Impact Centers and Onboarding Process

Impact Centers and Onboarding process

What is an impact center? How to identify potential?

To be able to understand our Onboarding process, first we need to get around the concept of Impact center. We define it as a land based project that offers individual transformation, regenerative living education and strives to leave a positive local impact. An impact center could be an ecovillage, organic farm, yoga retreat center, biodiversity conservation project or even a hostel, as long as they meet the criteria:

  • Earth Care: Their emphasis is on the whole-system sustainability and/or holistic health & well- being.

  • Education: Provides retreats, workshops, courses and/or work-exchange or volunteering.

  • Accommodation: Has the capacity to host individuals on- site for short or long term stays, the key is the educational engagement on the ground.

For example; "Pueblos Mancomunados" in Oaxaca is an alliance of 8 autonomous indigenous villages that have an ecotourism company called "Expediciones Sierra Norte". They have adobe-built lodges in each village, and their guides took us from village to village, explaining the plant life, the culture, history, and significant sites along the way. This could be classify as a (large!) impact center, because they are providing educational engagement and accommodation (not to mention home-grown food from their own farms!). If it's a homestay without the educational component, it's easy to define as not an impact center. If it's just a nature tour, it's a bit of a stretch, but if there is some cultural education involved (local native plants, history, food, etc.), especially related to local indigenous techniques of self-sufficiency and survival, then I'd say let's go for it full force.You could also find projects related to social justice, biodiversity conservation, permaculture, sisterhood, gender equality, animal sanctuary, etc. If they are able to provide stays, do educational work, and or show alternatives ways of sustainable - regenerational living to their communities, then they are in!

The Onboarding process

As you know now, one of the main tasks that the ambassador performs is the Onboarding of centers. This is one of the favorite positions, because it allows you to travel, connect to projects, build your own network, and the satisfaction of giving guidance to a center and learn from their different realities.

In this section we are going to learn more about the details and phases of the Onboarding process; how you approach a center, how is the flow; and what are the tools available for me to do it.

To start you need to know that NuMundo has been built in 2 stages; the first one was more like a directory of centers, where the projects could create the center profile and get the visibility from the platform. NuMundo now has accomplished the second stage of the project; launching the booking tool, so there are currently 2 types of centers in the platform:

  1. Centers that have only a center profile

  2. Centers that have the center profile and stays or/ and events listed and ready to be booked

The objectives that the Onboarding process pursue in this moment is to bring more centers to the platform and inform and help to the centers that have only the center profile to list their events, courses, work trade, volunteer positions and stays.

Only when the center lists experiences, travelers will be able to book through the platform, and this center will contribute with the NuMundo project sustainability. So, it is really important to encourage that that all the centers to have their profile complete, including the listing.

The center profile creation and listing is free so they get visibility from day one; only when a booking happens, the credit card and administrative fee apply.

The Onboarding flow:

The process of Onboarding can be perceived as a circular flow and include several steps. We pursue the creation of a relationship of trust between center and the representative (Ambassador) from the moment of the first contact to the feedback and follow up. You will be the link between their needs and the solutions that NuMundo and the network can offer, and therefore achieve mutual growth.

  1. Research: Research the center you plan to onboard or the lead that has been assigned to you, make sure they fulfill the requirements, look for information online, on social media, comment in their FB, like and/or share their post if you feel like, read their blog, etc.It is a good way to kick things off, make your name be familiar to them and show them you know who they are and you care about what they are doing.

  2. Connect: One of the things that will determine the way of approaching, is if you know this project and if you are or not in the area. You can call them up, write a follow up mail, or set a visit. Below you will find templates you can use and personalize according the situation. This step is critical, and will be crucial to prepare the call and visit.

Here are some tips that have worked for us:

  • Design a framework: While studying this guide, you also may want to write your own script or summary. The important thing is that you understand the steps and visualize the optimal flow, so you can inspire the centers to move forward. At this stage, you can prepare questions for each center based on needs / struggles that you identify.

  • Create the right mindset: Be confident in yourself, open, friendly and helpful. When you open a conversation, be careful; respect the space of the other, and above all listen.

  • Leave plenty of time: I actually feel guilty about writing this point, because sometimes we want to make good use of the time and try to visit as many centers as we can when we are traveling. But assuming that everyone has the time to talk to a stranger, or have the connection to reply to an email within a certain time, or engage with a long conversation on the phone with the daily administrative and field work is just something we need to be flexible about. So, this is about perseverance building the relationship, trust and spaces. When that happens, you connect and help, it is worth the wait.

  • Listen: and ask, this is the formula to be able to identify the struggles and connect.

You can Practice the Art of Compassionate Questioning and listening that we review in the guide Sales, Skills training for free spirits(1).

A good enrollment conversation requires depth, and you need time to connect and go deep. You also need to leave enough time at the end to propose your services if it turns out they are a fit. Same if you visit, so you know everything is related.

  1. Guidance: After you connect, ask, listen, you may know a lot more about the needs and struggles that the center is facing. To be able to help and visualize solutions, you need to know the products and the benefits that belonging to NuMundo and its network is going to offer them.This charity will help you to map solutions and alternatives, if in some moment you don’t remember the details or you have certain doubts about the information, you can always take notes and send a mail later to the center after asking the ambassador team for support.

  2. Onboarding: Profile Creation and listing, this phase is about giving guidance regarding the setup of the profile and the listing, this include stays, work trade positions, events, etc. The level of guidance that you will give exclusively depends of the digital skills that the center’s manager or owner has, since the website is pretty intuitive. The idea is that they will able to administrate the profile after you help them to set it up, so it will be good if you can work on it while you visit. Otherwise, you can ask them to work on the information, and set it up on the phone or by mail, the process is longer this way but it gives you some time to check and work in an attractive redaction, photo edition and translation. We are encouraging to set the profile in Spanish as well, that way we can reach latino American travelers and centers.

You can practice in check the information that is neededProfile creation and listing guideline for center profile and listing(2) (EN) and inSpanish(3)

  1. Resources: After you set the profile or when you are making the follow up or recontact them, you can also share additional information that can be related to their current needs:

  2. NuMundo badges(website link buttons)

  3. NuMundo Promotions

  4. NuMundo Blog post

  5. Information regarding NuMundo centers that share the same interest or pain

  6. Additional from your own resources and Networking

You also can ask the center manager if they are willing to contribute with information regarding their path as center’s founder - manager, NuMundo’s blog, Transformational Times would like to begin using our media outlet as an open source platform of knowledge sharing between Impact Centers.

If they want to contribute with their knowledge, and write or give interviews about specific topics for community, project or land regeneration, you can write the information down in the Center Founder Blog Contributors.

  1. Feedback: We believe that no process is finished without learning. In this case, the experience from our user, below you will find the forms to upload and report of your experience and the center’s owner’s perception.You can also tell us about the training material and the space of support you found in the core team. Without feedback, we really don’t know if the effort is working, what we need to improve, etc. So please don’t hesitate to send us a report of your connections or if you find opportunities for improvement.

  2. Follow up: Yep, this is real friendship, it could be a plant too. The thing is that if you don't give attention or you don't water your plant, the relationship will be hard to maintain alive. So yes, when we onboard, we keep checking on the center and their advances, we also want to know their perception, experience, if they have received visitors through NuMundo, etc. That way we keep learning about their need and how we can help them and connect them to resources. So please keep an eye on them and keep us in the loop too

Thank you for taking the time to learn about NuMundo's Ambassador Program! You are a pivotal part of this ecosystem! If you have any questions or feel like we left something out, please contact or your Regional Ambassador.

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