ICMA / Knowledge Network / Help / Groups / Types

Types of Groups

Groups help Knowledge Network users connect with ICMA members, discuss a shared interest, or collaborate on a project. Learn more about types of groups and group privacy settings.

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Who Uses Groups?

Types of Groups

  • Open, Closed, Hidden
  • Pre-approval and Linked Groups
  • Group Type Comparison Table


Who uses groups?

Groups are one of the primary ways for local government professionals to interact on the Knowledge Network. They allow discussion among members, a shared calendar and files, and more. Learn more about how to use groups and their features.

Knowledge Network users have created groups for several different purposes.

  • Membership groups are the main space for members of ICMA, the Alliance for Innovation, or related organizations to connect.
  • Common interest groups allow group members to discuss issues like smart growth or citizen engagement.
  • Geographic groups help professionals in the same state or region to connect.
  • Project groups allow collaboration between members of a project team or committee.
  • Other groups are created to meet the unique needs of their members!


Types of Groups

Since groups are formed for different purposes, the Knowledge Network has three types of groups with different levels of privacy.

  • Open groups appear in group lists to all users. Discussions and the member director in open groups are visible to all users, but only members can view questions, files, and other group content. Anyone can join an open group with one click.
  • Closed groups also appear in group lists to all users, but only group members can see discussions. Other group content is also limited to members only. Users who are pre-approved can join a closed group with one click. Other users can ask to join a closed group, and the request goes to a group moderator for approval.
  • Hidden groups function much like closed groups, except only group members can see them in group lists. Users can only join hidden groups with an invitation from a group moderator.

See the comparison table below for more detail on user permissions in different types of groups.

Pre-approval and linked groups

In some groups, members can be pre-approved, or membership can be linked to an external list.

Pre-approval - Some users are pre-approved for certain closed or hidden groups, which means that they can click to join immediately instead of asking for permission. For example, all ICMA members are pre-approved for the Small Communities group.

Linked Groups - Some groups, like those for ICMA board members and special committees, are linked to lists in the ICMA membership database. Only ICMA staff can add or remove people in these groups, so you won't find a button to "Join this group" on the group page. If you're not in a certain group but think you should be, contact the appropriate ICMA staff person.

Group Type Comparison Table

Group Permissions


Learn more about

Return to the Knowledge Network User Guide.

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