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Welcome to the Get Together. This is our show about ordinary people building extraordinary communities.


I'm your host, Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at People in Company and a co-author of Get Together How to Build a Community with Your People. And I'm Marjorie Anderson.


Get Together, correspondent, founder of Community by Association and product manager for community at Project Management Institute.


And a ray of sunshine, might I add. We are so happy to have you. On each episode of this podcast, we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds, thousands more members? Today we're talking to Nicole Beckert, founder of Same Site, a company that helps people get involved in the causes they're passionate about by combining events with advocacy.


Marjorie, what's one thing you learned today from our conversation with Nicole?


What was really fascinating to me about same site is having an able community building with their hosts. They are the vehicle by which people are able to create community around causes they care about. And the support they provide their hosts helps them feel like they found their place. The same side is all about enabling community builders, whether they think of themselves as that or not, to affect real change right where they are doing the things that they do every day as authentically as they can.


And that's such an important role that people who build community play. It's really the epitome of building with.


I loved hearing about all the diverse ways that people come to the same side to to encourage advocacy. They have people who teach surf lessons, folks who hosts brunches and combine them with the cause that they care a lot about. And I've never seen something like you say, quite as flexible as that in terms of advocacy platform. So I love learning from Nicole today. And so we do it. Let's jump in. Do it.


Welcome to the Get Together podcast. Nicole, it is so cool to be able to speak with you. I've been following same side for quite some time, so it's really going to be neat to to really get your story out there and let other people hear about the work that you're doing.


Thank you. First of all, thank you so much for having me. And just when you say things like that, you've been following things for a while. It just makes my heart burst because, you know, we've been doing this for a couple of years now and just being able to get the word out more is really a big, big part of what we do community wise. So thank you so much for having us.


Yeah, absolutely. We're lucky to have you so same side to me. When I think about the work that you guys do is like the greatest story never told. Like no one hears enough about you guys.


So for those who are not familiar, tell tell us what seems site is and what moved you to start it.


OK, well, so really, we were born out of the twenty seven or twenty sixteen election excuse me, in twenty seventeen. Like a lot of groups, I personally have been involved in organizing and civic engagement for a while and following the election of twenty sixteen, just hearing so many people, friends and acquaintances say I wanted to do more to get involved but I didn't know how. And then, you know, you keep hearing that when maybe there's a mass shooting, you want to do something about gun safety or climate change.


And finally, it got to a point where my original co-founder is my brother and I were like, we just need to test out this theory that we've had about if we can incorporate ways to take action for the issues you care about into the things you're doing every day, the experiences you're having every day, it probably can be something really powerful. And ultimately, that's what same side was to start. It was how can we deliver tools of civic engagement into things like your yoga class you go to or going out for drinks with your friends at night to brunch on Sundays.


And so that was the premise we started out with, with same side as building a platform that incorporated civic engagement and experiences. And we tested it out with a few of our first events. And it just really resonated with people saying things like, you know, I really have been wanting to do something for climate change or to support women in politics or this or that. And it kind of just kept snowballing from there. Like, yeah, this is something that people really want to fit into their lives and how can we make it easier?


And that was really the genesis of fame side. And recognizing that when we did build community around or bring or when so we don't build community, the communities are already built. We just bring the action to them. And when we bring that. And so many good things happen, and it's it's just really an effect of action building upon each other and and that's what that's what same side was to begin with and has continued to grow from there. That's amazing, you know, it's really interesting to see how empowered people feel when they have a platform that supports what what they believe in and how they can get it done.


So tell us about the first side event that you supported and how did really people find out about it? Who came? Why did they why did they show up? What was that? What was the vibe like around that first same site supported event? Totally.


So this still is probably one of my absolute favorite events ever. So again, so same site as a platform. So we don't host events. We find organizers or people with a big network that want to incorporate a little bit more action for the causes they care about and give them those tools. So our very first event, where we're really just testing out the thesis of do people want to do fun events, was after the women's march. There was a lot of obviously movement and momentum and discussion about supporting women in politics because of what had just happened.


And so there was a special election in Los Angeles where I live for a congressional seat, and there were a lot of women running, and particularly a young woman who was running who all her background and qualifications were. Just what you would want somebody representing, at least for me and a lot of people in my network. So we found somebody who supported her. His name was Phil, and he had a big network of friends. And he's like, yeah, I want to do more to bring them together and and to support her and do more work for her.


And so we gave and we set Phil up as a host with some ways that he could bring together action and doing something fun. So really, Phil set it up. He set up a brewery tour of the arts district in downtown L.A., which has all of these amazing breweries and food and everything. And you combine that with actually doing phone banking for Sarah Hernandez, for Congress. I mean, phone banking is probably one of the scariest things you can do in the most high engagement thing you can do.


But it was crazy to see 15 people come out from all across L.A., which that in of itself is a fee for traveling in a car to go to your phone making. But every single person to a t one other person had done phone banking before, but every other single person to a T had said two things. One, they'd wanted to do more to support women in politics. And because they knew Phil, they trusted Phil. They knew he was going to be there and it was going to be something meaningful.


And two, they'd been meaning to come to downtown L.A. to go check out the breweries and just never really had a reason to because they were coming from the South Bay, which is like half an hour away or wherever they were coming from. And so the combination of Phil as the host and being someone they trusted to doing something good and then doing something fun and those three things coming together, we just really saw that combination be so powerful. And together, those people made over seven hundred phone calls for Sarah's campaign, which for a grassroots campaign or twenty three people running in that in that race for a grassroots campaign that was enormous.


She ended up finishing fourth, which is not the outcome she wanted, but it was just a crazy, crazy explosion of people coming together that you wouldn't normally see. And so from there, we just really kind of test it out. A few different user cohorts like host hosts, profiles and everything. But from that first event, it was just everything. Everything good was happening. There was just everything good because people will be going out on a Saturday night anyway, and it's just combine all the great things.


So still one of my absolute favorite events ever.


Yeah, it sounds like that was a major aha. Moment and really understanding. Yeah. This is we've got something here. We've, we've got something. Absolutely.


Yeah. And again, like I said, like phone banking is just a huge undertaking for in terms of civic engagement. And we recognize that that's not going to be the norm just because of the circumstances. And so we really kind of wanted to give hosts other ways that weren't as high of an engagement to be able to incorporate action. And I think when we really saw that this had scalability and legs was when we saw a lot of different host profiles start hosting and allowing those groups to do things easy, like maybe post saying or sending an email to legislators.


There are so many tech tools that we can easily incorporate into these events that we saw groups like the Standard Hotels. Hosted now six or seven events for things like defending DOCA, LGBTQ rights, climate change, and when families are being separated at the border, they quickly jumped on hosting a happy hour for people to come together and take action around that. And that's the standard hotel down to we have somebody and had somebody in Denver who did a terrarium workshop for LGBTQ rights to a young woman hosting her birthday party on the platform to support ending the rape kit backlog in California.


When we started seeing this just wide expanse of different host profiles start to come on the platform, it just really showed that if we can obviously build out our ability to service all of them and we can really scale this up in a in a major way.


And that was really, really exciting and that's hugely fascinating. So how do people find out that they can host with the same side? How do people figure out they can get involved with you to do something good? Good question.


So we first of all, it's obviously on our website anybody can host. So there is no application, there's no fee, there's no barrier, except that you just have to have the desire to host. And what our job is, is to show you that path and how you as you know, Nicole, you as Marjorie, you as Joe, whomever you are, you can be a host and really anybody can be a host. And so what we do is typically we'll reach out to people that are already organizers.


And that doesn't mean in the political sense, we mean not in people who are bringing people together. So whether you're maybe a small business owner, like a yoga instructor or you're somebody who has a really large fun group and you bring your friends together over brunch, you know, you're that person that gets everybody together. We try to identify those groups and those cohorts to let them know about same side. And then the really awesome thing from there is that what we found is that from every event that's hosted, two new hosts are generated from that.


Because when people see somebody like them hosting or doing something that brings people together, they think, oh, I could do this with my book club or I can do this with my church group, or I can do this with my my friends and we get together happy or my colleagues or whatever it may be, because everyone's part of a community. And and I think what we really try to drive home is that you don't have to be a celebrity or a mega influencer to do these types of actions because it doesn't have to be a hundred people or a thousand people.


It can be 10 people, can be five people. But that impact is still impact. Right. And so, again, we start off with trying to find those that are already doing things, but we also have different resources that help anybody who's interested in just bringing a little bit more action to the gatherings that they're already a part of or doing.


And I think that's so impactful and so powerful to say, because a lot of people will sit back and think, oh, I can't, there's not much that I can do. What can I do? I'm only one person. But it really feels like you're empowering your host to do some mighty things, regardless of the number of people they're doing it with.


That's absolutely right. And and like I said, you know, we host however big their event is. There are amplifiers within that event. So, again, you may just have five people there, which is still awesome. It's still amazing. And honestly, we found like some of the smaller events, because you're really able to have intimate conversations and really dive deep into issues that issues of substance that affect your everyday lives and then take action for that.


And there's real emotional power in that. And that emotional power can then be amplified by you sharing out maybe some of the resources that were provided or getting everybody to do three actions rather than just one action. And then somebody sees that. And it's just causes that sort of it's that ignition to more action. And so we absolutely just try to bring in everybody who just has that interest because we provide a lot of tools to the hosts to just all they have to do is gather the people and we take care of the rest really.


And small events, big events, all of it is just really, really powerful. That's awesome. So tell me a little bit about how how you support your hosts. How do you develop meaningful resources for them as they organize their events? And is there something in particular that's been really super valuable for your hosts? And then how do you know what they need? And other than them saying, hey, Nicole, we need this?


Well, we've learned a lot along the way. We certainly didn't have it perfect. You know, we thought, OK, we're just going to create this platform that people just know what they want to do. And this is just a platform that others know. It wasn't it wasn't like that right away. What we discovered is that people want to bring people together for good and purpose. However, there needs to be some resources that give them a little bit more confidence in speaking about the issues that they care about, because you can talk about it.


But when you're commanding a room or when you're bringing people together to really drill down on issues that are personal, you want to have a little bit more confidence in in the maybe the statistics behind it. And so what we found as our hosts, one of the biggest areas to our hosts actually doing something was that they didn't feel that they could be a subject matter expert. And so they wanted to maybe bring in somebody from an organization or have have others participate.


And that just creates more layers to an event. And it's just not as easy to then create the event. What we recognize is that we could create these two kids that were based on information and tools and resources from these front line organizations like your, you know, your Planned Parenthood, your sunrise movements, your color of change, all these groups that have been doing the work for a really long time and take their resources and combine them into a toolkit so that when a host maybe is creating an event for climate change, they can connect it to the Sunrise Movement campaign or the Planned Parenthood or whatever it is.


And those toolkits are delivered to everybody at the event by signing up through the same side. And so that way, again, the host just has to be the convener. Hey, guys, I'm doing a yoga class. I want to support LGBTQ rights. I'm doing it in support of Human Rights Campaign or Equality, California, Equality, Utah, whatever it is, we're going to get together, going to have a yoga class, and then we can have a discussion about what what can we do to support the LGBTQ community.


And those resources are all there for them to go through together. They can incorporate it into the event as much as possible or as little as possible. But then it just really takes the the burden off of the host to do a lot of that research and feel like they're the subject matter expert. And all they have to do is just bring people together for the values that they care about or for the issue that they care about. And so we found that to be really powerful because within that toolkit, again, our facts about the issue, resources to learn more and of course, in everything we do, just ways to take action, which maybe sign a petition or contact your legislator about policy or donate to an organization or sign up for our mailing list to learn more, sign up to volunteer.


And all of those things are within the toolkit and that's shareable. So, again, it just amplifies the impact and it's just all these good things and really wrapping the event or the gathering in good and in purpose and in action, I think that's really beautiful.


Right, because I think there are people who want to do something like for instance, I have to say this summer when everything happened with George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and there was just so much unrest and I felt like I should be doing something, but who am I to be doing something right and where do I even start? But same side really, really kind of gives volume to the voices of people who don't think they can do anything like they don't think they can create change.


They don't think that they can can do something that's going to be meaningful enough to to help. So tell us a little bit about the impact that this has had on you and your hosts when someone really feels supported and empowered to take that first step to creating change within their community.


Oh, it is, again, like it's hard to really convey all the feels right.


I mean, I don't want to do such a term like that, but really, it really is hard to put words to that feeling of I did something that you get and and time and time again, we we just hear this because. Like you said, it's people who don't think they can do something, but when they recognize that, like, oh, well, I'm already part of this group or I'm already doing it and like, oh, we can just do one more or we can just incorporate this action that's already set up for us.


It just is so powerful. And so, you know, I mean, some of my favorite groups or individuals who have hosted you have mostly been just I don't want to say regular people because we're all awesome, unique individuals, but someone who's not been in organizing for a long time. And I think because I have been it, it felt like my duty to to allow everybody to see what their power was. I grew up in a household where my parents are both part of a union and like unions were really a big part of our upbringing in that you take a stand for your livelihood, for your lifestyle, for what you what you want to see in the world.


And that's really been my mission was inside is just to share that, you know how you do that, because I was blessed to grow up in that. And now we just want to give resources and we do that through our newsletters to like maybe you're not ready to host just yet, but we do that through our newsletters and see like here's some individual actions you can take to and then hopefully we get you up that ladder of engagement where maybe you're attending an event and you see somebody who looks like you or has your background and has done an event and then you kind of just plants that seed that like, oh, maybe I can do this with all that with my group, with my friends, with my family also.


That's really just. Sort of the pathway to us bringing people in through same side and building, building with you along the way, building our relationship with you. Hey, yo, hey, Kevin Quinn here, the Get Together podcast is a project by people in company.


That's a small strategy company that I started with, your main podcast host Bayly and our friend Kai. Although communities feel magical, they don't come together by magic. Whether you want to connect superfans, breathe life into an online group, or bring a remote team closer together, figuring out how to structure any community building investment can be disorienting.


You know, where do we start?


What are the common pitfalls? How do we avoid going too far in the wrong direction at people in a company we've coached OG's like Nike, Porche Substract and the Surfrider Foundation on how to make smart bets to start and sustain communities.


Bringing people closer together in this way isn't a short term strategy. It's a long term play that can transform a company across the board. If you lead an organization and have a hunch that there's a group of people you could be doing more with, building with, call us so we can help you get started.


You won't be able to turn this on at a moment's notice. It's an investment. So if you're seeking a trail guide to give your team the best chance at sparking a community, reach out to us at people in company. We do sprints, labs, coaching and would love to chat. You can find us at people and company.


I'd like to dig a little bit deeper into that building with part of it, because a large part of the people in company philosophy and Bailey will tell you around community building is that you build community with your people, not for your people. So you're helping them. They're helping you. So what other ways to same side do that with hosts? And you provide them some really great resources. You provide them that support that they need, the confidence they need to get out there and really affect change.


But what other ways to build community with your hosts?


That is a really great question. And it's just what gives me, I guess, the most joy and I think fuels my drive to keep going, because, as you know, when you're in a startup, it's a crazy amount of work every single day and something needs to fuel you to keep going. And really, what we love the most is sharing the stories of our hosts and who our hosts are, because, again, they're not celebrities that have these enormous platforms.


They may have built up a platform for themselves, but a lot of times they're just people in the community who wanted to do more. And so we try to share those stories as much as possible to to really show the process of how they came to host on the same side. Because at the end of the day, same side honestly is nothing without our hosts. We're nothing without events for people to go to. And we're just a site with that has a cool framework to it.


So we really try to build that process along the way. Again, planting the seed with here. Here's our newsletter. Here's our weekly email that shows you little ways that you can take action as an individual who you did something for with color of change during the summer of twenty twenty in the George Floyd protests. Here's a group that's doing a virtual event. Maybe you want to join that. You went to that virtual event. Why don't you look into the hosting one yourself?


Why don't you look just to see what it takes to host something? Do you have a group and then building that relationship along the way and planting those seeds along the way? It may not happen perfectly. It all happens within a few months. Right. But that seed is planted. And then the more that we have those touch points of look who's look at Bova, who's a really rad D.J. and she was just doing up until this summer. And then now she's done events for voting for menstrual equity, for all these kinds of things because the opportunities were planted in her.


And then when something comes up, she says, I want to do this for on. Seems like what can I do? What kind of action can incorporate it into it? Or somebody who's part of a group in Utah, Equality Utah, and just saw all the possibilities of what she could do for her community. And it just really opens up. So, again, presenting as many stories as possible, as you guys know. I mean, just just getting the word out there about what you can do as an individual and just showing that.


And then eventually, I think a lot of people come around and understand, hey, I can do this, too. That's really what we try to do.


Have you attended same side events and how many have you gone to?


Oh, yes, I really of course, I try to attend as many as I can, just so I can understand better what what the pain points are at events or what really brought a lot of joy and was really fulfilling an event. So I try to go to as many as possible. I'm based in L.A., so obviously I'm constrained by geography. But before the pandemic I was trying to travel to we've had we've had them all across the country, North Carolina, Colorado, New York, everywhere.


But I really love being there again, not just not just to understand what's best for the platform, but also because there's only good that comes out of this. There is no bad it's all just really good. And seeing hosts, especially first time hosts, do something and then just realize, you know, and then you see the wheels start turning like, oh, I could do this, I could do this, I could do this. And kind of furthering that, I believe is really powerful.


And I love you again, when you're in a startup, you need those moments, the momentum to to keep you going and then keeps us understanding how we can develop our product better and and get more people involved for sure.


What's been the most impactful thing that you've seen your to what's really affected you? And really kind of driven home that this is this is the right thing, we're doing the right thing. I mean, every single I'm a civic engagement. Every time someone maybe contacts their legislator for the first time and sees how easy it is, I get a little teary eyed. And that's really I'm crazy like that. But, you know, we just recently there was an event on our platform called Vote Test, and we were involved in it in a way where we made some connections and brought some parties together.


But it was in Venice, California, and it was an event with really, really awesome musicians and performers and then also groups from civic organizations talking about voting and going through the ballot. And they people were told to bring their ballot. So bring your ballot to Venice. There's a ballot box right here. And it was unreal how many people showed up and then B, brought their ballots because it was like in between performance performers, we stopped and Molly from California started going through.


OK, this is this is why you got to vote for Prop 17. This is why this is going to be good for our community. This is going to further and people were just coming together and community around voting. And it was so powerful. And and I mentioned before, you know, the standard hotels did a in twenty eighteen. They did a really big series of events and seeing them host not just for LGBTQ rights, they did a they turned their pool parties into the same side events every month.


And so the first one was for gun safety. And this is a this is a pretty big hotel brand that stood up and said, yes, we believe there needs to be sensible gun solutions and we are going to turn our hotel into a place where you can advocate for sensible gun solutions. That was that was a huge step and not easy. And they did that and LGBTQ rights and DOCA. And so every time I'm there and I see it, I honestly, it just tears just in my eyes.


And it's really powerful. And also guests saying I didn't realize I could do that, even even just taking that action.


They didn't realize that the role that they could play in their in democracy and in the community and all of it is just heartwarming to me and and really, really powerful and amazing.


And I bet it is. I can I can hear the passion and the pride in your voice. It's giving me goosebumps. Like if you were sitting next to me, you'd be able to see the my arms. But it's really cool to hear you talk about that.


Thank you. Thank you. You know, it's I'll be honest, there are times when you sit back and you think, is this really doing anything? Obviously, I admire my grand vision. It's like everyone every single day is doing action or same side. Every gathering, every day is is is taking action. And we're obviously not there yet. And so it's easy to think I'm failing at this or it's failing. But obviously that's you got to start somewhere.


I mean, I need to practice what I preach. Right. I tell everybody, start small and it grows. And so, you know where we've come from to where we are today, over a million actions have grassroots actions have been on the side. And so that's no small feat, but it takes time. And so I appreciate the very kind words that you're saying about same side.


Oh, yeah. It's all heartfelt. So 20, 20, let's let's talk a little. I know.


Exasperated sigh But what challenges have you been met with because of it? I know it's probably changed a little bit how you support your hosts, especially as it pertains to things like live events or maybe it hasn't maybe it really hasn't changed that much. But what challenges have you been met with because of the pandemic and any other thing that you can think of that 20, 20 is thrown at us this year?


Yes, well, having a live events platform is just really awesome.


And I was a really smart business, a strategic business move on my part.


Obviously, that threw a wrench in things early on.


And of course, we are a tech company and we're a startup. We were fundraising at the beginning of the year and because we had actually relaunched the platform from what it had been. And so those best laid plans kind of got thrown out the window because we had to immediately not pivot, but added new features that allowed for virtual events and everybody else was figuring it out. And so we were good in the beginning. And then there was Zoome fatigue.


And so as other groups were or as other states, I should say, we're opening up is just how do you manage like what's safe even for the community? What should you what resources should you be providing was was something we had to navigate from a tech standpoint and we did. And I think the platforms in a good place. Now, the other big thing was, of course, the what happened following George Floyd, the pandemic and the just really racial disparities that that laid bare in our society.


But what I kind of always say to people is 20, 20 didn't just happen. These issues that we're having didn't just happen. These issues have been happening for a long time and not that we've been asleep, but it just wasn't right in front of our faces like it became in May of twenty, twenty and even before that with the pandemic. So what we're really trying to communicate and we've already started messaging this a little bit, it's that even after the election, it's not over.


You know, it's it's not an end come January 1st. Twenty, twenty one, God willing, it's a new day. And we've got leadership that cares about people. But that doesn't mean that all of these issues just magically go away. Right. What happens then is that is when we really need to hold those that we've elected accountable and we start saying this is what we need, this is what our community needs, and we've got to be communicating better to them.


And so we've already started that messaging and we said, we know, we know, like you just won the election over and we just want to, quote unquote, go back to normal. But normal is what we're living in now. And how are we going to adapt to that? And so I think same side, evol, same site has to evolve with all always the way that we live as a society because we're here to support growth of communities.


And as communities grow, we need to be able to adapt and support that. And so just keeping the eye on just understanding your role in doing what's best for your community and always being part of that is what same side has to continually do with our our hosts and our community. And how you can be a part of that and how you can support your community with action is what we continue to talk about and deliver tools and ways to be involved in that.


So so let's talk a little bit about growth. You mentioned that same side has been around since twenty seventeen. You've had events in New York, Colorado, of course, in California. How are you looking to or are you looking to really scale the number of hosts across the nation? And are you looking to be worldwide like what's what's the grand vision there?


Well, we are global already, which of course in this virtual world that we now live in. We've been able to bring in guests from all over, all over the world. And one of our groups, Marty Body, which is an Australian based company, a period panny, they do a lot around menstrual equity and they've they've got a pretty good presence here in the US. They hosted a virtual event that brought in their global teams and they had people from over 10 countries and literally women were dancing in their period panties from D.J. Bova, from all around the world, learning about menstrual equity, which is actually a really huge issue for women's equality.


It was just mind blowing and amazing to see what can happen when you bring joy and purpose to events. But I think in the more pure scalability form that you're asking about, how do we actually scale this? And I'll be honest, it's a challenge because there is a lot of slow build and working with communities to let them know about same side and what they can do. But we've seen it, particularly in L.A. where we're based. And in Denver, we had a really good group in Denver.


The growth that can happen when we just are able to plant the seeds. So, of course, being able to fundraise and build out our team a little bit to expand both our geographic reach with obviously doing some marketing and partnerships, et cetera. That's that's really the goal for twenty, twenty one. But like I said, it's a flywheel. As soon as you start getting a few community members on board to be hosting the number of hosts that come out of it, how that growth trajectory just happens on its own is is what we see for the growth of same site.


And talking about global, I've already had conversations with people in Mexico and Canada, Central America, about can they host on the same side? And while theoretically they could, we're not fully set up to really grow in those in those communities. So we are it is absolutely on our roadmap when we have the bandwidth to to expand in a very meaningful way. But there's no reason why why it can happen. Save for maybe China where that would be having lived in China myself.


Right when they shut down Facebook, I understand how powerful they are at least.


And it is so we are safe that we are ready and looking at expansion all around the world.


Wow, you're going to take over Niccol. You're going to take over the world more lips to God's ears.


So as you look toward the next couple of years for same side, what do you hope to see happening? Only amazing things.


Well, you know, we've got a lot of big updates planned for the platform just to make it make the hosting process even smoother and really solidifying that connection between organizations, particularly grassroots organizations that are on the ground doing the work for the causes that we care about with hosts and just making that connection so much smoother. So we've got a few really big updates for the product planned in the works, which are very exciting. And then just putting in place some ways to to really expand our our host outreach and get out there.


And that's that's really in the next two years, five to 10 years, you know, it's so hard to plan that out.


But obviously we have our growth plans. And, you know, it's it looks a lot different today than it did January 20, 20. So I don't know how much we can rely on that. But our vision from the beginning and has always been that one day every single gathering in the world will be powered by same side with purpose.


And so as much as we can continue to grow our host network, grow our messaging to people. To show how you can incorporate purpose, whether you're a again, a small business owner, your large brand or an individual, every single one of those groups can have a really strong impact in leading the change they want to see. And same side hopes to do that. So we're looking to really smooth out the product and that's exciting. And then just keep on growing our our users and our hosts.


So do you do you also see, because there's a lot of power behind some of those front line organizations that you talked about earlier that really helped you put together some of the resources that help your hosts, do you see more partnerships with those folks as well? I think that, you know, if I if I'm reading you right, you know, you definitely want to make sure that you keep the focus and the empowerment on those individual people who are looking to do something in their communities.


But I think that there's probably some stuff that you can really leverage from those front line organizations to to continue to power those, quote unquote, smaller movements. Do you see that also as being something that you're going to focus on? Absolutely.


Absolutely. And it's interesting when you look at. You know, you see these large organizations and they look like they've got it all and they're having these really big sponsorships and but they still really rely on grassroots people power. However, part of our research and what we're really building the platform around is how difficult digital has been for of course, you've got your big groups like Planned Parenthood and Color of Change who are really able to employ a lot of good digital marketing, but one layer below them, even these like medium groups, medium size groups, and of course, then the small grassroots groups are really on the ground.


The ability to reach out digitally and really build up a program that's widespread and scalable for them is really, really difficult because you're so focused on your programs that bringing in new users or new followers or new donors into your organization has been really difficult for them. And that's kind of, I think, the same side's mission along with bringing in host. Part of it is that these hosts bring in new people into the networks of these organizations. And the question has been, how can we help them build out, help our host build out their digital presence for organizations?


And we've got some really, really cool tools that we already have, but some really cool tools that we're putting, putting the the pieces together now to be able to incentivize more people to spread the word about events that may be in support of CHIRLA, which is the largest immigrant rights group in California. But very few people have brand awareness of them. So how can we incentivize others who support the work of CHIRLA to really spread the name out of CHIRLA without them having to do a huge digital marketing campaign, which they don't have the bandwidth people, wise or budget wise, to really do?


How can we power our our users to do that for them? And we've got some really cool things in the works for that. So so that's when I talk about solidifying that relationship between the host and the organizations. We don't necessarily want organizations can't be involved in every single event, but we do want that really strong connection and that visibility for organizations to see who's hosting for them and recognition in a way that's meaningful and gives people a reason to do it on a on a regular basis and do events on a regular basis and continue that that work for them.


And it just spreads awareness of organizations, spreads awareness of the host and what they're doing, and really building out their digital presence in a way that's a win win win for everybody.


Yeah. And I also think that probably something like that would also serve as an extra push to just keep going. Right. Because it's one of those motivators that when you feel like, you know, I've got these people come in, but then I'm tired, it doesn't really matter if I continue to do this work. That type of recognition really kind of helps keep you moving along because the work that these folks are doing is important. And the way that you're enabling it is a way that I don't think we've ever seen before.


Right. Like people will give a platform for you to say, here's how you can here's how you can list your event. But the support that you give, I think, is unique to what organizers are used to receiving. Absolutely.


And one other thing that I think is really important that we try to put out there is that doing an event and having maybe all the proceeds go to an organization is really great. However, it's not sustainable, you know, so, like, you may put all your effort into you maybe. Again, I go back to yoga instructor because we we've had a lot of yoga classes. You may donate all of your the revenue you get from from a class.


And that's really great, but that's not sustainable. You obviously can't donate all the revenue all the time, otherwise you're not able to keep your business going.


What we really try to communicate to both the organizations and our hosts is that. You can you can make a living off of this or you can at least make some income off of if you put together a really cool event and it has a lot of value. There's no reason why that can't be a business for you or you can't make money off that to ensure you want to be raising money as well for the organization and incorporating that maybe into a ticket price or so.


But there is no reason why you should have to sacrifice everything and you can do that, but you can't do that always. And so we want to show that again, like this is something that you can do with your business, your existing business, or as a business that incorporating good doesn't mean sacrifice. It means bringing value, because I mean, these amazing events that are bringing people together and doing good and giving them resources and giving them a reason to come together and doing something fun.


And that is really valuable. And so we really want to push the idea that this can be a way to earn money and raise money for organizations. And those don't have to be mutually exclusive.


Yeah, it's not a yes, but it's a yes and. Exactly, exactly. OK, so one more question for you. And I think that this one this one's a fun question. If you could wave a magic wand, if you had one in your hand right now, what would you want for same size? Wave your magic wand and it could just magically happen for you right now. What would that be?


Oh, we'd be through fundraising, period. End of story. Oh, my goodness.


I mean, oh, my goodness. Yes, that that whole process, because like every startup having to balance those two processes is just been, you know, it's it's difficult, but you've got to dedicate so much time. But then that means you're taking time away from your platform. And I just want to do the fun stuff, which is building out things. And while that is just a crazy amount of work, it's it's still fun to me.


And you're still doing good. And the fundraising processes is interesting, especially for a woman running a company and a and an impact company.


But so while that's not the fun answer, I mean, I think that's that's like the real tactical answer. But I think when I look at the grand vision of same site, I think really people already understanding their power in in being able to organize and bringing able to bring their community together, their friends together, their family together, whoever it may be, and is already having that understanding instilled in them. And then same sides already set up to then deliver them the tools that they need to get ready.


And that would be the most amazing thing, because that's the biggest barrier. That's the biggest hurdle. And once you get past that, then so much good happens. And I'll end with this story of a host of others who lost her job during the pandemic pretty early on in the pandemic. And as you can imagine, as I'm sure a lot of people are going through, it was pretty depressing and scary. And I just left a lot of uncertainty.


And what we know, and this is through a study in the Mayo Clinic to the one thing that reduces anxiety and helps of mental health is to have purpose. And so she threw her surfing her surf group at a women's surf collective, just rapid fire set up now that she's done about six events. One was a beach cleanup during beach cleanup month. One was a yoga and a paddle out a dance class and paddle out has really found. Bringing that community to do good.


Just invigorated her completely. So seeing how she brought so many people into. Into her space of purpose and how it's just fueled her to really see new things on the horizon that she never saw before and for the same side it's the same. We see how we can help so many different people in different ways and how the platform we can just expand exponentially. And again, I've said this before, but our hosts are what fuel us and what help us grow.


And so, again, that magic wand is just getting people to that place where they already understand their power and their impact. We have everything that we're getting to that point. We're doing those things to get there. And that magic wand is already waving upon us. It's growing really fast. And we're so excited every month to see the growth that we're having. And I am so excited to see it keep growing. I this has been such a great conversation with you.


Nicole, thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast. I can't wait for people to hear the story and see what's next for same side. If people want to get involved, how can they find you? Absolutely.


So, of course, on our website at on CYBERCOM, we have a place where you can sign up for our newsletter. You can email us if you're interested in hosting info at on same side dotcom, of course, on every social platform at on same side. And shoot us an email. If you're just interested and want to learn more, check out our website. We've got a lot of great info there. Our blog has a lot of great stories about different people and we hope to connect soon.


There's again, there's no event that's too small. I love every single one of them. And so just reach out to us and we'll get you started.


So fun talking to you, Nicole. Thanks so much for joining us. I am so grateful to you for the platform that you guys have to to get these kinds of stories out as well as is really incredible. So thank you so much.


If you want to connect with Nikola Beckett or even host your very own same site events, you can reach them on all social channels at on the same side or visit the website on the same side, dot com. Thank you to our team.


Thank you, Azana Cabonne for engineering and editing Greg David for his design work and Kenny O'Connell for marketing this episode.


Go team. You can find out more about the work Kevin and I do as people in company helping organizations get clear on who their most important communities are and how to build with those people by heading to our website, people and company. Also, if you want to start your own community or supercharge one that you're already a part of, our handbook is here for you.


Is it get together, Bookham to grab a coffee. It's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders like this one with Nicole. And last thing, we feel like it today, we would love if you would review us or click subscribe.


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