1. The purpose of networking for community organisations, professionals and clients.
Building networks is of great importance as it allows us to build relationships between like-minded people. In doing this, it is possible to form solid foundations of networks and contacts. This in turn can open doors to allow us to pick up the phone, send an email, offer information, and ask for help. Knowing whom to call can save time, money and effort. If you like or trust your contacts, it is possible to build strong relationships within your network, which become valuable social assets that you can invest into benefit any future actions.
Networks can be formal or informal. Formal networks are usual set up with a specific goal in mind e.g. regular communications or meetings between people representing a particular service, organisation or issue. These networks are usually set up for people to work on something together e.g. evaluate community or consumer needs, evaluation of funding and for action groups to work on a particular issue. These networks could be for a short period of time or an ongoing basis. Informal networks can be natural friendships made from work or social circle etc they can also be deliberate connections made to enable a specific goal e.g. work together on projects or issues relating to a situation or organisation.
The main purposes of networking are as follows:
¢ Find out what is happening in your area and in other services.
¢ Share resources and information
¢ Make appropriate referrals to clients and colleagues
¢ Be involved in lobbying for change
¢ It provides the opportunity for leaders from distinct sectors to link together to gain understandings from each other and develop productive and ongoing partnerships.
¢ Improve professional and personal development
¢ Find new resources and ways of working, to benefit from others' experiences