Facebook has announced the next phase of its Community Accelerator Program, which is designed to help Facebook group admins, or organisations with a presence in Facebook groups, develop their leadership skills, and make better use of Facebook’s tools to maximise community impact.
The program offers funding and training to the selected participants, in order to provide guidance and means to expand their presence.
As explained by Facebook:
“Through the program, each community will receive up to $50,000 to help fund work that advances the community’s goals. A subset of communities will be eligible to receive part of $1 million in additional funding. During the eight-month program, participants will receive training, mentorship and funds to invest in an initiative that extends their community’s positive impact.”
The program also gives participants access to the latest group features and tools, while Facebook also works with participants to better understand key areas of potential development.
Facebook first launched the program last year, as part of its broader focus on maximising engagement within Facebook groups, and providing more support pathways for group admins. More than 1.8 billion people now engage within Facebook Groups every month, while around 400 million, according to Facebook, are part of what it calls “very meaningful” groups, or groups that become central to their interactive and support process.
Given this, Facebook wants to maximise that engagement, and help connect communities through its tools – and in order to do that, it needs to offer expanded support and education where it can.
Overall, Facebook is committing up to $7.5 million in funding as part of the 2021 Accelerator Scheme.
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“Selected community leaders will spend five months learning from experts, coaches and a customised curriculum so they can organise and strengthen their community to work better together. Participants will then spend three months executing their initiatives. They will collaborate with advocates and leaders in the community space and work with the Facebook team to bring their ideas to life.”
It’s an interesting initiative from Facebook, which could have a range of community benefits. Group admins are often the unsung heroes, working behind the scenes to facilitate discussion, and it’s good to see Facebook acknowledge that effort, and look to provide more pathways for support – and importantly, payment – as for many this can become a part or even full-time job.
And with more people connecting online than ever before, as a result of the pandemic, that connection is even more important, while the skills learned through this program could then be transferred to new group admins and leaders, boosting that knowledge pool.