Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

Featured in this Story of Awesome: Beyond Type 1

rocket

Launched May 2016

hands

54,000+ Members

money-bag

Free Community

Beyond Type 1 is a free, public community for people impacted by Type 1 diabetes that allows people impacted by TD1 to ask questions, share successes, and vent in a safe and respectful space.


Its sister site, Beyond Type 2 is a free, private community for those impacted by Type 2 diabetes, where they can share their stories, connect one another, and find resources on topics from daily management to mental health.


The Spark: Founded in 2015, Beyond Type 1 began as a nonprofit organization with one goal in mind: Changing what it means to live with diabetes. In 2021, the team expanded with another Mighty Network, Beyond Type 2, to give the same resources to those affected by Type 2 diabetes. 


Dana & Tiana’s Mighty Moment:Something I’ve learned from working with Beyond Type1 is the ways in which the experience of living with Type 1 diabetes is shared, and the ways that everybody’s experience is different. And that’s something we spend a lot of time working with within our community: Fostering a space that teaches people that lesson.”

Both Dana Howe and Tiana Cooks live with Type 1 diabetes. And they’re both passionate about fostering a community for people living with or impacted by diabetes, and helping those people live well, now.


And with Beyond Type 1, they’ve done just that.


As a nonprofit organization, Beyond Type 1 is dedicated to funding advocacy, diabetes education, and cure research. But with their community program—hosted via Mighty Pro—the company has been able to reach out directly to those affected by diabetes, and offer them a sense of support in a dedicated, safe space.


We chatted with Dana—who formerly worked as Beyond Type 1’s Chief of Staff and Communications Lead—and Tiana—Beyond Type 1’s Community Manager—about the impact of the Beyond Type 1 community, their most recent venture, Beyond Type 2, and what it’s like managing a free community of over 50,000 people. Hint: It takes teamwork to make the dream work.



How did Beyond Type 1 and Beyond Type 2 come about?


Dana: Beyond Type 1 launched in 2015 to fill a gap in the diabetes patient advocacy organization landscape. We help people live well now, whether it’s through connecting with others or practical programs that might meet an immediate need, like insulin affordability. We do a program for college scholarships, we connect people with pen pals if they’re not online. It’s really focused on the question of, “How can we make you feel more connected, but also solve some practical problems?”


So our roots as an organization started with Type 1, but we quickly realized that gap about helping people live well now, it’s there for people with Type 2 diabetes as well. So earlier this year, we launched Beyond Type 2, and we’re working to build our offerings and resources there. 


Beyond Type 1 was established way back in 2016. How did you approach creating the space for Beyond Type 2?


Dana: We’ve been running Beyond Type 2 as a publishing platform on social media for two years now. So, we had already learned a little bit about what works for a Type 2 community, and we have staff dedicated on the Type 2 side. We took the blueprint of the Beyond Type 1 network and worked with that part of our team to say, “What here makes sense for the Type 2 audience, and what do we need to change?”



“We aren’t just trying to grow a community. We’re trying to change the way people are thinking about diagnosis.”



One big thing we decided to change was that our Beyond Type 2 app is a private network. And our Beyond Type 1 app is not. That’s because we’re going into this with the intention of trying to create a safe space to talk about Type 2 diabetes, which we know is even more sensitive than talking about Type 1. There’s a lot more stigma. It’s really different. But we aren’t just trying to grow a community. We’re trying to change the way people are thinking about diagnosis. 


Both of these communities are just one part of the overall work your nonprofit does. How do they fit in with everything else your organization is doing?


Dana: A cool throughline that we’ve created from our community to other parts of our business is using the polls and questions feature to do some really quick temp checking on community issues or ideas before meetings with another non-profit, where we’re going to talk about game planning for X. 


Let’s say we’re game planning for what content we’re going to build together on going back to school with a new Type 1 diagnosis. We will sometimes strategically say, “What’s a couple of quick polls questions we could pop up in the app to help inform that?” We’re not doing a big, heavy lift, market research survey. We are just going to get a temperature check and get some cool comments and input to go help inform that discussion that we’re about to have in a business meeting session with content, talking content strategy for our website.


But it’s been a really, really cool way for us to direct our content strategy, but also to reinforce the power of being connected to the community in this way. It has really wowed some of our partners for us to be able to say, well, we just popped up a poll and we got 400 responses, and 80% of people said that this is their biggest challenge this year going back to school. And just having access to that kind of groupthink is so powerful. It makes us better at the other things we do, too.



Your community is pretty sizable — you’ve got over 50,000 people in Beyond Type 1 and nearly 500 people in Beyond Type 2. How do you manage that many people?


Tiana: When it comes to moderating, that number does make it a little bit more tricky, because there’s more that we have to look out for. But we have our guidelines. And if anything violates our guidelines, we usually do get reports. And that’s just because we have a few people on the app that are very dedicated to reporting stuff when they see it, flagging things. 


Dana: Our number one featured post is some guidelines for acceptable posts, but also guidelines for when to flag something. We’ve really leaned on that to be able to always say, “Hey, if you see anything, please flag it.” And we do our best to make those guidelines super prominent and really clear, and we keep adding to it. So, for example, if we just keep having situations come up around politics, we’ll add a bullet point [in the guidelines] that makes it really clear that we’re not talking about that. That’s been super helpful.


What has been the biggest surprise since you launched your community?


Tiana: I think the biggest surprise has been the organic growth and the organic conversations that have been happening. It’s been really cool just to watch everybody interact with one another. And it’s been really hands-off for the most part, on our end, even for the Beyond Type 2 app which we launched [much more recently]. Two weeks in, people were already in there, communicating with each other, and being like, “Wow, I really needed this space. I really needed a platform to come and connect with other people with Type 2.” 


Dana: Another lovely thing that has come out of it, has been the way that people are connecting across identities, certainly in the Beyond Type 1 app. Tiana and I were looking at examples before this, and we were talking about one where a teenager posted their perspective and shared the specific challenges of being a teenager withType 1 diabetes. And a bunch of the comments on that post were from parents of four and five years old, who are like, “Wow. I have been so concerned about the future of my child’s diabetes because I know it gets more complicated when you’re a teenager, and that freedom, navigating care. It’s a really challenging time.” 



“Watching people learn from each other—not just teens to teens and parents to parents, but across identities—has been super powerful.”



Seeing that, watching people learn from each other—not just teens to teens and parents to parents, but across identities—has been super powerful. Especially because I don’t think there’s a lot of places IRL where those kinds of connections can happen. 


What’s next for Beyond Type 1 and Beyond Type 2?


Dana: We have lots of plans as an organization. On the community front, our focus for a while here is going to be on the Beyond Type 2 community and trying to grow the Beyond Type 2 community. We as an organization are trying to be part of a sea change in how people with Type 2 diabetes think about their diagnosis. We are trying to help create a shared vocabulary, and help people understand the power of connecting with other people with type 2 diabetes. And we think that our private community can be a part of that.


Explore Mighty Pro for your own brand


Beyond Type 1 and Beyond Type 2 use Mighty Pro to run their communities. With Mighty Pro, you bring your brand’s community, content, events & conferences, videos & live streaming, online courses, memberships, and payments together into beautifully branded native apps that you own and control.

Read More Stories of Awesome

Mind Cake Vault is showing aspiring cake pop connoisseurs just how sweet the treat business can be

Mind Cake Vault is showing aspiring cake pop connoisseurs just how sweet the treat business can be

Introducing the GUILD, a five-figure membership for women entrepreneurs that’s evening the odds

Introducing the GUILD, a five-figure membership for women entrepreneurs that’s evening the odds

How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours

How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours

Delivering a bright, new future for 3,200 birth workers and birthing women

Delivering a bright, new future for 3,200 birth workers and birthing women

How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veterinarians from scratch

How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veterinarians from scratch

Tuft stuff: This free community for fiber enthusiasts is teaching over 6,500 members the ins and outs of tufting

Tuft stuff: This free community for fiber enthusiasts is teaching over 6,500 members the ins and outs of tufting

How a platform for creatives, by creatives brought together 1,700+ members around the globe

How a platform for creatives, by creatives brought together 1,700+ members around the globe

How Elizabeth DiAlto built a five-figure membership business teaching women to feel their feels

How Elizabeth DiAlto built a five-figure membership business teaching women to feel their feels

How this community is empowering 1,500 Black parent entrepreneurs to build a lasting legacy for their children

How this community is empowering 1,500 Black parent entrepreneurs to build a lasting legacy for their children

 How The Self Care Space launched their health & wellness brand with Mighty Pro

How The Self Care Space launched their health & wellness brand with Mighty Pro

How two therapists built a community to get at the root of eating disorders

How two therapists built a community to get at the root of eating disorders

How Tara McMullin pioneered virtual conferences and built a flourishing paid membership for small business owners

How Tara McMullin pioneered virtual conferences and built a flourishing paid membership for small business owners

This premium coaching program for therapists went from passion project to 9,000 members strong

This premium coaching program for therapists went from passion project to 9,000 members strong

How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business

How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business

How Martinus Evans' Slow AF Run Club made $140,000 in his first year

How Martinus Evans' Slow AF Run Club made $140,000 in his first year

How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school

How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school

Here's how esthetician Christine Byer launched a five-figure beauty membership in two weeks

Here's how esthetician Christine Byer launched a five-figure beauty membership in two weeks

How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community

How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community

Here’s how Ashley Fox launched The Wealth Builders Community and generated over $100,000 in her first two weeks

Here’s how Ashley Fox launched The Wealth Builders Community and generated over $100,000 in her first two weeks

Strength in numbers: Here’s how PLANTSTRONG consolidated its offering and built a six-figure community with nearly 20,000 members

Strength in numbers: Here’s how PLANTSTRONG consolidated its offering and built a six-figure community with nearly 20,000 members

LEAVE YOUR MARK community is teaching young professionals how to build their brand and crush their career goals

LEAVE YOUR MARK community is teaching young professionals how to build their brand and crush their career goals

Money, millennial style: How Financial University doubled its members in a year

Money, millennial style: How Financial University doubled its members in a year

From brick and mortar to digital membership: How Topstitch Makers grew a five-figure virtual business in less than a year

From brick and mortar to digital membership: How Topstitch Makers grew a five-figure virtual business in less than a year

In the Cut is demystifying the entertainment industry for over 1,700 Black creatives

In the Cut is demystifying the entertainment industry for over 1,700 Black creatives

Liberated Being brings together spirituality skeptics to learn embodiment practices

Liberated Being brings together spirituality skeptics to learn embodiment practices

How Emily Thompson built a five-figure membership to help creative entrepreneurs make moves

How Emily Thompson built a five-figure membership to help creative entrepreneurs make moves

Nurses Inspire Nurses is providing a safe space for over 1,500 nurses to connect and share their experiences

Nurses Inspire Nurses is providing a safe space for over 1,500 nurses to connect and share their experiences

Meet the social worker who built a five-figure paid membership helping adults with ADHD

Meet the social worker who built a five-figure paid membership helping adults with ADHD

How Qpractice's cohort-based courses are giving interior designers the confidence to ace their exams

How Qpractice's cohort-based courses are giving interior designers the confidence to ace their exams

With Goddess Council, Cat Lantigua is making the real world a little less lonely

With Goddess Council, Cat Lantigua is making the real world a little less lonely

Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

Sktchy Art School is creating a sanctuary for 18,700 portrait artists

Sktchy Art School is creating a sanctuary for 18,700 portrait artists

This sound engineer created a micro community dedicated to the craft of audio for live events

This sound engineer created a micro community dedicated to the craft of audio for live events

This is Octo Members, a private membership home to over 2,000 UK finance professionals

This is Octo Members, a private membership home to over 2,000 UK finance professionals

How a membership dedicated to women traveling solo found a way to flourish during stay-at-home orders—to the tune of 2,900 members

How a membership dedicated to women traveling solo found a way to flourish during stay-at-home orders—to the tune of 2,900 members

This cartoonist created a five-figure membership site to stop artists from procrastinating

This cartoonist created a five-figure membership site to stop artists from procrastinating

With Youth Ministry Booster, Zac Workun created a five-figure membership to help youth pastors feel less isolated

With Youth Ministry Booster, Zac Workun created a five-figure membership to help youth pastors feel less isolated

How Teach Music Online grew from a $500 course to a five-figure membership business

How Teach Music Online grew from a $500 course to a five-figure membership business

How marketing maven Trish Martin tripled her community in five months

How marketing maven Trish Martin tripled her community in five months

This visual note-taker combined courses and membership for a five-figure business

This visual note-taker combined courses and membership for a five-figure business

No perfect parents: This couple created a membership site for families to build compassionate connections

No perfect parents: This couple created a membership site for families to build compassionate connections

Find your niche: This membership site brings holistic equestrians together

Find your niche: This membership site brings holistic equestrians together

In the Mix: Meet the brother-sister duo creating a flourishing community for over 7,700 artists

In the Mix: Meet the brother-sister duo creating a flourishing community for over 7,700 artists

There’s another path to financial freedom and Wealth Without Wall Street is showing all 4,500 of its members the way

There’s another path to financial freedom and Wealth Without Wall Street is showing all 4,500 of its members the way

The duo behind this paid membership site is guiding over 7,800 passionate dog owners on how to train their pets

The duo behind this paid membership site is guiding over 7,800 passionate dog owners on how to train their pets

This community of womxn visual artists used mastermind groups to build a five-figure business

This community of womxn visual artists used mastermind groups to build a five-figure business

How two creators transformed their community from tech headache to six-figure network

How two creators transformed their community from tech headache to six-figure network

Meet the community that’s making the outdoors fun again for over 2,000 members

Meet the community that’s making the outdoors fun again for over 2,000 members

This psychologist forged connections for 6,500 people in the middle of a pandemic

This psychologist forged connections for 6,500 people in the middle of a pandemic

How Luvvie Ajayi Jones creates an intimate, safe space for over 14K members

How Luvvie Ajayi Jones creates an intimate, safe space for over 14K members

Welcome to the Academy to Innovate HR, a course community home to 7,300 professionals

Welcome to the Academy to Innovate HR, a course community home to 7,300 professionals

Ryder Carroll built a five-figure membership business teaching people about the organizational power of bullet journaling

Ryder Carroll built a five-figure membership business teaching people about the organizational power of bullet journaling

Creating space: The Circle by Black Girl in Om made a five-figure membership centering Black women and holistic living

Creating space: The Circle by Black Girl in Om made a five-figure membership centering Black women and holistic living

The eXd Community is on a mission to help over 900 educators design an equitable new world

The eXd Community is on a mission to help over 900 educators design an equitable new world

This community of legal professionals is showing how anti-racism and technology can change the legal system for good

This community of legal professionals is showing how anti-racism and technology can change the legal system for good

 How a women’s apparel brand built a six-figure membership where runners can get inspired online and IRL

How a women’s apparel brand built a six-figure membership where runners can get inspired online and IRL

How Boston While Black went from hashtag to a five-figure membership business in six months

How Boston While Black went from hashtag to a five-figure membership business in six months

Mighty Networks: where people come for your content, but stay for your community.

Start Your 14-Day Free Trial