Part of the online community volunteer role is to help stimulate discussion. See the following examples for ideas. (Also, check out the FeverBee article 20 Questions Which Will Stimulate Activity In Your Online Community.)

Specific Questions

Many organizers pose a monthly question as a way to spark engagement. Questions are relevant to the group’s topic and the responses help create value for the community. (See examples from your peers.)

While many groups have done it in the past, it’s encouraged that you do not use the words “question of the month” and instead frame your questions as organic.

WordPress question of the month

Women in Nonprofit Tech Question of the Month

Open Sharing Threads

Encourage participation by asking community members to share recent wins or challenges. Posts like these can make it easier for community members to connect and help each other and may inspire tangents for future discussions.

The community manager over at FeverBee, a highly recommended resource for NTEN’s community volunteers, posts a weekly “what are you working on?” thread and a monthly “what have you achieved?” thread.

Wacky Posts

Threads like this may be a bit easier to contribute to than a more serious post and help encourage new members to make that first contribution. The content is light, but still relevant to the community topic.

Five words about tech: The following is an example is from NTEN’s Tech Decision Makers group. The organizer’s 5 words about tech prompt inspired a flurry of community members to come out of the woodwork and bond over the trials and triumphs of tech.

Five words about tech

Animated GIF party: Here’s an example from the HigherLogic User Group, a community for users of the HigherLogic online community platform software. Community members posted a “that feeling when…” (a.k.a. “TFW”) and an animated gif.

Gif party example from HUG