A program for deep connection.

Nearness offers multi-week programs of small-group conversation that are structured to help college campuses, religious communities, and other organizations connect their people around deep, meaningful topics.

Current projects include a program of peer support for elected officials from across the country, including a variety of state senators and city council members, and a project with the Henry Luce Foundation in support of spiritual podcasters.

Working with Nearness was immeasurably fruitful—and fun! They are expert collaborators and know how relationships can flourish. It is not too much to say that every organization would benefit greatly from engaging them.

Rev. Dr. Blair Thompson, Wesleyan Impact Partners

I loved the intentional hours in my week where I prioritized my own journey, so I couldn’t wait to share it with my community.

Lloyd Vogel, CEO of Garage Grown Gear
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Here’s how it works

Nearness creates 6- to 10-week programs designed around a topic relevant to your community. Weekly small-group gatherings take place as a series of Zoom calls, during which participants walk through conversation starters, readings, and exercises that have been developed by experts in spirituality, connection, and psychology.

A written discussion and activity guide helps participants take turns leading the group, keeping time so that everyone has the opportunity to contribute.

Nearness gatherings each follow a five-part structure:

Be Present

Take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders. Settle into silence.

Commit to Kindness

Read aloud the Agreements: the perfect tool for collective intention-setting.

Reflect Deeply

Journal with heart-expanding reflection prompts.

Offer Gratitude

Rediscover your faith in humanity. Reconnect with your deepest self.

Share and Listen

Feel seen and validated as you share. Experience deep connection as you listen.

When Nearness partners with a community, we develop custom content to match this proven structure.

A black and white headshot of Rachel H., a white woman with shoulder length dark hair

The connection and support from my small group was so much more than I expected! An experience of diving below the surface to have real, vulnerable encounters.

Rachel h., partner participant

What you’ll get

Nearness is a great fit for any organization wanting to connect its network or community. Our 6-10 week programs build real relationships that help people feel deeply connected.

  • We offer two models for partnership. The first is a fully customized journey—with adapted content, community agreements, and evaluation. 
  • The second invites partner members to participate in one of our established Nearness journeys on topics from Letting Go, Connecting With Nature, to Navigating Transition.

We’ve piloted various partnership models, and we’re gearing up to launch three exciting partnerships in the coming months:

  • A network of young elected officials seeking deep connection with peers.
  • A small-group program for caregivers of older adults with memory issues.
  • Progressive campus ministries across 5-10 colleges in the Midwest.
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What We're Looking For

  • Campuses and religious organizations looking to connect their people.
  • Large nonprofits wanting to build community among their members

NPS = 67

Net Promoter Score on a range from -100 to +100. According to the creators of the Net Promoter Score, anything over 50 is considered "excellent."


of participants who begin a journey complete it


of participants sign up for a follow-on journey

Ready to help your community connect? Tell us more!

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frequently asked questions

What is Nearness?

Nearness is a 10-week program (running from February 12 to April 15) that takes place as a series of Zoom calls. You'll be matched into a small group of 6-7 people by complimentary interests and backgrounds, and you’ll walk through exercises that have been developed by experts in psychology, connection, and personal growth. A discussion and activity guide helps you and your fellow participants take turns hosting the conversation, keeping time so that everyone has the opportunity to contribute. 

Who’s leading this project?

Nearness is created by a growing team of community-builders, facilitators, and program designers.

Co-Founder and CEO Alec Gewirtz is an expert on human connection and spirituality. He's led the design and execution of thousands of small-group conversations, and his work has been featured on BBC and in The Atlantic. A graduate of Princeton University and a former Fulbright Research Scholar at The University of Toronto, he lives in New York City.

The Nearness was formerly co-led by Co-Founder Casper ter Kuile, now Director of Special Projects, who is the author of The Power of Ritual, a former Harvard Divinity School Innovation Fellow, the co-founder of research and design firm Sacred Design Lab, and the co-creator of podcasts Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and The Real Question. He lives with his husband in Brooklyn, NY.

Is this experience only in English?

Nearness is just in English for now—but with a number of participants for whom English is their second language. In the future we hope to have Nearness groups in many different languages!

What is your privacy policy?

The only data Nearness collects is from your intake form, which we keep safe and secure, and for our own use only. We will never share this information.

Nearness uses Mighty Networks as our community platform. You can read their robust privacy policy here.

I have more questions!

Great. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions at hello@nearness.coop!

Nearness, all rights reserved.