One way to appreciate the impact of communities in organizations is to look at how the community and its leadership are connected into the overall structures of the sponsoring organization. So, where does community reside in organizations? We took a look in our SOCM 2017 research.
There’s no one place where community should be “seated” within the organization, a point that is driven home when you look at the myriad departments with responsibility for community that were cited by respondents. But if community is to be a strategic part of the organization it needs to be situated at a level within the organization that reflects that importance. We looked at where communities fit in organizations by examining three items: who approved community budgets, and the title and reporting level of the head of the comunity program. In all three cases, we see signs of the high relevance of community in organizations.
In our State of Community Management 2017 sample, 70% of communities with dedicated budgets say their budgets are being approved at the VP level or higher. Looking at the roles of community leaders – we find that only a small minority of community department heads hold Vice President-level titles, but more than a third are titled as Directors or higher, and well over half report to Vice Presidents or higher levels of the organization. Taken together, these data suggest that communities, once seen as islands within organizations, are getting a more strategic seat at the table.
Where is community today?
We are currently collecting our State of Community Management 2018 research that will address questions like this and more. Please consider participating in our research and helping us provide the most comprehensive look at the community world. Take the SOCM 2018 survey now.