How do I create a community

Back to help | Category: Community | Print

The Holland Alumni network has a lot of communities. We offer communities per country, theme, education institution and scholarship. You might be looking for a community which does not exist yet or you want to create a community for your organisation. But where to start? 

For every community there needs to be a person that builds, regulates and maintains the community. Therefore, we usually work together with a Dutch Embassy, Education Institution or Student/Alumni association to start a community. Are you an individual or part of a Student/Alumni association? Please check whether there is a relevant organisation that you can work together with to start this community. You can also contact us through the contact form and we can check whether we can connect you to a relevant organisation. We only create communities for organisations, not for individuals. 

Have you found a relevant partner or are you a Dutch Embassy or Education Institution? Please contact us through the contact form and we can start creating a community together!

1. What does a community offer? 

Communities function as important connecting hubs where similar interested Holland Alumni can share news and events, start discussions and can contact each other. At the same time, these communities give partner organisations the opportunity to interact with this specific group with members and vice versa.A community exists of members, moderator(s) and a manager. They all need to have an account at Holland Alumni network to be able to join a community. 

Different kind of communities exist: per country, institution, theme, scholarship or practitioner communities. Most communities are open to all Holland Alumni, however for some communities permission to join needs to be granted by the manager. There is also the possibility to create an invisible community. Only members that are added by the manager are able see this community. 

A regular community has these tabs:

  • About: general information about the community
  • Wall: updates about what happens in the community
  • Articles: overview of articles published in or shared with the community
  • Calendaroverview of events published in or shared with the community
  • Discussion: overview of discussions started 
  • Media: shared media (pictures, videos, powerpoints, files) and website links
  • Member: overview of the members

Next to these tabs, other tabs can be created as well. A common tab is the “Facebook tab” where feeds of a Facebook page will show. This way information from other sources can be combined within one community.

Moderators and the manager regulate the community. They can send emailing campaigns, add and change the menu and manage the articles and news published in the community. 

Every community can have multiple moderators but only one manager. The manager is usually somebody from the partner organisation and moderators can also be motivated members. The main difference between a moderator and a manager is that a manager can do everything that a moderator can do, but can also change the general information of the community, has access to the member database via an excel export and can set the options and rights of the members. To read more about the different roles, go to the online help (about us>online help) and search for “the difference between a manager, moderator and member”. 

2. Why should I create a community? 

As you could read in the previous section, a community gives many opportunities. It is an easy way to have one place for all your members (and their data) and your content and events. Moreover, next to the content provided in the community, your members also have access to the general content on the Holland Alumni network: news about Holland, events around the world, career centre and the possibility to connect to other Holland Alumni. On top of that, using this network and owning a community is totally free of costs. 

The purpose for you to create a community can be specific to your situation and needs. This does not need to be universal, as long as you and your members actively use the community. Some examples would be:

  •  Use all features of the community: the community functions as the centre for your interaction with the community members. You create events through HAn, news and newsletters and you use the export function to manage the data of your members. 
  • Use the community mainly as a centre for relevant news and materials: you share news, events and media from different external websites within the community. 
  • Use the community mainly to create and share events and do the registration through the Holland Alumni network.

We are still a developing network and therefore we can also tweak the platform to the needs of our users. If you feel there is anything missing, please do not hesitate to contact us through the contact form and we can check whether the developer can develop this for us. However, keep in mind that the general framework of the platform will stay the same. If you are looking for totally different features, you might want to consider using another platform to create your community. 

3. How much times does managing a community take? 

This depends on how active you want your community to be, whether you need to approve membership and how many moderators there are to help you. Ideally, a community is shaped by the members and the manager is just there to regulate. However, before this happens the community has to be build from scratch and members and content need to be added. You play a big rol in this, so certainly at the start of the community this will ask for your time. 

In the starting phase most of your time will be spend on:

  • Getting acquanted with the community and all its functionalities
  • Change the lay-out and settings
  • Promote the community and get members to join
  • Accepting members into the community (only if it is a closed community)
  • Sharing the first content (news, events, media)

After the community has been created and the basis has been created, you need to regulate and maintain the community. 

  • Share, promote  and regulate content (news, events, media, discussions)
  • Send newsletters
  • Get members to become active

In general you could say that the starting phase of the community will be the busiest and after that the time needed to maintain the community will depend on how active you want your community to be and how much help you get from moderators. So the time spend can range from several hours a week to 1 hour a month. 

Rate the usefulness of the answer below

Help categories

The online help is here to help you use the platform and to guide you if you have difficulties on the website.

If you can't find an answer, please contact us.

  • Technical & Practical
  • Events
  • News
  • Alumni stories
  • About us
  • Community
  • Career center
  • Find Alumni
  • My account
  • Messenger