look series, which highlights powerful nonprofits who've successfully harnessed the power of community to achieve their mission and vision.
Written by our VP of Marketing, Mel Attia, this series will continue into 2020, not only so that we can continue to show how community can be used by more than just B2B or B2C organizations, but also because the work that these nonprofits do are invaluable and deserve to be put in the spotlight.
All of the nonprofits Mel has discussed so far do amazing work. From providing healthcare to those in developing nations, to ensuring that people have access to mental health support services wherever and whenever they need it; the work these nonprofits do is endless.
Community is a space where people can connect with others in similar situations, feel safe when they might otherwise feel vulnerable, and easily find resources and information that can help them when needed. That's why community is an excellent resource for nonprofits; it often compliments and forwards the very purpose that they serve.
But honestly, all of these nonprofits are so amazing, I can't possibly do a countdown to "the best." They are all so unique and successful that it would be like comparing apples and oranges; you simply can't! That being said, the list below is in no specific order, because in my books, all of these are #1.
And so without further ado, here are the top 2019 blogs featuring powerful nonprofits with community.
So a little bit about Scope: Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales that aims to ensure that all disabled people are able to enjoy equality and fairness. Founded in 1952, it began with just three parents and one social worker, with the initial goal to ensure that disabled children had equal access to education. Today, Scope has over 5,000 volunteers, 38,500 donors and fundraising income of £19.3 million (in 2017/18).
Scope has been able to do amazing things with its community. As an open community, where anyone can navigate freely throughout the forum, Scope creates a supportive and accessible environments where members can build trust and achieve more together. Ultimately, the Scope community aims to ensure that no one is left out and provides 24/7 wherever and whenever members need it.
The impacts that the community has had cannot be overstated. As one member describes:
“Many people find the community when they’re at a really low point in their life. Sometimes they are looking for someone to turn to for emotional support. They may be feeling lonely, or might have received a diagnosis that surprised or worried them, and may want to talk it through with others. They might be going through a stressful period at work or be looking for advice on whether they are eligible for any financial support to deal with the extra costs disabled people face day to day. Whatever their needs, our community is always there for them.”
This is a blog that you won't want to miss!
The blog that Mel wrote about the nonprofit, Mercy Ships, serves as yet another great example of how the power of community is being used beyond B2B or B2C. Mercy Ships was founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephen, and provides hospital ships run by skilled volunteers to deliver free surgery and health care services to those in developing nations. Essentially, the mission is to provide “surgery related programs that bring hope and healing to those who have limited access to healthcare.”
Mercy Ships' community is available to its volunteers/ those looking to volunteer, and serves as a one-stop-shop for everything that they need to know. This includes Q&A about volunteering, information about life onboard, extensive resources and a space to connect with other volunteers and alumni.
The work that Mercy Ships does is incredible; 2.7 million lives have been impacted by Mercy Ships, amounting to an estimated value of $1.2 billion dollars of work completed. This amazing feat could not have been achieved without proper organization and diligence by Mercy Ships' volunteers. The community serves as a pillar of this organization, as a central location to onboard new volunteers, direct and answer all types of inquires, and provide meaningful guides about everything that volunteers need to know.
Written in October, which is breast cancer awareness month, Mel looked to highlight a nonprofit whose primary concern is providing support for those living with breast cancer, and all those affected by it.
The Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is an organization that provides support, information and treatment to Australians affected by breast cancer with the aim of ensuring that their voices are heard. The BCNA was founded in 1998 by Lyn Swinburne, a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 1993 and underwent surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Lyn created the BCNA with the broad goal of making the breast cancer journey better for everyone diagnosed in Australia.
Launched in 2010, the BCNA's community provides 24/7 support to those affected by breast cancer in Australia, including peer-to peer support and information regarding the illness.
The BCNA's community has made good use of the categories function, featuring over 9000 categories, so that everyone in the community has an appropriate space to ask hard questions and get the answers they need. The BCNA community is extremely active and provides members with more than just support. As one member describes:
The 24/7 support of the people [in this community] has been a great help once I found the courage to participate. The acceptance, understanding and sharing from many have gotten me through some darker moments. [Not even close family or friends] gets it better than someone whose is/ has been there. [Family and friends] may think you will just resume your life as before but don’t realize that the experience changed you — the people on here do.
The BCNA community is often viewed as a sort of sisterhood; women (and their family and friends) come here to discuss anything and everything in a safe environment with others who understand. It's a great nonprofit, and I'd recommend checking it out!
4. Bipolar UK
Bipolar UK is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that everyone affected by bipolar can find the support they need, whenever they may need it. Bipolar UK was founded in 1983, back when bipolar was known as manic depression, and began with a commitment to dispelling the stigma, secrecy and widespread ignorance of manic depression. From there, Bipolar UK (so named in 2011) has grown to become the UK's national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the condition of bipolar and their families through a range of services.
The Bipolar Uk's online community is extremely active and has over 20,000 members. The community provides a safe space where members can let their guard down, be vulnerable and engage in conversation with others who understand. The anonymity offered by this community works to empower members to share their experiences, and provide support to others. One member describes the impact that the community has had on her life as:
“As far as I know, there is nowhere else to go for the level of support available via your eCommunity service. When my husband was manic and undiagnosed, as a family we knew nothing about bipolar and I desperately wanted to talk to someone who had been through the same thing, but I did not know how to find such people. Fortunately, I found Bipolar UK and the forum.”
Bipolar UK's community provides ongoing peer-to-peer support and other services, including daily moderators from 8am-8pm for anyone who wants to speak with someone employed by the organization for additional information or support. The community isn't just limited to those in the UK; people from all over the world have joined. It is now one of the largest mental health discussion forms in the UK.
You should definitely check this blog out!
And there you have it folks!
Oh, and make sure you sign up for the upcoming webinar series we have going on from January 20-24! It's based on our newest eBook, 2020 Community Predictions, and will definitely be one for the books! You can register here!