Set community growth goals and plans

Business benefits

Create realistic stakeholder expectations and identify what your community will look like at each phase.

Create a document to outline growth stages, goals, and activities for your community.

Use the Setting growth expectations worksheet.

Pick founding members who you want to invite to your community for the inception phase.

Set goals for seeding content that you want to have in place before the inception phase begins.

If you’re building an in-person community, or if you’re building a series of events where people come together live, you don’t need to seed content.

If you’re building an online community that will be asynchronous or will have a long archive of content, though, seed content helps you make sure that your community doesn’t look like a ghost town.

Plan for an inception phase of about 6 months.

In this phase, the founding members constitute the entire community and begin to create relationships due to a common need.

Main activities in this phase:

  • Relationship building
  • Content seeding
  • Welcome events
  • Sending recognition to active members
  • Change management (internal)
  • Rolling in new members
  • Gathering insights, advice, and feedback.

Plan for an establishment phase of about 12 months. Invite more people into the community.

Main activities in this phase:

  • Promo communications to early members.
  • Streamline content creation and event cadence.
  • Determine other programs.

Plan for a critical mass phase where your community breaks up into smaller, more specialized communities.

Decide how you can offer support to these communities to allow them to self-organize and self-moderate.

Set relationship goals for each phase.

Consider conservative goals of:

  • Inception: 10 new relationships sustained. For many first-time community builders, this is a major accomplishment.
  • Establishment: 30 sustained relationships and 10 leaders announced.
  • Critical mass: 200 local leaders.

Set content goals for each phase.

Aim for:

  • Inception: 70% content created by your staff and 30% by community members.
  • Establishment: 50% content created by your staff and 50% by community members.
  • Critical mass: 20% content created by your staff and 80% by community members.

Set feedback goals for each phase. Decide how to gather information about the community from your members.


  • What are we hearing from our members?
  • Are they happy with what we’re doing so far?
  • Are they feeling connected?
  • Are they feeling safe?

Aim for CSAT scores of:

  • Inception: 80%
  • Establishment: 70%
  • Critical mass: 70%.

Share your community growth goal projections with internal stakeholders to create more realistic expectations.

Last edited by @hesh_fekry 2023-11-14T10:08:53Z