Getting Started With Building Relationships

“Who else should we involve in community-level change?”

Relationships drive the work of community change forward. You are working to build relationships with a central team right now, but what about building relationships outside of your team? You need funding, resources, volunteers, and other assistance as you move through executing projects.  

The work of building relationships needs to happen before asking for something from organizations or individuals–your goal is to cultivate long-term and authentic partnerships while identifying what is important to community decision-makers, potential funders, and volunteers.  

In order to build strong relationships with others, you need to understand how you work with others. Continuing to learn more about yourself is important as these relationships develop. 

Activities

Activities: Choose 2-3 activities to complete to identify common interests and build relationships with your team. You’ll be tempted to jump straight into the work, but understanding what matters to others on your team and how they work best is important to your long-term success. Take your time with the activities; they aren’t intended to be completed in one sitting. 

 

  • Power Trading CardsTaking information that you garnered from your one-on-one conversations, complete this activity to have a quick reference within your community of what stakeholders consider to be important assets.  

 

  • Enneagram Personality Test – The Enneagram is a personality typing test that focuses on how you interact with others and what you find important. Take this quiz individually and then discuss your findings and results with your team. Identify who among the team is best at reaching out to new people and who is best at maintaining relationships.

  • My Community WishlistUsing the Community Wishlist from Lesson 1.3: Getting Started With Others, add a fourth column that identifies who exactly in the community cares about each of the items on the wishlist to better show the importance of these items.

Reflection

Here’s your chance to take some time to think and reflect on your dreams and interests. Keep a community building journal, scribble notes on some post-its, or simply think about these questions before moving on to the next lesson!

  • Reflecting on your Enneagram type (1-9), identify your strengths and weaknesses with relationship-building tasks (For example, Enneagram 2s tend to be people pleasers).

  • What are specific tasks in your community that volunteers could assist with completing?

  • What were you surprised about when conducting the one-on-one conversations exercise?

Community Development in Action

MacKenzie Walker is a community leader in Matewan, WV who utilizes the power of relationship development to harness resources and funding for the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum. Through building powerful partnerships, the City of Matewan has completed a series of small wins and met goals through a community development process, leading to larger projects currently underway. Learn more about what’s happening in Matewan in this video.

Watch this HubCAP video highlighting Matewan and their amazing work!

Ready to keep going?

We believe in West Virginia communities.

And we believe in you. Small steps can make a big impact – let’s change the future of our towns. Start making a difference today.

We can create a future where West Virginia communities thrive and prosper.

Many communities are already on their way.

Where We Work

49 communities receive in-depth coaching since The Hub’s start in 2009.

Chester/Weirton

Marshall County

New Martinsville

Fairmont

Kingwood

Kingwood

Grafton

Shinnston

Clarksburg

Salem

Doddridge County

Ritchie County

Parsons

Belington

Buckhannon

Lewis County

Gilmer County

Ripley

Clay County

Cowen

Richwood

Marlinton

Greenbrier

Alderson

Hinton

Ansted

Saint Albans

Lincoln County

Wayne County

Madison

Whitesville

Man

Williamson

Matewan

Wyoming County

Mullens

McDowell County

Gary

War

Princeton

Bluefield

Sophia

Bluefield

Moorefield

Martinsburg

Montgomery

Smithers

Elkins

Franklin

Petersburg

White Sulphur Springs

40%

of West Virginians positively impacted by Hub efforts last year

264

organizational partners actively engaged in Hub efforts last year

103

community-led projects completed in last 3 years

$3.38

million community-led funding leveraged in last 3 years

Chester/Weirton

Marshall County

New Martinsville

Fairmont

Kingwood

Kingwood

Grafton

Shinnston

Clarksburg

Salem

Doddridge County

Ritchie County

Parsons

Belington

Buckhannon

Lewis County

Gilmer County

Ripley

Clay County

Cowen

Richwood

Marlinton

Greenbrier

Alderson

Hinton

Ansted

Saint Albans

Lincoln County

Wayne County

Madison

Whitesville

Man

Williamson

Matewan

Wyoming County

Mullens

McDowell County

Gary

War

Princeton

Bluefield

Sophia

Bluefield

Moorefield

Martinsburg

Montgomery

Smithers

Elkins

Franklin

Petersburg

White Sulphur Springs

49 communities have received in-depth coaching since The Hub’s start in 2009, and hundreds more have felt the impact of The Hub’s work in some way.

The Hub’s Communities of Achievement are taking their towns to the next level.

Hear from residents of Matewan about their experience participating in the HubCAP program.

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Hopeful news

Resources & How-To

How to Host First Friday Events in Your Community

Are you working to bring energy into your community? Do you want to see more people in your downtown spaces? Are there a number of local craftspeople, artists, farmers, and other entrepreneurs in your region that you’d like to bring together?

Read More »

"We believe when West Virginians leverage the opportunities and tools they need to make positive change, they create a transformational impact in their communities."

– Stephanie Tyree

Executive Director

How our work works.

Everything we do is grounded in four focus areas built up over the past 12 years to maximize impact.

INVEST

Invest in community leadership, teams, and community-identified projects.

BUILD

Build impactful partnerships across the diverse groups working on community development in the state.

TACKLE

Tackle the systems-level challenges that communities face through creative policy engagement.

DRIVE

Drive forward a new story about West Virginia about how positive change is possible, and it is happening today.

redefined is a storytelling project on a mission.

Experience real stories of West Virginians who are bringing hope to their communities, and get started making a difference in your hometown today. 

For too long, who and what it means to be a West Virginian has been defined for us. It’s time to redefine the Mountain State in our own words and in the eyes of the world. West Virginia can be anything we want it to be – let’s redefine it together.