Organizer Spotlight: Hikers and Company

Shannon Brinkley lost her hiking partner when her sister got pregnant. The two of them used to hike together, but the day her niece entered the world, Shannon realized she needed to expand her hiking circle.

Shannon joined a local hiking Meetup and jumped right in. Within two months, she started leading hikes. Before she knew it, Shannon was leading more hikes than anyone in the Meetup. She was hooked.

In 2010, Shannon decided to start a Meetup of her very own, and Hikers and Company was born. Shannon’s secret with Hikers and Company is her Assistant Organizers – she has 107 of them. When it comes to appointing backup, Shannon has a system. “If you ask me more than two times to lead a hike,” she says, “you’re an Assistant Organizer.” This committed crew allows her to lead more than ten hikes per week, and she appreciates the help, as well as their dedication. “I always tell them, ‘you can quit anytime,’ but they don’t quit.”

It’s clear that Shannon’s members love her Meetup. Last year, she collected hundreds of dollars in totally optional contributions from her members. She doesn’t push contributing on anyone. In fact, she never speaks of them. Instead, her members stumble across them on her Meetup’s homepage and opt to chip in. Meetup’s new contributions feature (available to US-based Organizers on your Group Settings page) is a great way to get started down that path.

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Alex Godin
Alex helps with user research, with a focus on communication and connections within the Meetup community. He's a big fan of the Internet, NYC and weird foods.