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: 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.


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?

The Hub receives Change Maker Award from The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

We are honored to be selected for The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s 2020 Change Maker Award in the community-economic development priority area.

In the annual State of the Foundation address, Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, shared that these awards are given to “nonprofit partners who have exemplified innovation, resilience, and collaborative spirit.” We are joined by fellow awardees Kanawha County Schools in the health priority area and EnAct, Inc. in the education priority area.

Watch Dr. Foster’s speech, videos featuring each of the Change Maker awardee organizations, and more on the foundation’s website.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is an instrumental supporter of The Hub’s programming, helping us to create transformational impacts in partnership with community teams based in towns across the Kanawha Valley.

The team at The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation captured the video above of The Hub’s Executive Leadership Team, including Executive Director Stephanie Tyree, Director of Community Engagement Amanda Workman-Scott, and Director of Strategic Network Communications Emma Pepper, speaking more about The Hub’s model and our work in partnership with the foundation.

Stephanie shared in her acceptance speech for the award, “It is an honor to be recognized as a Change Maker organization by The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. It matters to us, especially in this time, to have The Hub recognized in this way. It affirms the work we have been doing for the last 10 years and recommits us to continue that work for the next 10 years. Thank you.”

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More to explore

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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *