Random Acts of Gratitude Clubs

Gratitude_University_00Welcome Students and Churches

Could you and your friends benefit from a little more Gratitude? Chances are the rest of your campus could, too! Here you’ll find all sorts of Gratitude ideas that are perfectly suited for your college or university from exam-time treats to free hugs. And if you really like doing random acts of gratitude, perhaps you should start a Gratitude Club at your school.

10 Steps to Creating a Student Organization or Church Group

So you’re interested in creating a kindness-related student organization? Awesome! That’s great! In order to get you started, we have outlined ten steps below to help you get your group going. Good luck!

1. Make a decision to start the club

Congrats! You have already completed the first step! Now let’s use your interests and ideas to develop your concept a bit more. Take a minute to answer the following questions so you have a more detailed description of what you want your club to be.
• What is your club’s name?

• What is your club’s mission?
» Create a one-sentence mission statement outlining your identity and purpose―who your club is and what you do.

• What do you want to accomplish?

» Different than your purpose/mission, set goals for your club and what you want to accomplish within the near future. We encourage you to be creative and optimistic about what you want to accomplish (specific events, encouraging a kinder culture). In time, these will become concrete and realistic goals.

• What initial resources do you need to succeed?

  • »  In order to make your club everything you want it to be, ask yourself what resources you need to make it happen. Since you’re brand new you will have to make some compromises, let’s differentiate betweena. Necessities – what your club needs to survive; and

    b. Luxuries – what your club wants to make itself better.

  • »  Resources could be tight at the beginning so knowing what is absolutely necessary for yourorganization to survive will make it easier; with this distinction you can form a solid base for your organization and then continue to improve your idea as you get more resources.

2. Talk to your friends

  • Now that you have a better idea of what you want to do, start talking people to gauge interest and to get feedback on your idea. While talking to your peers, find committed members for your club. Anybody could be a potential member! You will need support so always be looking out for ways friends can help.
  • Numerous colleges have a student organization showcase where you can set up a booth
    to recruit. For other universities where this is not an option, ask professors to make announcements before lectures or take a minute at the beginning/end of your class to talk to your peers.
  • Although you definitely want members, remember that not everyone has to be a part of your organization to contribute to it. Even if someone is not in the club, they can still provide helpful resources to your group. You will need supporters and people to spread the word about what you’re doing. Do not be discouraged if some people don’t join, they can come to your events and support you in different ways!

• Talking to people about your club also serves as a preliminary way to begin publicizing for your organization. By sharing your idea you are advertising and spreading the word; that is helpful and useful in its own way.

  1. Hold an interest meeting at your church or school

    • Once you have some people interested and committed, you can host an event or meeting to find more committed members. Hold an interest meeting on campus to recruit people to your group. This is a great way to efficiently share your idea with a lot of people and to have a public Q&A to address concerns people have.
    • Similar to Step 2, you want to continue to recruit members to your organization. However,
      a main difference between Step 2 and Step 3 is efficiency. Find a more effective method to spread the word and recruit and use that to get more people informed and committed to your organization. So however you can efficiently recruit members and share your club idea, go for it!
  2. Appoint/Elect officers

    • Now having committed people, you will need to assign responsibilities. The most effective
      way to delegate tasks is based on your club’s mission statement, goals, and needs. Using the answers you have from the questions in Step 1, determine what are the fundamental aspects of your organization. Particularly based on the club’s needs, you should assign different people areas of the group to manage.
    • To clarify, we use the term “assign responsibilities” loosely. Based on the number of members you have, you could either appoint officers or elect officers; do whichever is best for your group at this time.
    • And, along those same lines, be flexible and creative with the responsibilities. If you find someone who is passionate about a certain aspect of your group, encourage them to follow their interests. People are tons more effective when they care about what they’re doing, so if you find someone passionate about doing something within your group, support their passion and creatively find a way they can contribute to your club.
  3. Develop club structure

    • With your officers, you should create an outline of the structure of your organization, if
      you have not done so already. Begin to develop your constitution; you will need an official document to become a recognized organization, to receive funding, and to qualify for other resources provided by your school.
    • Additionally, for sustainability aspects, it is vital for your club to have procedures as to how it operates. Go back to what your club’s goals are and work those into the official documents; think about how you want your group to look and how you want it to operate in the future and include those details in your outline of the club’s structure.
  4. Find an advisor

    • It will be helpful to find someone to provide advice to your group. Talk to your professors, teaching assistants, resident advisors, etc. to find someone that can mentor your club as you continue to develop your ideas.
    • Additionally, many schools actually require student organizations to have an advisor in order to be officially recognized by the university. You should research your school’s specific requirements to make sure.
    • The faculty and staff at your school also have networking connections, which could be useful for your organization. They also have probably been at your college for a few years and should be able to direct you to other people that can help you with your questions, concerns, etc. Having someone to offer suggestions and helpful advice will be incredibly useful for the sustainability of your club. Honestly, even if your school does not require an advisor, we would highly recommend finding a professional at your school to help mentor you and your organization.

7. Register as a club

• The first step will be to check out your school’s office of student life. Meet with the staff there or look on the office’s website to see what requirements your school has in order to make your group official. Colleges have a wide variety of stipulations so find what the specific ones are at your school. As an additional resource, you can also consult our “Club Registration Requirements” document for a list of common requirements we have found at universities across the country.

8. Organize your club’s funds

  • You will need funds in order to sustain your organization. Many schools provide funding either through the student government or through academic departments. Both of these options
    you would have to apply for, so consult your school’s office of student life for specifics of
    what is available at your college. Be aware that most schools do require you to be an official, recognized organization before you receive funding. Also be aware that funding from the school can take a lot of time and they might not give you as much as you ask for, so we recommend you consider other options.
  • Outside of what is available at your school, you can find other funding opportunities in the form of grants or scholarships. Talk with local businesses or community organizations to see if there are funds you can apply for in your city.
  • Besides provided funding, we would encourage your group to fundraise. Be ambitious and find creative ways to raise money for your organization. This is another great way to advertise your group – hold an event or host an event to raise money for your club and to publicize for your organization’s purpose.9. Publicize

• In addition to raising money, you will need to raise awareness. People will not support what they are unfamiliar with. Therefore, publicity and advertising will also be critical to your group’s longevity. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • »  Many schools hold student organization showcases where you can publicize for your group.This is also a great way to recruit new members.
  • »  Besides organized events, flyering and chalking around your school will be a good way toget the word out.
  • »  Ask professors if you can speak for a minute at the beginning/end of a lesson to make anannouncement to your classes.
  • »  Attend other events at your school and make it known which group you’re from. Bysupporting other established groups and participating in well-known activities, you can demonstrate your club while meeting more people and making connections.
  • »  It might go without saying but create a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Social media is becoming the main way people communicate so make sure that you have ways to connect with your members and other interested people in your community. Additionally, this will be a wonderful resource for you to direct people to if they have more questions about your organization.
  • »  Lastly, you’re encouraged to be creative in how you publicize. Think outside the box and most importantly, have fun! You’re starting a kindness-related organization so demonstrate to your school exactly what your club is capable of!
  • »  What is your club’s mission?10. Hold an event
  • Push yourselves to hold an event. Building off the ideas mentioned in Step 9, holding an event is the best way to truly show your campus what your group does. Hosting an event makes the entire activity about you and your purpose; you can more accurately demonstrate how your group contributes to the campus community and why you are important to your school. Contact your college’s newspaper and ask them to cover the event – it’s great (free) publicity for your group!
  • Also, by holding an event, you demonstrate a need for funding. If you provide a service for your school, they will be more likely to support you fiscally.11. Celebrate, assess, and reflect

• This additional step serves as a reminder for you to take some time to celebrate the progress you have made so far and to reflect upon your initial goals, as you outlined in Step 1. Continue to push yourself and your members but take some time to modify your goals and to update them as needed; assess where you have come from and where you want to go… and then go there! You should be proud of what you have accomplished. You’re doing great – keep up the good work!

If at any point during your process, feel free to contact Kids for Gratitude with questions or comments. We support what you are trying to do in creating a kindness-related organization and will be happy to help in whatever way we can. Let us know how you’re doing and what we can do to help you in your development.

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