Quick community mapping guide
This community mapping guide is part of a series of tools and exercises from OF/BY/FOR ALL to help build more inclusive and relevant organisations as part of Arts Council England's strategy for 2020-2030, Let's Create.
Once you’ve identified a few communities that you’d like to become more relevant to, it’s helpful to get a sense of what you know and don’t know about them.
This is a 45-60 minute exercise you can do with colleagues and/or trustees. Below you’ll find a facilitation guide. For further help you can download the handy worksheet.
How to Do It
Step 1: Map existing knowledge as a team
- With your team, use the worksheet to note some basic information about this community and why you might want to engage them.
- Note whether you have existing relationships with people in this community. In general, no matter how appealing, if you know no one in this community, you likely are not yet ready to work with them. You may be operating from assumptions or stereotypes instead of a sense of a real community.
- Note your existing or past engagement with this community. Perhaps you are starting fresh. Perhaps there’s a legacy of past hurt or marginalisation. Or perhaps you’ve planted some promising seeds for a stronger relationship.
Step 2: Discuss with your team
Discuss what you think it might take to credibly involve this community. Some questions to get you started:
- Who could help you check your assumptions and better understand how this community defines themselves, their goals, values, and barriers?
- What kind of investment might be needed to work with this community - thinking about them as potential audiences, employees, trustees, and programming partners?
- What might you have to unlearn or do differently to have a shot at working well with this community?