We built this city



                                                                                     photo Addictive Picasso–Creative Commons

By Ed Nicholson

Some really interesting discussion here and on the oneicity blog ("Hunger is boring") about this week’s posts.  Before I go any further with the topic, I do want to offer the three disclaimers:
1.  We’re not in any way disparaging the fantastic work those in the hunger relief community. 
2.  We understand the necessity of fundraising, especially in today’s economy, with ever-increasing demands, and ever-decreasing resources (we’re just questioning the effectiveness of how fund-raising communications resources might be applied in many cases).   
3. The posts are not directed at any one organization. All of us are responsible. If you’re feeling it was directed at you, well…

My job title is community relations director. I’m fascinated with the art and science of community building. 

There are some fabulous communities built offline around fighting hunger.   Look at Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation communities: the ones built around local events and the one that comes together to celebrate, commiserate and share best practices nationally.  Look at any Feeding America food bank.  Look at the collection of "insiders" that get together at either of these two organization’s national conferences.  You won’t find more passionate people and groups gathered around any other cause.

Just don’t look online, because you really won’t find hunger fighters engaged in open, vibrant discussion there (maybe some closed communities–I wouldn’t know, I’ve not been invited).

Why is that?  Some have suggested this week that hunger organizations are apprehensive about discussing the issue of hunger for some reason or another.  I’ve heard it said the donor base might be offended.  Some have said in private that the big hunger organizations don’t want the messiness that accompanies diverse, outspoken communities.  And some have returned to the time-honored defense: "We just don’t have time to talk about hunger relief. We’re too busy doing it." 

What’s your opinion?

One Reply to “We built this city”

  1. Judy

    Oh Ed, maybe you guys need to start a forum for hunger fighters (sign me up to help).  They have them for  foodie groups.  You could do seperate discussion threads and use it as a way to brainstorm ideas that we all have!  I just don’t see twitter or facebook giving us what we want and our blogs half the time I think we write them just for our own release, sadly enough! 

    I also think that social media is so new to hunger fighters that there really aren’t that many organizations on yet and the ones that are aren’t too sure yet how to use it!  We really saw  the power and strength of it when we did our NoFood4You campaign but Sarah is such an open minded and risk taking hunger fighter that we have a huge advantage over most organizations just breaking in.  Maybe the lack of discussion online is just that…inexperience.

    I’ll talk to you anytime!!!

Comments are closed.