Basics of Successfully Organizing Your Campus
Organizing a group from your campus for Power Shift NY might sound daunting, but we’ve got a lot of hints to help. Ideally, get a core group of dedicated leaders to focus on recruitment, fundraising, and logistics. With a few people taking on these leadership roles, the three components will go smoothly, and you’ll be in a great position to have a powerful experience at PSNY!
Recruitment: One of the biggest things is getting the word out about PSNY, getting people interested, getting people registered, and getting people to participate! It all comes down to building a buzz, gathering interested people's information, and, super importantly, following up with everyone.
Key recruitment tactics:
- Set a goal – How many people do you want to bring?
- Build a buzz – Use posters, flyers, chalkings – anything to make PSNY really visible.
- Utilize the internet and social media - Promote over facebook and twitter. Use personal e-mails and list-servs. Reach out through departments, professors, and clubs.
- PSNY petitioning – Get a lot of people to sign up. Petition at high-yield places like campus events, dining areas, sympathetic classes, and club meetings. Emphasize the campaign issues. Gather people’s contact information to follow up about events/actions and registration for PSNY.
- Fuse recruitment with meaningful events/actions – Participate in actions on anti-fracking and other issues. Promote them, and use them to promote PSNY.
- Grow campaign involvement and leadership - Bring lots of people into the campaign through petitioning, event planning, logistics, etc. Provide opportunities for people to participate as leaders.
Fundraising: The less it costs people to participate in PSNY, the more who will. Thankfully, most colleges have significant budgets to support student activities – so be sure to ask for funding! You will only get money if you ask for it, and the more you ask for, the more you will get (within reason).
Basic principles of fundraising:
- Base your budget on your goal number of participants – Account for registration fees, transportation, and housing. Transportation costs can include bus or van rentals or gas for carpools
- Don’t be shy about asking for money - You pay student activity fees to fund events like this. Ask for your full budget. It’s better to ask and get less than not get all of the money they’re willing to give.
- Pursue funding from many sources – Don’t be afraid to ask school administrations/presidents, student governments, student activities offices, sustainability offices, and various departments. Start by asking a professor or sustainability coordinator to help you focus your efforts.
- Give them a reason – Why is it in their best interest for you to attend PSNY? Will you host a student leadership development workshop when you come back, present or run a workshop at PSNY, or do something else they would like?
- Show credibility - Use the interest cards you’ve collected to show that a lot of students are interested.
- Begin the fundraising process as soon as possible
Logistics: Whether you’re a large or small group, it’s important to make sure that everyone has transportation to and housing while at PSNY. The more you plan, the easier it will be.
Logistical things to keep in mind:
- Carpool possibilities - Keep track of everyone who registers and if they have a car and would be willing to drive people.
- Stay with friends – See if anyone from your group knows of people they (or more of your group) can stay with in Albany to cut down on costs.
- Keep other commitments in mind – Know when people can leave and when they have to be back for classes or other major commitments.