I used to be active in the Toast Masters. One of the first lessons they emphasize in public speaking is "Know your audience." This is the only way to deliver a message that the listener will hear, understand and respond to. The exact same thing is true of teaching. The way you design a lesson for a 5 year old is very different from the way you design the same lesson for a 16 year old. So, the driving force behind and kind of an interpersonal plan of action is knowing what people want to achieve and what they want to avoid. When it comes to community building, then, it is important to analyze who you're talking to and what they want so that you can correctly prioritize THEIR needs. This will enable you to design a strategy that serves your community better. Here, let me emphasize that the definition of success is ACTION. What exactly do you want the people do DO?
Know The Competition
You probably don't think of it this way, but when you invite people to participate in community activities, you're entering into direct competition with everything else they could be doing at that same time. Think about the last time somebody invited you to an event. If you're like most people, you probably thought about the cost, the time involved, as well as your relationship with the person who invited you, not to mention your relationship to the other people who might be present at the event. The more clearly you can understand these kinds of dynamics, the easier it will be to look at your community service from your community's actual point of view. They have options. Why should they include your event as a viable option?
Define the Ideal
"What's in it for me?" Before you invite people to participate in your events and activities, think about the incentives, from their perspectives. If you don't know, ask. Most people are willing to share what they want if you can ask the right questions AND you're willing to listen. Whatever you do, avoid the mistake of thinking everybody is motivated by the same things. Even if you have some great ideas about what people are looking for or trying to avoid, it will help you formulate multiple choice questions to find out which ones are MOST important to your audience.
What should you do first? This can be especially challenging in a community setting, which tends to be less structured than a corporate or institutional setting. Where you start depends on a lot of variables. I think that the most important variable is the trust level of the group. If you're dealing with people who have an extensive history, then it might make sense to take greater risks. But if you're dealing with a newly formed group, definitely reach for the "low-hanging fruit" and do things that will likely result in easy successes.
Learn more about how to organize activities in your community in my book, OLA16.