Part II: Getting the Kids Involved- How
In last week’s post (the first post in this series) I covered why it’s important to get kids involved in your good cause. Most of the benefits to getting kids involved pays off in the long run, but there’s short term benefits too. If you haven’t read them all, click here to go back and read them now.
This week we’re looking at a few specific steps to getting kids involved. I mentioned this in the last one, but just as a friendly reminder, we’re talking about getting kids involved in actually helping. It for sure takes work, but the benefits are worth it. Here’s 5 steps to get the kids involved.
Decide where you will reach them. If you’re working with kids, that probably means you need to be coordinating with adults too. Find an easy, pre-existing platform to reach your audience. Maybe you can get kids involved through school, using class or school projects. A lot of schools require kids to volunteer. Reach out to schools and let them know you have volunteer opportunities. Scouts is another great platform to reach kids. So are church youth groups, parent groups, even sports groups might work depending on what you’re doing.
Think of an easy project they can do. Unless you already have a good relationship with kids and their parents, start easy. Remember that parents are busy so you don’t want to give them another project that they’re going to have to do for their kids. Even something that seems simple like a bake sale translates into work for parents. Try to think of something that is mostly kid driven. Here’s three easy ideas right off the bat:
Recycling Drive: what could be better than making money out of trash?
Bottle caps: another one opportunity to money from trash!
Penny wars: split kids into groups (maybe class versus class, girls versus boys, school versus school, etc.). Whoever can collect the most spare change over a one month period wins!
Find somebody to match funds. Reach out to your donor base and offer this an opportunity to encourage kids. I would bet every organization has a donor who will jump at the opportunity to encourage kids to get involved in a cause they love.
Give kids the control over what they fund. When you reach out have a list of ways kids can make an impact. It doesn’t need to be a lot of options. <ore options are actually normally too distracting. Think of two or three ways kids can help. If you have an organization that rescues dogs, identify maybe three meaningful things that could be purchased that would help your animals. For example, a new kennel for a dog, doggy kibble for a month, or new leashes and collars for all of the pups. Let the kids, as a group, decide which of these three ways they would like to support animals. This gives them more control and ownership and makes them more invested in the outcomes.
Promote it! Give kids recognition for the hard work they’re doing. A few hundred bucks might not be a big deal to you, but it’s a big deal to someone who’s too young to get a job. Be sure to give them positive encouragement. Reach out to the media when all is wrapped up to let them know what these thoughtful kids have done.
When all is said and done, be sure to find a tangible, relatable way to thank these kids. That thank you can really help make an impact on them. Back to the animal rescue example, bring a puppy in with his new collar that was purchased through the kids’ fundraiser. If you can’t bring something to the kids as a way to say thank you, bring pictures, take a video, write a letter. Find some way to make that connection.
So there’s your 5 steps to getting started getting the kids involved. See you next week with the 3rd and final part of this series. See you then, Do-Gooders!