Last month, at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, I had the opportunity to run the Community-Driven Social Impact game in a session workshop. The room was full, and participants came up with some terrific examples and options for their organizations. One of the participants was Ericha Hager, the Regional Collaborative Coordinator for Community Media Access Partnership. After the session, she asked to reuse the game locally and I asked her to just let me know how it went:

I recently facilitated a day long meeting with a group of 7 different community media centers in California. Our objective was to develop grants and programs as a group to strengthen our individual community media centers and support the movement as a whole.

To modify the steps of the game to help tell the story, here’s how Ericha used the Community-Driven Social Impact game with her network of Community Media Center participants.

Who was the community that you were working with?

I am part of the Digital Arts Service Corps, which is an initiative of the Transmission Project that pairs tech-savvy AmeriCorps Vistas with organizations dedicated to supporting community media and technology. My project this year is to create a collaborative among seven different community media centers (CMCs) in the greater bay area. The purpose of the collaborative is to share best practices and resources to create greater sustainability and more impact within our individual organizations and the CMC movement as a whole.

The community I am working with is comprised of the seven CMCs in the collaborative: Community Media Access Partnership (based in Gilroy, CA), Davis Media Access (Davis, CA), Access Humboldt (Eureka, CA), Access Monterey Peninsula (Monterey, CA), Community Media Center of Marin (San Rafael, CA), SF Commons (San Francisco, CA), and Community Television of Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, CA).

What were your goals for engaging with them?

During our first meeting as a collaborative, we identified four priority areas to focus on throughout the year. They are: productions, youth media/education, fundraising, and technology. I design and facilitate a day long, in person meeting every other month dedicated to one of these topics. We had our fundraising meeting on March 25. The goal of the day was to develop a collaborative grant proposal for a project that would be pertinent and beneficial to each CMC. This was a challenging undertaking considering the diverse populations served by centers in the collaborative. I used the CDSI game to get everyone thinking about the communities they work with, hear about other communities, and generate ideas about how we could work together to meet their needs.

How did you modify the game to match your community and goals?

We started the game in three groups of four and each person had a four quadrant piece of paper. I kept the original questions for the first two spaces (Who is your community? and What do they want to do?). Then, I modified the last two questions to better serve the purpose of the meeting. Each center is dedicated to serving the media and technology needs of their communities, so question three was: What media and technology needs would you most like to address? This question allowed everyone to identify where there were similar needs and interests within the group. Then, I wanted everyone to brainstorm collaborative projects based on the information they had gathered thus far, so for question four I asked: What programs can we develop together to meet these needs?

I allowed everyone two minutes to write down their responses, then about seven minutes to share with the rest of their group after each question. After the final question was discussed, I brought everyone back together and collected some of the program ideas each generated by each small group. This ended up being a great way to jump start the brainstorming process. Ultimately, we were able to concentrate the broader ideas into three focused projects and chose one we wanted to move forward with.

What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?

I really appreciated the structured and in depth discussion this activity created. One thing I would do differently next time have better examples of the types of responses I was looking for with the first two questions. While there is value in having such open ended questions, some people needed a little more clarification and guidance to get them started. Overall, The CDSI game was an effective utilization of time that yielded meaningful results.

Share your story!

Have you run the CDSI game in your organization or at a workshop? Share how it went! The Community-Driven Social Impact game, like all of the content and resources on this website, is licensed for reuse and sharing with Creative Commons so you can feel free to put it to use in your organization!

Photo credit: Michael Wesolowski

Use Case: The Community-Driven Social Impact game for Community Media Centers
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  • Hi Amy,

    It’s really great to learn that your NTC workshop had such a positive impact on the access community. CMAP is a fantastic organization with strong leadership, and the CMC collaborative represents some of the most exciting community media organizations in the country.

    I look forward to learning more about the CDSI game and incorporating the model into future community work.


    • Thanks so much, Colin! I’m really thrilled that Ericha found it useful and
      created a valuable learning opportunity for the CMC. Would love to share the
      game with you (beyond just pointing you to the links on the website) for
      your ideas and reuse!

  • Nice post.)