8.Empower Your Team

Recruit New Members

Get People Involved:

Your goal is to get people’s attention, get them involved, then keep them as active members.

  1. Start with people you know — ask them to come to your club events (asking them in person works best).
  2. Go to places where you will be likely to find others interested in your club. Make announcements about upcoming activities.
  3. Directly ask people to get involved (one-on-one meetings).
  4. Hold events that attract people.

Get the word out!

  • Post flyers on campus
  • Use social media
  • Make classroom announcements
  • Hang big poster in lunch area
  • Table at club fair with ¼ page flyers
  • Write an article for the school paper/media
  • Ask teachers to make announcement in classes
  • Create a Facebook page/group/event
  • Create official Snapchat account
  • Create Instagram account
  • Offer incentives: Free food, eco-give-aways (donated), T-shirts, contest, buttons, collaborative project (art or cooking class)

KEEP YOUR TEAM ENGAGED

Key #1: One-On-One Meetings: Your Secret Weapon!

One-on-one meetings are just what they sound like: meeting with one person, individually. You can start with your leadership team (or people you think might want to join your leadership team).

Expand to other people who might want to join your club.

You can also set aside time during a meeting for a “Pair and Share:” try to pair a more experienced club member with a newcomer. Make sure they take notes and/or input information on a spreadsheet or app.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with each person on your team. Ask them what they’re interested in taking on as an action or event.

Share the vision and the workload.

 

Pro Tip:

Allow people to direct the conversation—the point is to learn about them, so let them do most of the talking.

One-on-One Meeting Tips:

  • Allow them to direct the conversation (aim for them to do about 70%-80% of the talking). Ask open-ended questions (for more than just ”yes” or “no” answer).
  • Show you care about them—makes them want to do more for you and the club. Take an interest in them.
  • Do some of the talking: Share your story—why did you get involved? Why do you feel taking action on the climate is important?
  • Share your passion—If they don’t see your passion, they won’t be inspired to get involved.
  • Describe why your club would be a good fit for them to participate in. Appeal to the self-interests of the person: what motivates them to take action and how could they do that in your club?
  • Let them know you need them: “Our club needs people like you! We need you to participate so we can do what we’ve set out to accomplish.”
  • PRACTICE!! But don’t sweat the details—we all forget to ask important questions or say something that sounds silly.

Sample Questions:

  1. What inspired you to get involved with climate action?
  2. What do you hope to accomplish?
  3. Do you have any specific goals or campaigns you’re most interested in, or areas you’d like to focus on?
  4. What are your strengths, skills, or specific areas you’d like to be involved in? (see page 89)
  5. Have you or someone close to you been impacted by climate change?

Ask them to come to your next club meeting.

Activity #8A:
Perfect the Art of the One-on-One

Part 1: Interview a club member or potential club member. Use a notecard or spreadsheet and record their:

  1. Name ________________
  2. Year in School_______
  3. Contact Information_______

Part 2: Ask them to tell their story… why they care about the climate, how they’d like to be involved.

________________________________________________________

Part 3: Answer any questions they may have & tell them how they can be involved in the club (see Activity #8B).

KEY: Follow-up with new people right away to keep them on-board! Make it FUN!

Activity #8B:
Appreciations & Feedback

Part 1: Acknowledge individual team members:

  1. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and hard work. Let them know they are valued.
  2. The results may not have been exactly the way you would have done it… that’s part of the sharing responsibility and that’s okay.
  3. Be generous with your appreciations! Give positive feedback often.
  4. Consider acknowledging a couple of people publicly at each meeting. Or, do around the room, where everyone calls out an appreciation, popcorn style.
  5. Be specific about what went well.
  6. Put “Appreciations” on your next meeting agenda.

Part 2: Practice constructive feedback using the “Sandwich Method:”

  • Top Layer: something you liked.
  • Middle Layer, something that could be improved about what was done.
  • Bottom Layer: something else you liked.

In pairs or small groups, practice the ”Sandwich Method”:

Top Layer:_________________________________

Middle:_____________________________

Bottom:__________________________________

Key #2: Community Building

Community-building is at the core of your club. People get involved mostly to connect with other people. If they don’t feel that connection, they won’t come back. Consciously set aside time to build relationships. Allow for social time (see page 30).

Clubs offer the opportunity for strong relationships to develop in a different category: shared values. These relationships may develop into close friendships, but you may not be best friends with all club members. Key is you are working together to make progress on issues that are important to you.

Key #3: Match People’s Strengths to Task  

Find out the strengths, interests, and skills of your club members during One-on-One meetings.

Allow people to work on areas or projects that they are naturally drawn to (or would like to learn). See Activity #8C.

Key #4: Make Your Club Sustainable  

  1. Share the Load: Having one person trying to do everything is NOT sustainable (see page 104)!
  2. Vote in the new Leadership Team in Spring, before school ends the year before.
  3. Hold organizational meetings over the summer to hit the road running in the upcoming school year (Hold “Board Retreats” such as pool parties, potlucks, or picnics ~ mixing club business and fun).

Activity #8C:
Discover the Strengths of Your Team

Part 4: Use One-On-One meetings to discover your team member’s strengths. Ask them:

  1. What types of activities do you consider to use your key strengths? (Give them some hints. People usually have multiple areas.)
  2. What types of activities are you interested in?
  3. What type of roles do you like to be in, typically?
  4. Are there any skills you’d like to learn in the club setting or new roles you might like to explore? (Encourage your team members to use the club to learn new skills. )

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Allow people to try new things, to grow and learn!

ASK TEAMMATES TO STEP UP

Be Prepared with Specific Ideas

People enjoy feeling like they are contributing. Make it easy for them to get involved:

1. During one-on-one meetings, be prepared with very specific ideas about what they can do:

  • Come to the next meeting
  • Make a poster for an upcoming event at the next club art-build
  • Hand out flyers
  • Help bake cupcakes

2. Ask them where they’d like to help out and try to find something that aligns with their interests.

3. Make it easy for new people to “wade-in” with some easy, starter tasks.

Build a Strong Team: Use People’s Strengths  

  • Behind the Scenes:
    Likes to work with data, do research, and dig into details.
  • Out Front:
    Likes to meet with people, speak in front of groups, give interviews to media, talk up the club.
  • Artistic:
    Likes to create logos, signs, T-shirts, announcements.
  • Organizer:
    Likes to plan events, create schedules, look ahead to what needs to be done.
  • And More:
    See if you can help people identify their key strengths.

RUN GREAT MEETINGS

Key #1: Greet People

Have a plan to greet and welcome new people, which helps them feel connected and valued.

Assign specific club member to greet people at the upcoming meeting (you may choose to rotate the greeter role every meeting, month, or semester).

Sign-up sheet or app: keep people engaged by following up with them right away with a personal email, text or call. Thank them for coming to the meeting and invite them to an upcoming club event or social.

Set up a one-on-one meeting (see page 83) with new people to find out how they want to be involved. You can also pair up during a meeting. Pass out notecards for people to record information. Have a leadership team member keep information organized and available.

Key #2: Use an Agenda

  • Be prepared!
  • Meet with your leadership team.
  • Figure out a short list of items and plan out what you’d like to discuss at your meeting in advance.
  • Send out the agenda a few days before the meeting and ask if anyone else would like to add an item.
  • Goal: be inclusive and transparent.
  • Allot time slot for each item and stick to it. Don’t get side-tracked (this gets easier with practice).

Key #3: Give Everyone a Voice

  • Include many voices at meetings. Allow people to contribute and be heard.
  • Keep people engaged by making them feel like they are important to your club.
  • At the same time, the meeting facilitator needs to be on top of moving things along... don’t let ONE person dominate.

Make sure meetings stay focused on goals, but also build in social time.~
– Megan, HS EC
President

  • For large groups, try interactive break-outs, so everyone gets a chance to speak in pairs or small groups, then summarize for the larger group, if needed.
  • Meeting facilitation gets easier with practice. Consider rotating the facilitator’s role to give other people experience.
CLUB MEETING TOPICS: SAMPLE MEETING OUTLINE

Purpose:

Get to know members and familiarize them with your events & campaigns.

Introductions:

Name and Year in school
Favorites:
(tree, biome, fruit, kitchen utensil, season, fall activity, etc.)

Start with a Fun Question:

If you could protect any place in the world, where would you protect?
What type of weather represents your mood?
If you could be any animal, what would you pick to be and why?

Event & Campaign Updates:

Tell new members where you are, what progress you’ve made, where you plan to go, and how can they get involved? be and why?

Ask Each Member:

Do you have any goals you’d like to achieve?
Are there any campaigns you’d like to help with?

Next Steps:

If you have an activity or task for them to do, you can pull it out here.
If not, you might decide on next steps or plan a sub-committee meeting to discuss next steps for a specific event.

Key #4: Keep Track of Action Items

Make sure each meeting has a notetaker to keep track of decisions: who will be doing what and by when? Use a simple chart (see example) or make up another way to keep track.

It’s important to have someone follow-up on each item. Consider assigning a chair or co-chairs for each project. They can put together a team and meet separately as a sub-committee.

Getting Things Done:

Have a notetaker keep a record of meeting date, who was present, what decisions were made, etc:

IDEA or GOAL: WHAT? (SPECIFIC TASK) WHO WILL TAKE LEAD? BY WHEN? FOLLOW-UP or NEXT STEPS?

Create print material:
flyers, posters, newsletters

Contact related clubs that might have interested members

Enlist friends who might want to join

Use social media tools

Other Ideas?

Key #5: GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING TO DO

At every meeting, have a short activity people can DO—keeps them engaged. Could be a simple activity (like letter-writing or quick art project or a social exercise).

Next, give them something to do beyond the meeting… perhaps they’ll take on an on-going role?

SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS:

  • People greeted and welcomed
  • Sign-up sheet or app
  • Positive tone throughout meeting
  • Everyone has a voice
  • Next steps clearly outlined

MAKE YOUR CLUB WELCOMING & INCLUSIVE

Aim for inclusiveness at your meetings. Recognize there’s a place for everyone, despite (or because of) differences.

Have a plan for how you will welcome new people, despite age or abilities (see page 90).
Ask people basic questions about themselves. Make them feel positive about showing up to the club meeting or event. Encourage new people to have a voice.

Activity #8D:
How to Make Your Club More Inclusive?

Part 1: Pair up and share:

Tell about a time you went to something and you felt welcomed and like you belonged: _____________________________________________________

Part 2: Pair up and share:

Now tell about a time when you went to something where you were not included: _____________________________________________________

Part 3:

What clues do these experiences give you about your meetings? How can you ensure your meetings and club events are inclusive and welcoming to everyone? Call out ideas as a group: _____________________________________________________

Meeting Pro Tips:

  • Meet in a visible place, like the quad or lunch area, to attract new members who might be passing by.
  • Use a big sign during meetings so other people can see it and feel invited to come join you.
  • Offer snacks ~ a small treat goes a long way!
  • Consistency is key: meet in the same place at regular times to ensure attendance.
  • Many high school clubs find that a weekly meeting during lunch is the most effective.
  • Be clear about expectations of what will happen at a meeting: if decisions will be made, who will be making them, and how they’ll be made. What else will get done at your meeting?  

DECISION-MAKING PROCESS:

  1. Aim for consensus-based decision-making:
    Ex: “Let’s decide on whether to show a documentary in November…how about something on the food system?”
  2. Anyone want to tweak?
    Ex: “How about if we show something on renewable energy, instead?”
  3. If someone disagrees or voices dissention, see if you can all reach a compromise.
  4. If there’s still disagreement, then take a vote.

Make sure the decision-making process is transparent!

Activity #8E:
Establishing Club Meeting Guidelines

Part 1: Research Meeting Guidelines

Check out the SD350.org policy manual or other websites on meeting guidelines and norms (see Resources section on website).

List which meeting norms you would like to adopt as a club. Come up with a list and approve together:
_____________________________________________________

Part 2: Decision-Making Process

Have a few members research decision-making processes and present to your club. What sounds like the best fit for your club? As a club, decide how you’ll make decisions and make it an official policy:

_____________________________________________________

Meet: Meisha Myers
Helix High School, La Mesa, CA

HOT TIP:

“To empower your team, go for inclusiveness. Everyone should be and can be a part of the movement. So appeal to all, not just certain groups of people. Whether they know nothing about the environment or everything under the sun, anyone can make a change.”

WHAT I’VE LEARNED:

“It’s okay to be clueless and to start new adventures alone. It’s uncomfortable at first to state your mind to a group of strangers, but at the end of the day, it’s needed. Your voice matters, and it’s stronger than you think.”

Meisha founded the environmental club at her high school. She also plays basketball and chairs her dance team.

Activities: Planning events, motivating teens to take action, working as a team.

Highlights: As part of SD350’s Youth Summer Program, I helped organize a die-in at a congressional office, worked on logistics, and and figured out the roles for participants and volunteers.

Quick Guide #8

  • GET THE WORD OUT

    Ideas on how to publicize your club and events, find new members, and get creative.

  • MASTER THE ART OF ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS

    Your secret weapon to getting (and keeping) people engaged with your club. Learn how to ask the right questions and find out how they want to help.

  • EMPOWER YOUR TEAM:

    Keep your club strong: Allow others to take the lead on an action/event. Use ONE-ON-ONE meetings to find out how they want to be involved.

  • PAIR & SHARE FOR LARGER GROUPS

    If you’re getting amazing attendance at meetings, ask people to pair up to share. Use an index card and record their name, contact information, and answers to ”check-in.”

  • SHARE INFORMATION

    Decide the best way for the leadership team to have access to member information: Google Doc spreadsheet?

  • TIPS FOR PRINT MATERIAL

    Be sure to include critical information. Consider creating a logo. If you don’t get T-Shirts printed with a logo, consider asking everyone to wear something color coordinated to an event. (Example: “Everyone where a green shirt.”) 99

Scroll to Top