A chapter usually starts with 3 to 4 people who believe in the cause of literacy, and usually like to start something and be part of a growing organization. You can send out a summary about ILP to friends, mailing lists inviting people to join the volunteer team.
Usually, the first set of people will need to allocate at least 2 hrs a week to meet (preferably face to face) and then some more time to follow-up on action items. When more volunteers join, distribution of resources can be done and the time commitment stabilizes.
The initial group gets together to internalize the cause of ILP as on our website, presentations/information shared by other ILP chapters and our National Coordinating Committee (NCC) members.
New Chapter Goals for the First Year
A typical new chapter's goals and activities for the first year may include:
- Publicity and Volunteer Sign-ups: Setting up an ILP table at local events (a tabling kit is available for use), making presentations to the Indian/local community specifically requesting people to sign-up as volunteers. The goal may be to get a 10-15 member volunteer team going by the end of the year.
- Understand ILP: All volunteers should review the ILP website as well as gain from information shared by experienced ILP volunteers from other chapters. This is essential to understand more details as you prepare to launch you chapter.
- Be Part of the National Team: Typically, one or two team members can be chosen assigned to be part of the "projects" team. This brings 'expertise' to the local chapter about ILP's projects philosophy, execution strategy, methods etc.
- Organize a Small Event: Organizing a small event like Tennis for Literacy, a musical event, a miniature golf event can provide the much needed impetus for the volunteer team chemistry, recruitment of more volunteers, awareness about ILP, as well as raising some funds. The key is to initiate this only when a quorum of volunteers is available. A wealth of information about organizing events is available with the California and Washington Chapters.
- Ten dollars for Literacy: In the first year, this program can be chosen as the single focused program to raise funds. While it gives the new chapter volunteers a familiarity with ILP, it also helps volunteers with preparing to raise funds by approaching people. Family, friends, colleagues are typically approachable to seek funds no more than $10 per month to educate a mother and a child (More details are at: www.tendollarsforliteracy.org)
- Other fund raising options include:
- Partnering with other foundations/corporations to fund one or more of ILP's projects.
- Approach potential donors who would like to adopt one or more of ILP's projects
- Approach corporations to sponsor events and/or adopt a project.
- These options are better suited to be started in the second year.
The chapter volunteers must create an annual chapter budget and get it approved by the National Coordinating Committee (NCC). Expenses related to the chapter activities will be expensed if they are within the approved budget. The Finance coordinator for the chapter will work closely with the National Finance co-ordinator in preparing budgets, reporting actuals and allocation of funds to projects as identified by the Projects team.
Key Infrastructure Needs
- Creating a chapter mailing list.
- Setting up a chapter specific web page on our website with contacts and initiatives.
- Initiating weekly/monthly/periodic meetings to identify objectives and initiatives, resources (personnel and finance) and report on progres. California (Bay Area) chapter has found that meeting once a month, at a preset date/time really helps, so people can plan their social/personal activities around this time.