Where’s Your Third Place?

The Bridge Builders Community Foundation hosted an excellent event yesterday. Along with representatives from non-profit representatives from Venango and surrounding counties, I attended the Wealth Transfer Symposium at Seneca Hills Bible Conference. The basis for the conference was a presentation by  Barry Denk, Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania about the projected Transfer of Wealth in Pennsylvania that is projected over the next 50 years and the potential impact this has on our communities. You can read the report.

There was an abundance of interesting and useful information shared by Barry and other presenters. The challenge posed to all was how you will build the relationships in your community that will move people to include your organization in their planned giving, now and in the future. This is definitely not a “cold call” approach.

I was particularly interested in comments made in the afternoon presentation by Larry E. Haynes, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania & Eastern Ohio. Larry talked about our “Third Place”.  For most people, your first place is home and your second place is work.  Defining your third place may be very telling as to what could motivate your giving. Your third place my be an actual place, like your church, library,service organization or recreational facility.

Your friends and family will look for you at this place if you’re not at home or work.  A community may benefit from establishing where there are third places throughout the community and using these as a focus for development on programming and funding.  It may be worth considering if your organization serves as a third place?

Here’s an interesting video project by Rapid Growth that asks “Where’s Your Third Place?”


1 Jeanne Best { 11.15.09 at 7:57 am }

It was jam packed with information! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

2 Mary Ann Stewart { 11.15.09 at 11:34 pm }

Can’t wait to learn more about “Where’s Your Third Place?” Great potential for reaching folks who are searching for community and a place to “belong.” We’re so blessed to live in this community. It has much to offer and is close enough to urban centers if one needs more occassionally, but most of all it is small enough for a person and their family to have personal, lasting connections. Keep up the good work!

3 Dittman { 11.16.09 at 7:07 am }

Wow! talk about a blast from the past. I haven’t heard anyone talk about Oldenburg’s theories in at least five years. I always found him a bit too nostalgic for the good ol’ days that may or may not have actually existed. But, if you like Oldenburg’s thoughts, you should check out a book that came out a couple of years after The Third Place, Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone.
And, for what it’s worth, I think for a growing number of people, especially the younger demographics, their third place is online…