Strengthening your Leadership Club
Going from Active to Supernova!
1. Broadening Your Mission
Do you have an active green team at your school? Do you have school club that focuses on environmental and social justice issues and activism? In the spirit of “thinking globally, and acting locally” the most successful and impactful clubs will incorporate elements of both of these.
As with any new activity it is best to start small when incorporating a new element to your club’s project list. Perhaps you want to start a recycling or composting system at your school. MAybe your club wants to approach your school board or city council about supporting the Paris agreement or divesting themselves of fossil fuels investments. Take the time to identify one new project in your new focus area and be sure to engage enough membership (and community) support to help the new project or activity to be successful.
Some schools will actually have different groups fulfilling these separate but aligned missions. In this case you should look for opportunities to combine your efforts whenever possible to increase your collective capacity.
2. Reflecting the Diversity of your School and Community
An active club with a healthy general membership and a list of current projects has the luxury of looking at some important big picture issues as you seek to grow the impact of your club in your school and larger community.
One important question to ask yourselves is how well your club membership reflects the full diversity of your own school. It is important to think about what diversity means in all its many definitions (racial, cultural, socio-economic, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.).
3. Focusing on your club’s Legacy and Developing New Leadership
An active club has an even stronger need to build in a system to develop new leadership for your group in order to ensure the sustainability of your efforts as current student leaders graduate each year.
One key to sustainable leadership is focusing on targeted recruitment of underclassmen. The first of the year is an ideal time to reach out to incoming freshman before they have filled up their calendars with activities and commitments. Does your school have a club recruitment day or other event? How would any new student at your school learn about the existence of your club? What other methods might you use to reach out to new or younger students at your school?
And then ask yourselves how is your club leadership structured?It is important that your core group not be comprised of seniors only. Some clubs use a system where a club President may be a senior, but the vice president is a sophomore or junior, and expected to take on the presidency in the following year. Whatever you decide you should focus on intentionally passing that torch of leadership as you go along.
4. Keeping your club members Inspired and Engaged