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Choosing the Right Online Community Platform

Choosing the Right Online Community Platform

Community is at the heart of many associations and professional networks. Your organization exists to bring people together for learning, development, and growth. But before you can create a space where ideas flourish and collaborations thrive, you have to identify the right strategy and the right tech platform to make it happen.

As you start your search for a community platform, the number of options may seem overwhelming. With each boasting unique features and benefits, getting lost in the sea of choices is easy. However, there's a crucial starting point that often gets overlooked: defining your community's purpose.

Defining Your Community "Why"

The first step in building your community is to find your "why." This involves clarifying the purpose behind its existence—who you aim to engage, what you seek to empower them to do, and why the community matters.

One way to define your "why" is with this simple framework: 

"We enable [who] to [do what] so that [why]." 

This formula can help you guide your community's direction and shape its identity. Using it to establish your purpose lays the foundation for a strategic approach to community building. It will inform your platform selection process and ensure your community resonates authentically with members.

Types of Community Platforms

Community platforms today offer an array of features and functionality that cater to different needs and preferences. Understanding the different types of platforms available can help you choose the one that aligns with your community "why" and meets your members' needs.

Here are some of the most common types of community platforms:


In today's competitive landscape, each type of community platform offers unique features and tools for client success. Forj is purpose-built for associations and professional networks. Our solution aligns the member experience with your community purpose, enabling your members to engage, learn, and grow.

Take a deeper dive into the considerations for selecting an online community platform by downloading our free Buyer's Guide: How to Select Your Online Community Platform.


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