I first heard about The Dinner Party from listening to an episode of the Get Together podcast, and since then, I’ve also read about it in David Spinks’ book The Business of Belonging. Though I am not a member (I’m out of the age group <sigh>), and I’ve never been to an event, the purpose of this community resonated with me in a deep way.
When it comes down to it, I see this community as being about 2 things: grief and support. The members are people in their 20s and 30s who have lost someone, anyone. Their mission, as referenced on their web site, is:
To transform some of our hardest conversations and most isolating experiences into sources of community support, candid conversation, and forward movement using the age old practices of gathering and breaking bread.
Grief is an emotion that I’ve spent much time with, and I continue to. In the times when it has hit me hardest, I’ve sought therapy, and that has worked wonders for me. In these times, I didn’t know about The Dinner Party, but I wish I had because I would have welcomed the opportunity for a different kind of support in addition to what therapy was providing.
What I like most:
The mission and purpose of this community fills a unique need, and yet it’s a need that every single person will experience at some time in their life.
Clearly defined audiences, and detailed information on their site speaking to each one. The 3 audiences are: those interested in their Buddy System, those who want to join a table, and those who want to host a table.
The home page shares a number of statistics about the community and the events, and this is key as it conveys important elements that all members are looking for in a community: signs of relevancy, recency, and volume.
The resources. Even though I’m not a member of the community, I’ve already received value from it by browsing this page and discovering new sites and support.
My wish list:
That the community expands to serving 40-somethings. I’ll be the first in line.
Are you a member of The Dinner Party? If so, and if you’re open to it, please do consider sharing a bit about your experience. If you’re reading this in your inbox, just hit reply to send me your response privately. If you’d like to share publicly, scroll to the comments section below (or, again, if you’re reading this in your inbox, click on the title at the top of the email. Then, scroll down to the comments section.)
This is part of a weekly series where I’ll select a community I’m inspired by and write about it. Sometimes they’ll be ones that I’m a member of. Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes they’ll be clients. Sometimes they won’t. Each post will share what I enjoy the most about that community, and if you’re familiar with it, I hope you’ll share what you like about it, too.
Do you have a nominee for Community of the Week? If so, send me a brief email with the name, URL, and a few sentences as to why I should highlight it and check it out.