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Last Updated May 2013. Why we need Action Centers. Action Centers provide an opportunity to: create an awareness in the local community about the situation of underprivileged children. create an awareness in the local community about CRY America.
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Why we need Action Centers Action Centers provide an opportunity to: • create an awareness in the local community about the situation of underprivileged children. • create an awareness in the local community about CRY America. • harness resources within localities/cities in the USA to benefit underprivileged children. • meet and work with like minded people on a common vision and goals. • enable us to impact the lives of underprivileged children, especially Indian.
Things to do before starting an Action Center Read about CRY America and the situation of underprivileged children: • visit the CRY America website at www.america.cry.org. • Check out what children have to say about their rightshttp://youtu.be/h9ZMpWWJor0 • review the CRY America 10 year booklet http://america.cry.org/site/lp/eBooklet/2012/index.html • become familiar with the activities of Action Centers www.america.cry.org/site/participate/action_centers/ • view the range of events organized by CRY America http://america.cry.org/site/participate/events/ • read the SATHEE Project case story available http://america.cry.org/site/downloads/photoessay/sathee/pessay.html
Things to do before starting an Action Center contd. • Read about CRY America’s Grant management process http://america.cry.org/site/pdf/CRY%20America%20process.pdf • Access information about the Indian community in your city/town/university and work place. • Speak to other Action Center leaders to find out about their experiences. • Take a decision to start a CRY America Action Center in your city/university. • Inform us about your decision – we are here to help! • Contact our Volunteer Action Manager for an orientation about CRY America & how to start an Action Center - email@example.com
Starting an Action Center : Stage 1 • Start talking to people about your Action Center: • Talk to your friends and family. • Talk to your colleagues. • Set up booths/ stalls at other community events in your area. • Focus on recruiting volunteers: • Aim for an initial strength of 5-10 volunteers. • Share information, ideas and ask them about activities/ events that they would like to get involved with. • Start a googlegroup to keep the discussion flowing & keep everyone connected. • Form a core group of local volunteers: • Form a core team of 4-5 key active volunteers who will assist you in starting and building the action center. • Allocate responsibilities to your core group per their interests (CRY Walk lead; Accounts; Online; Volunteer Mobilization; Community Outreach etc).
Starting an Action Center : Stage 1 contd. • Form a local core group of volunteers contd. • Set a date and venue for volunteer meetings - initially bi-monthly meetings will help build motivation. • Stay connected through teleconference meetings. • Welcome to the national group - Join the CRY America Action Center Leaders yahoogroup – contact us for details. • Join the AC leaders monthly tele-conference meetings. • Sign up & “like” the CRY America Facebookpage. • Connect with other Action Center Leaders across USA & the National Volunteer Leader. • Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support and a more detailed orientation. • Go through the CRY America FAQshttp://america.cry.org/site/know_us/faqs/ • Contact us for CRY America’s Accounting procedures, Insurance and national branding guidelines.
Starting an Action Center : Stage 1 contd. • Start evolving your Action Center activity and event plans with your core group: • explore different events that interest your core group. • explore different events that will interest the local community. • Set up your AC Events page on CRY America’s Events website. • Get your volunteers to register & promote the events page 2 months prior to the event. • Consider starting a Facebook Group (not page).
Publicizing an Action Center : Stage 2 • Start contacting various groups/organizations in your city to discuss your AC plans: - Contact Indian Associations in your city. • Contact networks like NetIP, TIE etc in your city. • Check the following site for more information www.indianetwork.org/census • Contact the office bearers of each association: • briefly introduce CRY America to them. • mail them introductory information about CRY America and your AC. • Request them to introduce CRY America at their next meeting/ function OR for permission to set up a CRY information table at their function or for 5 mins of CRY Talk time at their event. • Have a CRY Volunteer sign-up sheet at all functions.
Publicizing an Action Center : Stage 2 contd. • Create multiple opportunities to publicize CRY America and your Action Center in your city/local community/university. • Place fliers, posters & donation jars at locations frequented by the Indian community (such as shops, restaurants, movie theatres etc). • Place CRY America information on local email networks, newsgroups and websites. • Start show casing your Action Center and representing CRY America through booths/stalls/tables at other community events and functions in your city. This is a great way to also get new volunteer and donor sign ups.
Shaping an Action Center : Stage 3 • Choose and organize your first Action Center Event! • Develop a plan and detail out the event revenues, costs, number of participants expected etc. • Fix your event date and book the venue. • Consider your volunteer strength and skill sets. • Choose an event that interests your core group and will work for your local community. • Choose a small/medium sized event that is low cost. • Check other popular Action Center events. • Try to organize an event every 3-4 months. This momentum keeps the volunteers engaged and is a sure way of growing your Action Center. • Each successful event = more volunteers and donors!
Shaping an Action Center : Stage 3 contd. Ideas for Action Center Fundraising Events: • CRY Walk – annual event • CRY Dinner event • CRY Cricket Tournament • Volleyball Tournament • Music Concerts – local bands • Movie Screenings • Indoor Scrabble & Games • Holi/ Diwali event • Dandia/ Garba Evening • Food Festival/ Stalls • DJ /Karaoke/ Mixer Evening • CRY America Booths and Stalls
Shaping an Action Center : Stage 3 contd. Student Outreach: - Contact Universities or Colleges in/around your area. - Start a CRY America Student Chapter with interested students. Media Outreach: - Contact journalists in your area such as local Indian TV, radio stations and publications. - Send regular press releases, pre and post your event to them, along with a couple of photographs. Corporate Outreach: - Contact a couple of companies through your volunteer base. - Check on event sponsorship possibilities (we have event sponsorship templates available). - Try to get CRY America included in their list of supported charities. - Promote “Corporate Matching” grants for all event donations.
Keep the momentum going for your Action Center • Regular meetings and updates for volunteers. • Evolve plans collectively. • Share & allocate responsibilities. • Organize 3-4 Events a year. • Share information – local and national. • Recognize & reward volunteer efforts. • Provide space for social bonding & interaction. • Plan and review activities regularly. • Participate in national events, groups & facebook. • Keep yourself updated on CRY Project impact stories. & share this with your group. • Contact the accountants to settle your accounts!!
As quoted by a volunteer “I feel that CRY America has given me a chance to help my country in a way that's most important for the country. I feel that children are God's greatest gifts and deserve the best things. It is our responsibility to ensure that every child has a nice childhood and gets good education”. Rajesh Munshi Seattle
Contacts for Action Centers Sol Garcia (email@example.com) for Volunteers, Action Centers & Events support, guidance & materials Sujay Saha (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Volunteer Action Growth plans/budgets, New initiatives, Facebook guidance & permissions, CRY Walk Mahtab Taraporvala (email@example.com) for main website changes, press releases & communication materials Vivek Rao (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Events module training Anu Saini (email@example.com) for CRY Cricket event related ideas/information Monica Kharkar (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Corporate partnership possibilities, Sponsorship templates & CRY Dinners guidance Joanne Hull (email@example.com) for AC Accounting, Banking process, formats & submissions Apoorv Agarwal (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Exec Comm matters & CRY America Growth Strategy/Goals Shefali Sunderlal (email@example.com) for CRY America Plans, Reviews, Grants, Speaking opportunities