Community services are a great way to spend your free time on something worthwhile. Schools highly encourage children to take part in community-based projects to improve their leadership and organizational skills.
High school students join community services for extra brownie points in their college applications. Universities and colleges prefer candidates with a community service experience as it conveys their willingness to make positive changes within their community.
One problem about joining community work is that others can’t find anything that matches their interests and skill set. A great solution is to start their own community service project that they can truly enjoy.
Although planning a community project is not as easy as joining any service work, it can pay off in plenty of ways. This guide will teach you how to start your own community service project. This includes a step-by-step process that will guide you from the planning to the execution process.
1. Choose What Kind of Community Project You Will Support
Engage in your community by asking your family, friends, neighbors, and community officials about issues present in your local area. Research about how they started, how long they have existed, the initial steps done to address them, and non-profit groups that previously offered solutions.
By doing research, you learn about existing community issues that require urgent attention.
2. Assess Your Resources
The next step involves the assessment of the practicality of your proposed project. You need to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your resources. These include your skills, talent, available manpower, timetable, budget, and materials needed.
Once you narrow down your resources, you can now determine the most workable community project.
3. Pick the Right Project Your Local Area Needs
Now that you know the existing issues and possible resources, it’s time to choose the best community project for your area. You can start by ranking your ideas from the most to the least important. Your goal is to pick a reasonable project that works within your means.
As much as possible, choose a project that will create the most impact on your community. It should also be realistic enough to reach your end goal.
4. Create a Plan
The planning process involves knowing exactly what you want to accomplish for your community project. You need to assess the activities you will organize to meet your main goal. Identify the required number of people to complete the project, the equipment you will need, and how much time the project requires.
Also, don’t forget to identify potential problems that may arise and solutions that you can take.
5. Recruit Volunteers
To make the project come to life, you will need some volunteers. You can start by inviting your friends, family members, and other social circles.
If you want to invite people online, you can create an online community on social media and online forums. Search the Internet for a community building guide to learn how you can use your social media presence in building an online community.
Extending your recruitment online is an easier way to know people who are willing to participate in your project. As you invite members, ask about their contact information, interests, areas where they excel, and their time commitments.
6. Set the Budget
A project is not complete without an organized and detailed budget plan. You need to be specific on how much your project needs to reach your end goal. You need to list down the type of items you need and their equivalent cost. Factor everything into your budget, from the food, transportation, license, event host, etc.
7. Form a Realistic Timeline
By the time you reach this part, you already know how long your project will take. In creating a timeline, set a reasonable end date to finish the project. Create detailed schedules for your volunteers to distribute the tasks evenly. As much as possible, set realistic goals as you move on to your timeline.
8. Raise Donations
A community project is never complete without raising money. There are plenty of ways to do it: donation drives, contributions, raffle events, charities, and crowdfunding websites. You can also approach local businesses in your area for sponsorship.
Your goal is to gather as many financial sources as you can. This way, you have a backup plan to depend on if you’re out of budget.
9. Gather Publicity
Before, people often depend on community and print advertising for publicity. But as more people spend time on the Internet, social media became a great way to spread awareness about any local event or project.
If you need media coverage, look for local journalists known for covering similar projects in the past.
10. Execute the Project
Now you have everything all set; it’s time to execute the project! Send out reminders to your volunteers, media, participants, and everyone involved.
As the activity progresses, make sure that you stay on top of things, especially during emergencies. Don’t forget to take pictures for documentation.
Starting a community project may seem challenging, especially for beginners. However, breaking down your project into a series of steps can help you get started easily. When done correctly, community projects can make an enormous impact not only on your college application but on your area as well.