Successful communities

Find out more about the objectives of IET communities and categories of activity.

What success looks like

Whichever application process a community chooses to work through, the Communities Resourcing Committee (CRC) and Communities Committees (CCs) judge a successful community to be one that is:

  • supporting the charitable objectives of the IET;
  • providing free to attend events and/or free content online to IET members and non-members;
  • delivering value for money/return on investment;
  • acting as an ambassador for the IET;
  • focused on quality not quantity;
  • active, organised and operationally excellent.

Successful applications to the CRC/CCs

Applications are assessed carefully by the CRC or appropriate regional CC.  To give your application the best chance of success think about the following points:

  • Make sure you give the CRC/CC enough information about what you want to do;
  • Make sure you demonstrate that your activity is in line with the objectives of IET communities and therefore something that the committee is able to fund;
  • Show that your community is organised and focused on delivering activity rather than administration and bureaucracy;
  • It may not be possible to give venue or speaker details if applying over a year in advance, but a clear indication of your intention helps the CRC/CC to feel confident;
  • Give the CRC/CC confidence that your activity will be delivered successfully.  If you have had funding from the CRC/CC before they will look at your track record of delivering activities, whether metrics are being submitted, how many members and non-members have been attending events and if the community is operating a bank account have accounts been submitted on time and has expenditure passed audit;
  • Show that your community is sustainable.  If you are a first time applicant try to give the committee confidence that you will be able to deliver your activity with the resources that you are requesting and the volunteers that you have recruited.  If you have had funding from the CRC/CC before show the committee that you are making good use of the resources and tools available to you, that you work well with the staff team and CRC/CC, and that you have enough volunteers to deliver your activity and a succession plan in place if appropriate.

Objectives of IET communities – what should communities deliver?

Silhouettes of people networking in front of a blue view of the globe All IET communities should support the charitable objectives of the IET by providing free to attend events or activities and/or providing free content online; they should all provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, networking and raise awareness of the IET within their audience.

Rather than dictating the specific events that communities should (or should not) be doing, the IET sets objectives for its communities, identifies some basic principles relating to structure and management to help communities organise themselves, and offers some parameters to guide communities in their operations.  The IET is keen to encourage innovative thinking from communities.

Providing essential engineering intelligence is at the heart of the IET strategy, as is engagement with members and the professional community.  The CRC has identified the creation of rich, relevant and accessible content as an important element of IET community activity.  This involves exploring ways to share content from events, and generate new content beyond events.

Categories of community activity

The CRC has identified five categories of community activity, and particularly when applying for funding to deliver a programme of activity it can be helpful to identify which categories different activities fit into.

Public awareness

These activities are designed to excite non-engineers about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and encourage young people to enter the engineering professions.  Examples include:

  • General interest lectures - to attract an audience from a varied range of backgrounds;
  • Hot topic events - public debates or question-time events on STEM subjects;
  • Schools events and science fairs (in the UK schools events must be funded via the Education 5-19 team);
  • Share articles, interviews and use social media to engage with audiences before, during and after events;
  • Filming activities, capturing audience reaction and linking to associated content.


These activities are designed to raise awareness of the IET inside and outside the engineering profession with a view to recruiting more members. Examples include:

  • Fresher’s and Graduation events in universities and colleges;
  • Membership recruitment events;
  • Registration events - to encourage professional registration, this can include high level events to raise awareness and detailed one-to-one workshops;
  • Sponsorship of a non-IET event or an exhibition stand at a conference;
  • Presenting prizes;
  • Social networking - using social media to engage with new audiences.

Young Professionals

These activities are designed to offer professional development opportunities for local engineers and students. Examples include:

  • Lifeskills activities - available in a range of subjects to improve personal presentation and transferable skills;
  • Present Around the World competitions – presentation skills for young people;
  • Share relevant articles, interviews, discussions online.

Engineering / Technical Interest

These activities feature significant technical content likely to be of interest of those with specialist knowledge. Examples include:

  • Conferences and seminars on subjects designed to keep engineers informed of the latest developments in areas of engineering;
  • Technical visits (physical and virtual);
  • Workshops;
  • Panel discussions;
  • Topic summaries - introduction to topics, summaries of debates, discussions and events;
  • Thought leadership articles, interviews and white papers;
  • Social networking - use social networking to engage with audiences before, during and after events;
  • Video content.

Find out information about the different operating models available to IET communities and some things that the IET requires of communities volunteer groups in receipt of funding on our managing money page.