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Building community, one invitation at a time

Written by Alice Skeats

Nextdoor is unique in that it connects people based on proximity, not preference. The result is an emerging form of social infrastructure that unites people who might not otherwise know one another to embrace empathy, increase safety, and get things done.

As a result, neighbours worldwide are turning to Nextdoor every day to find trusted, useful, and relevant local information to address their daily needs, form relationships in the real world, and build safer, happier places to call home. To enable this, neighbour-to-neighbour invitation letters have been an important way for neighbours to connect and build their community from the beginning. 

Why does Nextdoor send invitation letters?

When Nextdoor was first introduced, our early members came to us eager for a way to invite both the neighbours they knew and neighbours they didn’t. They suggested a letter that they could simply pop through their neighbours letterbox, and so we made one just for them. They were so well received by neighbours, we decided to build this into Nextdoor so that all of our members could invite their neighbours to join their Nextdoor neighbourhood for free. Today, you can choose to invite your neighbours to the platform through invitation letters. With each and every member’s permission, these letters are sent out by Nextdoor on behalf of the member and fulfilled by the Royal Mail. 

The importance of invitation letters

Thriving communities are built by reaching out to neighbours we don’t know and inviting them to build a stronger community together. Research shows 73% of people in Britain don’t know the names of their neighbours, however, the overwhelming majority of British people (69%) crave a sense of community, believing that it would make where they live friendlier and help neighbours feel safer. And so we were thrilled that our early members wanted to make new connections and that they actively requested a better way to do it. 

Each week, thousands of Nextdoor members choose to send invitations to their neighbours to build community in their local neighbourhood. In fact, we commonly hear from neighbours who have used up their quota of invitations and want to request more. 

Martin Chambers from Kent, a Nextdoor member and Lead for nearly three years, continues to find the invite system really helpful to build community in his neighbourhood. “Being able to send out postal invites to my neighbours has been a really great way for me to make new connections and strengthen my community. I use Nextdoor for a number of purposes, but one of the main uses is to keep my neighbours in the know with crime and safety updates as part of our Neighbourhood Watch scheme. If it wasn’t for the free invitations, I wouldn’t have been able to grow my Nextdoor neighbourhood to where it is today; where one out of two households are on Nextdoor and growing every day.”  

An invitation you can trust

Nextdoor is built on trust. By requiring members to use their real name and verified address, we can ensure that all conversations and interactions on the platform are between you and your true neighbours, creating trust and mutual accountability. Additionally, invitation letters can only be sent from verified Nextdoor members and every single invitation is sent with members’ permission. We provide detailed information about what appears on our letter invite, which includes your name, your street name, and information about your local community. We work closely with the Royal Mail who deliver the invitations to neighbours.

We value our members’ feedback and always encourage you to contact us directly with any questions you have about the neighbour-to-neighbour invite process. At Nextdoor, we strive to provide a platform that will motivate you to reach out to those around you and to take the necessary steps to build stronger, real world connections among your local communities. In the words of one of our members: “you might just meet someone wonderful.” 

I sat down with Nextdoor’s UK Head of Community, Roisin O’Neill, to find out some of the most asked questions about our invitation letters.

I don’t know the neighbour on my invitation letter, is this letter really from them?

Yes, this letter is a neighbour-to-neighbour invitation. Your neighbour has chosen to invite your household to Nextdoor and with the member’s permission, we’ve sent the letter on their behalf, which has been delivered to you by the Royal Mail. Because every neighbour must first verify their address to become a member, you will only find people on Nextdoor who actually live in your area.

I’ve run out of invitation letters to send, can I request more?

If neighbours join Nextdoor thanks to your invitation, you will receive more invites to send. Of course, you can still invite people to join via email. If you would like more postal invitations to send out, then contact the Nextdoor Support Team here.

I have accidentally clicked to send out invitation letters, how can I cancel them?

If you have accidentally chosen to send out invitation letters and have changed your mind, please contact our Support Team here.

My neighbour has received an invitation from me, but I don’t remember sending it. What’s happened?

Every single invitation that is sent to neighbours on behalf of a member by Nextdoor is done with their permission. To make connecting with neighbours to build community easier for you, we work with the Royal Mail to post these invitations out on your behalf and for free. As a member of Nextdoor, you can choose to send invitation letters to your neighbours. You will be asked when you first sign up whether you wish to send out invitations to your neighbourhood. If neighbours join Nextdoor thanks to your invitation, we may also email you with bonus invitations. The invitation contains the name and street name of the sender so that your neighbours know who this invitation is from. If you’d like to find out more, you can contact our Support Team here

If you have a question for our Support Team you can get in touch with them here

1 Comment

  • This is a great article Alice. It explains clearly how the invitation letters work and answers all of the common questions that neighbours ask or get concerned about.

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