Community Manager Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Monday of January. Created by Jeremiah Owyang in 2010, it is a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts and impact of community managers around the world.

To mark the occasion, we reached out to different community managers using Hivebrite and asked them to share something about their experience as a community manager. 

Keep reading to discover their community management tips and highlights from the past year!Debbie Bird

Association for Project Management (APM) is the only chartered body for the project profession, with over 30,000 individual members and more than 500 organizations participating in its Corporate Partnership Programme. Its community, the APM Hub, provides an online member benefit space for individual members to network, share knowledge, experience, and expertise relating to the project management profession.

“My highlight for 2020 would be our community’s launch in April, albeit in the middle of the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. 

Before the launch, I was able to customize the platform to reflect our branding, while creating forums, discussion hubs, and navigation to allow for growth and development. 

Despite the difficult circumstances, it was truly a milestone moment and very exciting to see all the hard work come together. We were able to share a platform that was ready and waiting for its members to join and create their own community.

Testing is critical for a successful community launch! Staff, volunteers, and beta members all tested our community remotely and in group sessions before COVID-19 hit. Make sure you have a support team available to reply to and resolve any eventual issues on the platform on the day of the launch!

It’s also a great idea to collect and create seed content to populate your online space before the launch and to reach out to selected “community champions” to generate conversations and discussions!”

Debbie Bird, Online Community Manager, APM Hub

Michaela Jeffery-Morrison, CEO and Founder of the Women in Technology World Series, Ascend

Ascend is a professional community for women in tech. It is packed with resources to improve the personal and professional development of members.

"Ascend was born out of the pandemic. It offers our community of incredible women in technology access to invaluable resources and a space to continue making connections.

Through the community, our members have been able to find commonalities with one another, be on hand to support each other, and really build that community feeling that we knew from our physical events.

My tip for other community manager’s would be to always listen to your community. Our community also really appreciates honestywe have created a dedicated space on the platform for members to express themselves and interact with each other. This greatly facilitates the creation of meaningful connections between members."

Michaela Jeffery-Morrison, CEO and Founder of the Women in Technology World Series, Ascend

Meng Xu

The Cartier Women's Initiative is an annual international entrepreneurship program that aims to drive change by empowering women impact entrepreneurs. Founded in 2006, the program is open to women-run and women-owned businesses from any country and sector that aim to have a strong and sustainable social and/or environmental impact.

“At the Cartier Women’s Initiative, we serve a community of women impact entrepreneurs whose time is their most valuable asset. With this in mind, our design question becomes: How can we make sure they get the most out of the community with the minimum amount of time? 

We use Hivebrite as a one-stop-shop for curated opportunities, resources, and events. Our community members appreciate seeing everything in one place, instead of scouring the web for bits and pieces of information. Jumping between different platforms creates friction, and our goal is to make community members’ engagement experience as frictionless and time-saving as possible. 

Always try to learn from the best. Peer learning is extremely valuable; a 30-minute call with your Hivebrite account manager or a fellow community manager can save you days or even months of trials and errors. Of course, also remember to give back. Remember that you are part of a larger community builders’ community, and your insights can benefit many. Remember the joy of sharing, which I believe is the spirit of any community.”

Meng Xu, Senior Community Development Manager, Cartier Women’s Initiative 

Rachel Bray

The CERN Alumni Network enables those who have left the organization to keep in touch with CERN and each other. The alumni network encourages former Members of Personnel to become ambassadors for CERN’s mission and values and supports its members with their future career development.

"For this year’s CERN Alumni Day, the 3rd anniversary of our network, we organized a live-streamed event from LINAC4, our newest accelerator! 

Recruiters were able to meet CERN talent. We featured alumni working in companies looking for skills developed at CERN, as well as alumni who had found their post-CERN jobs thanks to the network. 

It was a great way to promote the jobs board on our community platform and to raise interest amongst companies for recruiting via our alumni network. Even during the pandemic and the global downturn, 174 opportunities were published on our platform in 2020!

We also organized the CERN Alumni Advent Calendar—a project that I found extremely touching and that brought me a lot of joy and optimism! Alumni from the 23 CERN Member States recorded a video to share their hopes and some positivity for 2021. This drove traffic to our platform and generated new members. 

Within 3 years, we have grown from 0 to over 6500 members. Giving alumni value on our platform is an incentive for them to contribute to the community. The more our members get involved, the better the experience in the community, and the more our community grows!"

Rachel, Bray, Head of Alumni Relations, CERN

Aigerim Saparova-Smith

Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America (Debra of America) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of all people living with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB for short)—a rare connective tissue disorder that causes their skin to blister or tear from any friction. The association provides free programs and services and funds innovative research for treatments and a cure. Its online community, EB Connect, connects people from around the world who live with and/or work in EB.

“Our community, EB Connect, connects incredible individuals and families from around the world who live with and/or work in EB so they can learn from and support each other like never before.

Our 2020 highlight has to be our virtual conference! In response to the pandemic, we pivoted from an in-person event to a virtual setting with the help of Hivebrite. Members had access to both on-demand and live webinars on EB care and research, as well as fun virtual social activities such as a live art class and a magic show!

I truly believe that EB Connect is a team effort and I would like to give a shoutout to Jeanette Gissen and Bethany Tillema for their great work.”

Aigerim Saparova-Smith, Digital Marketing Director, Debra of America

Christoph SchumacherEvery summer, Nobel Laureates gather in Lindau, Germany, to meet the next generation of leading scientists from all over the world. The Lindau Alumni Network is the digital space for participants of this yearly event to connect and exchange.

“The Lindau Alumni Network allows us to reconnect with former participants and to welcome new young scientists to our community. 

In 2020, Lindau Alumni pitched project ideas through the Lindau Alumni Network for our first-ever Online Sciathon, a hackathon-style event where our global community of scientists came together virtually for 48 hours to work on solutions for pressing issues. 

In 2021, the Lindau Alumni Network will be the online community leading up to the interdisciplinary 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.”

Christoph Schumacher, Alumni & Community Manager, Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

marah_najjarPhi Science Institute (Phi) is a non-profit organization established in 2014 and based in Amman, Jordan. Phi aims to enrich applied research and innovation in science. Its community, Phi Community, brings together members from all scientific disciplines on one inclusive platform so they can connect, collaborate, and innovate.

“It is great to see the potential of each member and their motivation to support our cause: Science for All.

Engagement is essential for creating a vibrant community. I monitor daily activity on the platform and create a weekly engagement plan to keep everything on track.

Giving a shoutout to our most active members in our newsletters has helped us encourage others to be more active on the platform! We also create campaigns around our memberssharing their stories and achievementsthis encourages like-minded members to reach out and connect with them! We also try to experiment with different formats where possible.

Within the last 7 months, we have reached over 1000 active members, counting members from over 30 scientific fields from more than 25 countries.”

Marah Najjar, Community Manager, Phi Community helps quantify and accelerate the tech ecosystem of the Netherlands. Rise is an exclusive program designed to bring together the most promising Dutch tech leaders.

In a trusted environment, they share and discuss their growth challenges during tailor-made sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and scaling experts. The Rise community is a curated online space for participants of the program.

“In 2020 we truly witnessed the power of community. It was great to see companies take a leaf out of the community manager handbook—organizing virtual breakfasts, buddy systems, and more—to help connect employees, boost morale, and facilitate collaborations.

As a community manager it has always been important to focus on growth, but we are realizing more and more that engagement is crucial. Creating sub-groups based around niche topics within our wider community has been an excellent technique for us to enhance engagement, and it allows us to interact with the Rise Programme participants, providing tailor-made support and resources."

Valentina Colombo, Community Manager, Rise Programme at

Hivebrite is an all-in-one community management platform. It empowers organizations of all sizes and sectors to launch, manage, and grow fully branded private communities. Schedule a demo today!


Written by Hivebrite
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