Join the conversation on Facebook
Ford Institute community moves online
When two Ford Institute Leadership Program classes chose bike racks as their project last spring, organizers took to Facebook to glean ideas. Photos were posted, RFPs offered up, links shared. For the fledgling Ford Institute Facebook page, it was a validation of its purpose — to be an open space where participants can ask questions, share knowledge and strengthen the resources available to all communities.
an open space to ask questions
“It was exactly what we were hoping for,” says Ash Shepherd, the online communications and engagement specialist who helped develop the page. “Evidence of a tangible step the Foundation is taking to support a place where people can connect online.”
Nearly 400 members and growing
The page was launched early in the year with a small, pilot group. Today, the page has nearly 400 members, and John Pattison has been engaged as a community manager to help direct the conversation.
“We are now on the cusp of really promoting it to the rural community at large,” says Shepherd, who specializes in work with nonprofits. “This is the moment I’m really about. We’ve done some learning and listening, and now we get the chance to see how we can support the larger group, and make those connections across the state.
“There are a lot of people who know an amazing amount of stuff. This page will be a great place to get information, but also to give back to the community at large.”
Participation has already been spirited, according to Chad Carpenter, a page member. “The Ford Institute Community page has been a great resource. I have seen people share highlights about their communities, including projects and events, as well as new ideas and news from around Oregon,” says Carpenter who is the executive director of the Landing Youth and Tutoring Center in Prineville. “It’s inspiring to see what others are doing and helpful to have a forum in which meaningful dialogue can take place, highlighting the work happening in our rural communities.
“So far, there appears to be many members of the community and all input seems to be very positive,” Carpenter adds. “Hopefully, as time goes on, we’ll see a continual increase in membership, engagement and positive dialogue surrounding the wonderful things happening in and around Oregon.”
To join the Facebook page, search for “Ford Institute” on Facebook, and then request to be approved as a member.