Breaking through liability fears that hold volunteers back – Idea Friendly answers

Breaking through liability fears that hold volunteers back – Idea Friendly answers

When we were talking about finding more volunteers in a virtual session with Radically Rural, some people brought up liability as a barrier to all kinds of volunteer projects and events.  I get why this came up. Somebody in your town probably brought up liability when you shared an idea, too.  “You want to let…

What if you flipped volunteer recruitment? An Idea Friendly story from Ontario

What if you flipped volunteer recruitment? An Idea Friendly story from Ontario

It’s not just you. Every small town struggles to find enough volunteers to do all the projects and events and ideas.  Cassandra Boniface with the Township of Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, told us how they flipped the volunteer recruiting process.  “We created the Active Community Expo (A.C.E.). It’s held at our local arena, and is essentially a…

Grow your own outfitters, take advantage of your natural resources

Grow your own outfitters, take advantage of your natural resources

Our latest Survey of Rural Challenges said natural resources are our best rural assets, but you don’t have enough outfitters to take advantage of them as tourism development. Here’s how you can grow your own outfitters.  Both Deb and I visited Eastern Kentucky last year. I visited Estill County, and Deb was in Jackson County….

The Idea Friendly Method works for any idea, including starting a laundromat on a budget

The Idea Friendly Method works for any idea, including starting a laundromat on a budget

Emily Karsjens Perry asked, “Has anyone seen an example of an Idea Friendly laundromat? My brain is mulling over how to start one very small, possibly in combination with other 24 hour machines.” An Idea Friendly approach to Emily’s laundry ideas would be to: Here’s what Building Connections could look like: Here are some extra…

“I’m just a random person with no local position or clout”

“I’m just a random person with no local position or clout”

As a random person with no office or title, you’re in the best position to make good things happen. You don’t have to follow complicated rules of office. You’re not limited by the scope of your title. You don’t have to worry about naysayers crowding your public meetings. You’re you, and you get to decide…

If you’re tired of “Nothing good happens here!” complaints, make a success list

If you’re tired of “Nothing good happens here!” complaints, make a success list

Part of being Idea Friendly is to Gather Your Crowd. It’s not arm-twisting or “volun-telling” other people.  You put your idea out there, and you let it attract people to you.  One easy way: show progress.  Deb used to keep a list of every new business that opened in Webster City, Iowa. Then when someone…

Survey Results: Rural people are optimistic about their towns’ future

Survey Results: Rural people are optimistic about their towns’ future

This is my favorite finding from our latest Survey of Rural Challenges: rural people are optimistic about the future of their community. In fact, they were twice as likely to say they were optimistic than negative about their community’s future! Over 300 rural people answered the question, Do you think your community will be better…

How Marieta, Sue and Julie are feeding their communities

How Marieta, Sue and Julie are feeding their communities

Your friends and fellow newsletter readers Sue, Julie and Marieta shared how they’re getting more food to the people having the hardest time affording it right now. We told you about Julie Kent, the librarian from Erie, Kansas. In 2020 the library shared seeds and plants and support. Here’s her latest update: We continue to…

How they filled 10 empty buildings and saved the movie theater

How they filled 10 empty buildings and saved the movie theater

When Deb first told me about The Tour of Empty Buildings, I thought it was brilliant. Here’s how it started. In her first week on the job as Chamber Director, she got asked:“What are YOU going to do to fill those empty buildings?” And she said:“WE are going to hold a tour and show them off.”…