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Get Organized

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Download this chapter (pdf, 354k) YSPP: Get Organized

You have a few people — maybe only a few — with a common goal of wanting to do something about the problem of youth suicide in your community. Your first tasks will be to recruit more people to help, and to create a simple group structure. Take time at the beginning to create a sustainable volunteer organization; it can make all the difference in your success.

In growing your organization, you will look for people with dedication, skills, talents, position, interest and/or community-minded spirit. With more members, you’ll have more hands to share the work you will plan and implement together. You’ll also have more opinions, needs, desires, conflicting schedules and priorities to balance.

This is why it’s smart to establish a few parameters to guide your way, to set up roles and responsibilities and a few guidelines. You can use the brief questions provided to document intentions for the group, or the sample bylaws if you want a more formal structure.

Patience, planning, and listening are three valuable attributes for setting up a new group. There will be paperwork, meetings and decisions to be made, and everything takes longer than you think. Creating an inclusive, fun and efficient setting for your meetings and activities will go a long way to making the experience rewarding for all.

The goal of this section is to:

1.1 Contact new members and potential members

A few suggestions for people to recruit and tools to get started, including:

  • Sample "talking points" for recruitment
  • Sample contact sheet
  • Sample welcome meeting agenda
  • Member questions

1.2 Define Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership is the key component for effective community action. But even a great leader can't do it all alone. Figure out how to spread the workload.

  • Define leadership and other key roles
  • Simple Structure: Ground rules
  • Sample Bylaws

1.3 Meeting Guidelines

Define how you will spend the time you are together to stay efficient and focused.

  • Tips for Effective meetings


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