Importance of Community — How Collective Solutions Help (2023)

Importance of Community — How Collective Solutions Help (1)

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What is community?

Why are communities so important?

8 types of communities

Importance of communities and mental health

Benefits of community

Start building

The word “community” is used so often today, it’s reached buzzword status. And when the term is thrown around in countless contexts, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of community—and how to develop communities that add purpose and joy to our lives.

What is community?

So, what exactly is community? In its simplest form, it’s a group of people with something in common. That shared factor could be family, geography, faith, race, or life stage. It could also be an overlapping interest, passion, or profession.

But for a group of people to form a true community that enriches the lives of its members, the individuals involved must also feel a shared sense of trust, connection, and caring for one another.

Why are communities so important?

Strong communities are critical because they’re often an important source of social connection and a sense of belonging. Participating in a community bonded by attitudes, values, and goals is an essential ingredient to enjoying a fulfilling life.

The absence of social connections can have profound effects on our overall health. An early study on the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that loneliness was one of the factors with the greatest psychological impact on people’s health. The impacts of low social connection on health include:

  • Elevated risk factors. Studies show people who lack strong social connections are also more likely to suffer from high levels of stress and inflammation, and face higher risk for suicide and early death.
  • Chronic disease. Research consistently links the lack of social connectedness with health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, immune disorders and cancer. suicide and early death.
  • Mental health. Social isolation can also impact mental health and well-being. Strong social ties are crucial to mental health—they can lower stress and anxiety and help people thrive.

Ultimately, communities give people a supportive group to help them cope with difficult challenges, band together to solve problems, and celebrate life’s lighter moments.

Importance of Community — How Collective Solutions Help (2)

8 types of communities

Communities exist in many forms, both formal and informal. Formal institutions such as faith-based organizations, schools, and governments might be some of the first types of community that come to mind. But informal groups, such as carpools or study groups, often play an important role in our lives, too.

Informal groups in particular are an important resource for individuals who are part of underrepresented groups and may not have access to or feel comfortable in traditional organizations rooted in inequity. For those seeking safe, inclusive spaces, informal gathering places such as barber shops or online forums can become deeply meaningful sources of community.

Because communities can align along many factors, such as location, identity, interests, or organization, you may already belong to several without even realizing it. Some common examples of communities include:

  • Neighbors

Some towns or neighborhoods are more tightly knit than others, but many people belong to a community that’s formed by virtue of a shared zip code or street. For some, the people you pass on the sidewalk or in the hallway every day might be strangers. But they can also be friends, allies or even people to turn to in times of trouble.

  • Faith-based organizations

A group of individuals united by religious or spiritual beliefs is a longstanding community institution. Whether they meet in a church, synagogue, temple, or online, faith-based organizations may be one of the most easily recognizable forms of community because of their history, reach, and dense networks.

  • Hobby-focused clubs

Cooking, reading, running, music—there are an infinite number of possibilities for groups centered around shared interests. Clubs or groups joined by interest or activity allow members to meet new people and foster newfound or longtime personal passions. The virtual options available make finding and participating in these groups easier than ever.

  • Volunteer groups

Volunteering can take many different shapes, from phone banking to cleaning up a park. And volunteer work might be driven by a big national nonprofit organization or a tiny grass-roots effort that started in your own backyard. In any case, people working together on a cause that’s important to them often create a meaningful community.

Importance of Community — How Collective Solutions Help (3)
  • Alumni networks

An alumni association or network typically exists in the context of an educational institution, and it combines several layers of shared experiences in one. Members might fondly recall their time on the same campus, the class requirements they all completed or the institutional traditions they participated in. Alumni networks provide social and professional connections long after individuals have graduated.

  • Coworking spaces

While they’ve always been more than just a place to work, the traditional coworking space has recently undergone new shifts to become more than a physical space. Modern coworking spaces have evolved in design and approach like this cohort of founders launching places for people of color. Offering both inclusive physical spaces and digital communities, they highlight the importance of community development in the workplace.

  • Professional development groups

Career-focused networks exist for nearly every type of job or specialty imaginable, and they can often be a great resource throughout an individual’s professional life. These groups might gather for conferences, offer mentorship or training, explore industry issues and help members achieve their goals. Over time, these communities can serve as a critical form of support and guidance for individuals and even leave a mark on entire professions.

  • Employee resource groups

    In organizations, an employee resource group (ERG) is an employee-led group that fosters inclusivity and builds community. The purpose of an ERG is to create a safe, supportive space for underrepresented employees who share a common identity, and they may be organized by certain shared characteristics like gender identity, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or age. As a community, ERG members and organizational decision-makers work to create an inclusive company culture, connection, and personal and professional growth.

Importance of communities and mental health

In recent months, the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of community as it relates to mental health. As feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression have increased during the pandemic, many people are seeking meaningful connections to help them cope—and that’s one of the most vital functions communities perform.

Communities are inherently about relationships with others and a feeling of connectedness, which have a major impact on mental health. Without community, people may feel more isolated and lonely.

One of the ways we can strengthen our mental health is by building community and creating the social connection and support to have more vulnerable conversations. By creating spaces where open dialogue is safe and encouraged, people can deepen their understanding of one another, work together to address challenges, and find the support they need to navigate tough times.

8 benefits of communities

  • A support network

As a member of a community, you have access to a support network of peers. Whether you turn to your community to commiserate, seek advice, or simply share your story, having a supportive group in your life can have a powerful effect on your overall well-being.

  • Professional development

Members of a profession-based community can help drive growth and performance. ERGs in particular can develop internal leaders, educate employees, and have a positive impact on retention for members of underrepresented groups.

  • Sense of purpose

With a secure sense of belonging comes a sense of purpose, something people are increasingly searching for due to the pandemic. Belonging and purpose can help increase feelings of solidarity and fulfillment, which can be important both personally and professionally. And a strong sense of purpose can even help you live longer.

  • Alleviate stress

Communities can be a source of joy! Coming together physically or virtually, finding points of connection with others, and enjoying moments of celebration and camaraderie can leave us feeling engaged and refreshed. Those positive feelings may help lower stress and anxiety.

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  • New inspiration and ideasImmersing yourself in a group of individuals exposes you to a diversity of ideas, viewpoints, and personalities. There’s bound to be something new to learn or an unexpected thought to appreciate from your fellow members.
  • Empowered decision-making

An empowering environment comes out of mutual trust and respect, which speaks to the importance of community development. In a strong community, where people have opportunities to build each other up and develop trust, people feel greater confidence and engagement within the organization and on an individual level.

  • Better communication skills

Effective communication requires connecting to others, a key pillar of a community. Developing relationships with fellow community members is an exercise in listening and building meaningful rapport.

  • Greater resilienceResiliency is a quality impacting the way people respond to and manage change.Belonging to a community offers a form of support that provides a buffer against the stresses on resilience.

Start building your communities

Communities can take many different shapes, and they’re formed on the basis of all kinds of commonalities—including shared interests, geography, or identity.

At their best, being part of a group provides social connections, friendship, and practical and emotional support. They can help us see the world in new ways and provide needed perspective.

Community involvement can enrich the lives of the people on your teams and help individuals overcome the obstacles in their way.

We all need community. You can show the importance of community to your teams through your own example. Start looking for ways to get involved with the communities in your life.

Not sure where to start? The beauty of communities is that you can contribute just by participating. Just showing up can enrich your life, the lives of others, and build more resilient organizations and societies.

Importance of Community — How Collective Solutions Help (5)


Published November 3, 2021


How important is it to work collectively together to solve problems in the community? ›

Working together in a group motivates everyone to be at the top of their game, ease tensions, and create a sense of community. Most of all, this increased competition often leads to innovation. People will try and think as creatively as possible to reach a solution.

Why is it important for community to come together? ›

At their best, being part of a group provides social connections, friendship, and practical and emotional support. They can help us see the world in new ways and provide needed perspective. Community involvement can enrich the lives of the people on your teams and help individuals overcome the obstacles in their way.

Why is community important? ›

Community is an important concept for social change because it helps us to see that social change requires a change in some of the most important stories we tell ourselves. Social change requires that we rewrite our communal narratives. Social change is change in community.

Why is it important to help in solving the problems in the community? ›

It's good practice and planning to anticipate barriers and obstacles before they might arise. By doing so, you can mitigate them. Analyzing community problems can also help you understand the resources you need. The better equipped you are with the right resources and support, the higher your chances of success.

What is the most effective way to bring a community together? ›

Celebrating those different cultures will bring the community together by educating and learning about one another and their backgrounds.
  1. Host A Heritage Celebration. ...
  2. Organize A Cultural Food Festival. ...
  3. Plan Tourist In Your Own Town Events. ...
  4. Throw A Block Party. ...
  5. Hold A Craft Or Hobby Show.
Nov 16, 2022

What is sense of community in your own words? ›

Abstract. Proposes that a sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through commitment to be together.

What makes a strong community? ›

Strong relationships exist between people in the community. People come together to work toward shared causes. People trust one another. People trust in and feel represented by institutions.

How do we solve problem in a community? ›

  1. Determine the problem.
  2. Think of several possible solutions to the problem.
  3. Consider the consequences for each of their solutions.
  4. Pick the solution they think will work the best.
  5. Present their solution to the class.
Mar 10, 2017

How can we help our community? ›

10 Ways to Help Others In Your Community
  1. Get a flu shot. ...
  2. Help your local food pantry. ...
  3. Give blood if you're able. ...
  4. Volunteer your time. ...
  5. Check on neighbors and family members, especially those who live alone, are elderly, have health or mobility issues or are caring for children.

Why problem solving is the most important? ›

Why is it important? Employers like to see good problem solving skills because it also helps to show them you have a range of other competencies such as logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, lateral thinking and determination. It is a vital skills for your professional and personal life.

What is collective problem-solving? ›

What is "Collective Problem Solving"? Collective problem solving is a group exercise in which students share their solutions to a given problem on a common page, and comment on each other's solutions. An instructor or TA may also participate by giving feedback to the students directly on that page.

What are the benefits of collective? ›

It is common that an individual may benefit from a collective act without contributing to it. Collective benefits can non-competitive and inclusive if the availability of the benefit does not diminish from the use of one actor. An example of this type of collective benefit is social capital.

Why is collective work important? ›

Properly structured, group projects can reinforce skills that are relevant to both group and individual work, including the ability to: Break complex tasks into parts and steps. Plan and manage time. Refine understanding through discussion and explanation.

How do you build positive relationships with your community? ›

5 Ways to Build Positive Relationships in the Community
  1. Network as Much as Possible. Establish a plan to get out and meet people. ...
  2. Volunteer. When you commit to helping those in need, you also meet people in your community. ...
  3. Raise Money for Charities. ...
  4. Utilize Social Media. ...
  5. Follow Up on Commitments.
Aug 31, 2020

What are 3 things that make a good community? ›

What Makes a Good Community?
  • Inclusivity. ...
  • Open-Minded and Positive Community. ...
  • Community-Wide Rules and Regulations. ...
  • Fun Community Events. ...
  • Good Sense of Respect and Responsibilities. ...
  • Active Charity Initiatives. ...
  • Watch Out for One Another. ...
  • Spirit of Volunteerism.
Oct 28, 2021

What makes community a true community? ›

To be part of a real community, you need to care about what it is you have in common. To be in a real community, not only do you need to care about the community, but you also need to care about and respect each other. You need to be loyal to one another and build healthy relationships.

What makes us feel part of a community? ›

It is a feeling that people within the community matter to one another with a shared faith that their needs will be met through commitment and togetherness. Being a part of a community can make us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves.

What is sense of togetherness in community? ›

Connection and belonging

Togetherness is so central to our experience as humans; that feeling we are part of something bigger can help give meaning to our lives. Finding others with the same values, interests, and world views makes us realise that we're not alone and makes us feel valued.

What are the 5 characteristics of a good community? ›

The 5 community characteristics that most influenced community attachment (in order of importance) were: social offerings, openness, aesthetics, education, and basic services.

What makes a happy community? ›

Belonging and acceptance where there are strong social connections throughout the community. A culture of taking care of each other while accepting people's differences.

What are the 3 most important elements of a community? ›

13 Most Important Characteristics or Elements of Community
  • (1) A group of people: ADVERTISEMENTS: ...
  • (2) A definite locality: It is the next important characteristic of a community. ...
  • (3) Community Sentiment: ...
  • (4) Naturality: ...
  • (5) Permanence : ...
  • (6) Similarity: ...
  • (7) Wider Ends: ...
  • (8) Total organised social life:

What are the 5 advantages of community? ›

5 Benefits of Joining a Strong Community
  • Sense of Belonging. One of the greatest benefits of joining a strong community is the accompanying sense of belonging. ...
  • Diversity. Another benefit of joining a strong community is the opportunity to experience diversity. ...
  • Accountability. ...
  • Fun. ...
  • Support.

What are community values? ›

At a broader level, community values can refer to the shared beliefs held by individuals in a social group or specified geographical location. Thus, community values as macro-level phenomena function as community norms, which serve to set expectations for social behavior and standards for how others should be treated.

What are the 5 functions of the community? ›

Warren (1978) identified five functions carried out by locality-relevant communities: (1) produc- tion, distribution, and consumption; (2) socialization; (3) social control; (4) social partici- pation; and (5) mutual support.

What makes a community happy? ›

A good community is one where neighbours take pride in their living environment, respecting and supporting one another regardless of age, gender, race or creed. A good community is a cohesive, safe, confident, prosperous and happy place.

What is the biggest benefit one that can get in a community service? ›

Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you're going through challenging times.

What are the 4 core values of community? ›

Community Values

What are the 4 core values of community action? ›

Passion: We love what we do and it shows. Integrity: We believe that the example we set means everything. Respect: We consciously embrace diversity and strive to eliminate injustice. Performance: We innovate, measure our success, and move forward with purpose.

What are the four core values of community engagement? ›

Core values for Community Engagement
  • Integrity of every action. Engagement with the community requires that not only the process, but also every action involved, be done with integrity. ...
  • Involvement of the community in the process. ...
  • Long-term relationships. ...
  • Health of the community. ...
  • Health of the corporate body.

What are the 5 C's of community? ›

Strategic Factors for Building Community: The Five C's Community, Connections, Control, Cash, & Collective Action.

What are the seven 7 elements of the community? ›

The mission of 7 Elements is to collaborate with global and local organizations to learn about and try to help improve access to the seven human securities: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political.


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