A guide to starting an environmental group
and running an environmental campaign
Robin K.VilIiers Brown
Published by the Queensland Conservation Council 1995
Original hard copy printed by Leo Printing, Brisbane 1995
Text copyright Robin K. Villiers Brown 1995
Original hardcopy illustrations copyright Sean Leahy and Gerard Piper, Kookaburra Production
This guide was produced with the assistance of the Commonwealth Government and Australia Nature Conservation Agency through the Save the Bush Program and One Billion Trees Program.
The Rivermouth Action Group Inc wishes to thank Robin K. Villiers Brown for her permission to place her copyright work on our Group's web site.
Requests to make a copy/s to be directed to Robin K. Villiers Brown email@example.com
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 How to use this book 1
2.0 BEFORE YOU START 2
3.0 STARTING AN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP 3
3.1 Organising the first meeting 3
4.0 AT THE FIRST MEETING 5
4.1 Procedure at the first meeting 5
4.2 Working as a group 6
5.0 THE STRUCTURE OF THE GROUP 7
5.1 Organisation 7
5.2 Important roles within the group 7
5.3 Keeping records 8
5.4 Incorporation 9
6.0 PLANNING AND STARTING A CAMPAIGN 10
6.1 Preparation 10
6.2 If your group can fix the situation by itself 11
6.3 If you have to involve others to solve the problem 12
6.4 Campaign tactics 13
6.5 The best campaign for your problem 15
7.0 HELP FROM OUTSIDE THE GROUP 16
7.1 Networking with other groups 16
7.2 Getting help from the experts 16
8.0 WHO IS DOING ALL THE WORK? 17
8.1 Volunteers 17
8.2 Recruiting 18
8.3 Keeping people 19
8.4 Enjoyable activities 22
9.0 MEETINGS AND EVENTS 24
9.1 Types of meetings 24
9.2 Guidelines for all meetings and events 26
10.0 PUBLICITY 28
10.1 The media 30
11.0 WRITING REPORTS 34
11.1 Scientific and research reports 35
12.0 RESOURCES 36
12.1 Sometimes you don't need cash 36
12.2 Stocktaking/keeping stock 36
12.3 Fundraising 36
12.4 Guidelines for fundraising 37
12.5 Financial matters 38
13.0 IS IT LEGAL? 39
14.0 WINNING OR LOSING - WHERE TO NEXT 40
15.0 FOR FURTHER HELP AND INFORMATION 41
This book is designed to help all those people who care for their environment. Those who want to save something (e.g. a piece of bushland, endangered animals or their habitats, trees, or an historic building) or stop something (e.g. destruction of an area or pollution) - People who want to become involved in decisions that affect their live.
In a world with increasing environmental problems, pollution, destruction of habit and species loss, it is good to see someone take an interest in stopping environmental problems.
But there are shortcuts that can help you with your group and any campaign. This guide has shortcuts and ideas to help you avoid and overcome problems, so you can work more effectively and efficiently with less problems - and more easily achieve your goals.
Finally, in using this book I urge you to act responsibly, and DON'T use it to push an environmental problem onto someone else. There are usually alternatives. Find, and stress, a better solution
1.1 How to use this book
This book is an action guide to help you start your own environmental group and fix an environmental problem. It has been arranged to give you steps to follow to he you start a group and to run an environmental campaign. However, experience shows that many things in a campaign often happen at once, but they can't all be written down at once - and every group is also different. So you may not need some of the information for a while, or you may need it immediately. Therefore, the guide has been designed so that each section can be read separately, (and this means the may be some repetition, for which I apologise). If you do need to know something specific (e.g. about money, or the media) look up the contents page to find what section you need.
Finally, what you are doing is, and should be, both important and fun - many people have received enjoyment while being productive, as well as helping themselves, So it is not that difficult.
Good tuck, and keep up the good work!
2.0 BEFORE YOU START
So there is an environmental issue that you are concerned about and want to do something about. Before you start, check there are no groups that you can join that are already involved in this issue or that may be interested in taking on this issue, Perhaps you could start a local branch of an existing major organisation such as The Wilderness Society or the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland if the issue you are concerned about is in their field of interest.
If there is another group, but it is not what you want and you decide to set up a new group, first make sure that your group really will be different from the existing group. To have two groups with similar aims competing for the same audience, funds and membership makes it harder for both groups. There are many environmental problems, so groups should be able to work without competing for the same thing and damaging each other. Groups can vary, based on locality, age, education, profession, even work hours. They can be mainly workers, students, retired people, or families, and can have different goals, or different ideological or political perspectives. All have their advantages.
If you do contact a group and they are unable to help you, don't worry - they are probably busy running another campaign. Do you really want them to stop their campaign to take up yours? Most groups are working to fix some damage to the planet. The answer is start your own group - and this is where this guide can help.
3.O STARTlNG AN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP
Alone you may not be able to fix or stop an environmental problem - but together with others you can. Therefore, start an environmental group. To start a group, first get together with one or two others who are interested in what you want to do. If you are the only person interested, ask around, mention what you wish to do in conversations with others and you should find people who are interested. Otherwise go straight on to calling a meeting to get other people interested.
The next step is to hold a public meeting to find out who else is interested and recruit some people.
3.1 Organising the first meeting
Where to hold the meeting. The first meeting should be held where interested people and potential members feel comfortable to attend. This may not happen if it is at a house people don't know (although many campaigns have started in someone's garage or lounge room). Libraries sometimes have meeting rooms you can use, or a school after hours or a small hall, especially if it is local to most people, and most people know it.
When to hold the meeting. Until you know who is interested in your campaign the best time for a meeting is after hours or on the weekend during the day so that the greatest variety of people can attend. For the first meeting, workers, students, families (or both husbands and wives), may wish to attend. So make it a time that is free for the majority.
Advertising the meeting. Publicity is very important when you first start a group. There may be a surprising number of people who are interested in what you are doing and want to help. To advertise the meeting:
· Put up signs and posters in shop windows and on notice boards (but always ask permission to do this first).
· If it's a local issue only, do a letterbox drop.
· lnvite individuals and other groups you think may be interested in the group and your campaign.
Put out a media release if it is appropriate. New groups (and campaigns) in a community are news. (See Section 10.1 on The media for how to do this).
Work out an agenda. An agenda for a first meeting should cover such aspects as:
* Deciding the goal of the group - this is what you want to do - and why you are starting the group!
* A name for the group.
* The structure of the group.
* Campaign strategy and tactics.
* Nomination of office bearers (or interim office bearers until an election is held).
* A system of future meeting dates and times and where to meet next time.
For more information on organising meetings see Section 9.2 on Guidelines for all meetings and events.
MEETING PLANNING CHECKLIST:
I Choose the date, time and place and book the venue.
2 Arrrange for people to:
· facilitate or chair the meeting
· take notes
· organise refreshments
3 Advertise the meeting at least 2 or 3 weeks before the meeting.
4 Finalise the agenda and work out how long you think each item will take (have a guess).
5 Prepare any material you might need to help explain the issue such as a handout or large map, and have a pen and clipboard to record people's names and addresses.
6 Arrange coffee, tea and refreshments (even just a packet of biscuits) for after the meeting, so that people can relax and get to know one another.
4.O AT THE FIRST MEETING
It's happening - your first meeting. Use the checklist as a guide to see if you've remembered everything. Make sure you all get there early and set everything up before the meeting is due to start.
4.1 Procedure at tile first meeting Welcome everyone
Clearly identify your chairperson or facilitator and gain general agreement on their role in keeping the meeting running smoothly. Consider adopting some ground rules for the conduct of the meeting.
Introduce the topic (the reason for this meeting) and get approval for, or modify the agenda. Put this (REVISED) agenda up where it can be seen by everyone.
Now work through the items on the agenda. Keep the discussions focussed and ask for (and make) a decision on each item on the agenda - although some items could be referred onto smaller sub-groups to be dealt with in more detail.
At the end of the meeting quickly sum up the main points and actions that have been decided upon. Make sure there is no confusion and that everyone remembers what they have said they will do.
Provide refreshments and a time for relaxing and discussions after the meeting. Circulate during this time - get to know the others interested in your group who want to be involved. Some may be too shy to put forward their ideas during the meeting, but may talk more freely to people afterwards. This is also a good time for people to get to know each other - essential in the forming and making of a group.
4.2 Working as a group
A group can do a lot, but it depends on the size. Watch out or you might be taking on too many roles. Don't set yourself too much work that you might not be able to finish. It is better to do one job properly, so think of what you consider most important, i.e. what you started this group to do and work from there.
A group is as good as it's members - but some groups don't see what their members can (or can't) do. You will be surprised by the variety and amount of work people can do and the skills they have. People are very versatile and many people underestimate themselves.
Each person has something important to contribute - and everybody is different. This can mean you can get a variety of people with a variety of experience, skills and talents. However, they may also have different likes and dislikes.
Some things your group does may attract some people but put oft others. Do not have contradictory activities that may put oft both lots of people. Find what the majority of the group's members want to do, what they like, and what they are comfortable with. You can't win all the people all the time, so if there are some items that people disagree about, stick with what suits the majority of people attending the meeting.
AN OFFICIAL LAUNCH
Sometimes a larger public meeting that involves the press will be useful as the first (inaugural) meeting. However, there may take a lot of organizing so some form of group should be already started before this to do the organising A tactic often used is for the group to start, and then have a large meeting as a "launch" of the group and the campaign this can be used to start the campaign, attract the media, and tell the community about your group. (At this meeting it may be a good idea to get speakers who are well known in the community, but who may not have been thought of as environmentalists - a local farmer, for example).
5.0 STRUCTURE OF THE GROUP
We are lucky now because there's a number of ways of running a group and many people have experience in working within a group in one way or another. Groups can be organised.
Democratically. This is often seen as the formal and legal way. Decisions are made through discussion and proposing motions that the members vote on, with a simple majority (51%) deciding any argument. Officers are generally elected every year to manage the affairs of the group.
By consensus. Decisions are made with the participation of all members of the group aimed at everyone reaching agreement. It doesn't mean complete agreement at all times within the group, but it does mean that an agreement has been reached that all will support. Reaching consensus often involves using a facilitator, and other group processes such as brainstorming.
Corporate style hierarchy. This is where groups are run by an appointed director or manager and staff (who may all be voluntary) with little or no direct accountability to the community or membership. Some groups, especially those specialising in a narrow field and made up of only a few people with specialist knowledge, or perhaps those with a charismatic leader, evolve a corporate style hierarchy. These groups are often very professional and effective but often they depend on only a handful of people and may have trouble if they lose those people.
There is information available on group structures and decision making methods - check your local library - but probably the safest is to use whatever system the majority in your group are familiar with. Otherwise, to learn about running a group and run the campaign at the same time may be too much for the group. Stick with what you are comfortable with for now. If you are not sure, include at the first meeting a motion to review the structure of the group at future Annual General Meetings. In the meantime, try a system (any system - but preferably one you're used to and like). Once the group has been going for a while you can see what does or doesn't work. Decision making systems can always be changed.
5.2 important roles within the group
All groups need people to do certain jobs.
* A person to record the decisions or minute and handle correspondence (This is generally the Secretary).
* A person to look after any money and expenses the group has or funds you raise. (This is generally the Treasurer).
* A person to chair or facilitate at meetings. This role can be shared, with each person taking their turn to facilitate a meeting. Often small groups, wanting to be informal, can neglect this role and cause themselves a lot of frustration.
* A Spokesperson who can talk on behalf of the group and who is responsible for publicity.
Some groups like to have a Coordinator (or Director, President, or Convenor) who is in charge of the organisation and who has the final say in certain situations.
In general, allocation of roles with titles (for example, stalls coordinator) is a good way of ensuring important tasks get dealt with and can also give people a sense of significance and responsibility within the group.
5.3 Keeping Records
It is important that groups always keep records of:
· The minutes of the group's own meetings. (Minutes are a record of the decisions made and actions planned - what the group has agreed to do and who is going to do it).
· Minutes of meetings with others.
· Activities - their successes or failures, the costs, the people and groups I businesses involved and how they operated; and other information.
· Finances and financial matters (see Section 12.5 on financier matters for more information on this).
The structure of your group determines whether or not you have legal standing and access to the courts, protection for the members from debts incurred by the group, and even your credibility. In Queensland many community groups have gained legal standing by adopting structures acceptable to the State Government for registration as Incorporated Associations. These groups must adopt certain basic rules into a Constitution, ensuring democratic "decision making, election of a management committee, the keeping of records. of meetings and accountability to members. Annual financial returns must be prepared and lodged with the state government
The administrative business of running a group is often ignored in the rush of campaigning. Your issue may be urgent and won or lost before incorporation can be registered, but if you are in for the long haul it is important to have an enduring structure. If you wish to become incorporated, or to know more about becoming incorporated as an environmental group, the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) should be able to help you. Contact them at.
Environmental Defenders Office
2nd Floor, 133 George Street
BRISBANE OLD 4000
Phone (07) 3210 0275 Fax (07) 3210 0253
6.0 PLANNING AND STARTING A CAMPAIGN
You have started your group in order to change a situation. So, how is this done:
Identify the goal. What do you want to do? This is what you're concerned about! Be clear about your aim. Vague aims can dissipate your energy.
Get information on the problem. Do you know what is causing the problem? -is it still occurring? What can you do to fix the situation? Get information on the issue you are concerned about.
Identify potential allies. Who can help you? You can get support for your group and your goals by co-ordination, networking and working with similar groups, hobby groups or local groups. You can also get help from people and groups with expertise, information, resources and equipment. Coordinate with the relevant government departments. There are always people who can help. If you are having problems, try another time - get a different person. Keep trying. Find those who can help.
Work out who will oppose the group. Some people or groups may oppose what you are trying to do. Identify people or groups with vested interests who want the situation to stay the way it is. (These are the people or groups who may oppose and try to block your actions if you want to change the situation). Bureaucracies may be opponents by inertia - the key here is public pressure for them to change. Others may be afraid of change - the key here is to educate them. Once you know who the opponents are, try to understand their motivations, the way they think, and therefore, their strategy! Open discussions and negotiate with them, but never underestimate them. Demonstrate community support - you will need allies.
Look at who your campaign will effect. Try and include them in your plans/campaign. Get their advice/help if possible so they can become involved in the activities. After all, if it affects them, and/or it is up to them to maintain what you have done, then it needs to be "theirs" as well as yours.
Understand your group. What are the resources you have and can get? (People, expertise; labour; facilities; access to equipment; equipment; time; money; goods -resources can be both human and material.) Use what you have and start from there. Work out what you need to get and how to get it.
Work out a timeline. Identify the time frame. What are the external events beyond your control that will influence the group and its campaign? Campaigns often have to be timed around what else is going on. Are there events and dates that will affect your group's ability to meet its goal? Is there a construction (or demolition) date; what about holidays, exams, elections - are there other dates that will affect the timetable of your campaign? By organising in advance you are taking the initiative and should be able to set the agenda. MAKE A TIMETABLE. If you have a long term goal, divide the campaign into a series of short term goals that you can achieve, and that will also give your group an on-going sense of success.
What can you do to fix the situation? Decide:
6.2 If your group can fix the situation by itself
· Get information on the problem and on any solution, or action to take.
· Decide what are the various jobs that need to be done.
· Do you need to get resources or funds for resources? (For more information on this see Section 12.0 on RESOURCES.)
· How should the jobs be done?
· Do you need extra people before the jobs can be done? (See Section 8.0 if you need extra people.)
· Who should do the different jobs?
· Make a timeline of other factors that will affect your activities, then work out a timetable for getting the work done.
Then - do the work!
6.3 If you have to involve others to solve the problem
Identity who can change the situation. THIS IS WHO YOU NEED TO REACH AND INFLUENCE, so aim your campaign at them. They can be of two types:
I Those you need to influence to change their activities (e.g. to stop them dumping rubbish in a local park or on the beach), or;
2 Those in authority that you need to influence so that the situation can be changed.
Try to understand what will influence them - what they like/dislike, so you know how to appeal to them and how to communicate with them.
INFLUENCING OTHERS TO CHANGE THEIR ACTIVITIES.
Work out how you can undertake activities to raise their interest and sympathy, and gain their support. For this you may need activities which:
* Create interest in the environmental problem that your group is trying to overcome, and gain support for solving fixing the problem. To show people how their activities cause the problem and what they should be doing instead.
* Keep the problem in the public eye and gain their support for solving the problem.
Section 10.0 on PUBLICITY will help explain how to do this, and Section 6.4 on Campaign tactics will also help.
INFLUENCING THE DECISION MAKERS TO CHANGE THE SITUATION.
The decision makers are those who can stop the problem or cause the situation to be changed. Who made the decision in the first place? Where did the decision you want changed originate? Was it a government employee, politician or company employee? How can you best influence the decisions? Influencing the decision makers can occur through (a) using common ground interests they can relate to in your arguments or (b) looking for ways to put pressure on them.
Identify who can influence the decision makers, To achieve your group's goal who will you need support from? These are the people you will need to influence, so they are who you will aim your campaign at. Who are the bosses of the decision makers? Who are they accountable to? (E.g. politicians are accountable to their voting public who can vote them out - and ultimately, politicians are in charge of government actions, and can change government activities. Companies are headed by Directors or Managers who are accountable to their shareholders or parent companies. Most companies also depend on the buying public for their income.) Try to understand the people who can influence the decision makers, so you can know how to appeal to them, what they like/dislike, and how to communicate with them.
If you can't convert the decision makers you will need to put pressure on them. (E.g. if a government supports an environmentally destructive activity the voters, or enough of them, need to be seen to support your group and oppose the government's activities).
Then work out how you can:
Reach, and influence, the decision makers (e.g. by lobbying them, or by affecting the people they answer to), or,
Influence those who can influence the decision makers by doing activities to raise their interest and sympathy, and gain their support. For this you may need to undertake activities (based on the environmental problem) to:
6.4 Campaign tactics
The tactics are the individual actions that make up a campaign. Each of them may have little impact by themselves, but they are effective as part of a series of activities aimed at changing a situation.
Tactics include activities such as:
* writing letters and objections, and lobbying personally with your recommendations
* holding meetings and events
* holding clean ups, or tree planting events, or other practical field activities or actions
* undertaking and publishing surveys
* publishing reports on the group's research
* holding film I information nights
* being on committees that make decisions affecting your interests or contributing to those committees
* getting other groups to lobby with you
* holding stalls or displays
* negotiating with politicians
* publishing a newsletter
* getting articles in other newsletters, journals and magazines
* getting signatures on petitions
* using a celebrity to promote your cause
* providing information (and entertainment) to the media (i.e. getting into the media)
Groups can sometimes use news and current affairs programmes to reach a wide audience and to publicise their viewpoint. (Refer to Section 10.1 on The media for more details).
There are many other tactics you can use. Tactics can vary widely and other people and groups may give you more ideas. Otherwise, use your imagination!
The tactics mentioned are generally acceptable to society and a campaign can be won using only such tactics. However, public and media interest often seems to centre around (and highlight) tactics that may be seen as less acceptable to society, e.g. holding rallies and direct actions, and this can be a problem when trying to get public and media interest. Before trying any tactics which some people in the community may disapprove of make sure that you have tried more conventional tactics first, and that the public is aware of this to lessen criticism.
Many individuals and groups underestimate themselves. In campaigns many people are surprised by the amount and variety of support they receive and at what they and the group can do.
GUIDELINES FOR ALL TACTICS
To keep people interested and enthusiastic about your issue, never leave it too long
between activities. Pace your campaign and activities so that people are constantly reminded that there is a problem,
* be different and original
* do something visual that TV/ cameras can use.
Make sure the activities are based upon the environmental problem you are trying to overcome, and don't lose track of your group's main goal.
Keep records of:
· ideas for future activities.
· meetings with others.
· the group's activities; how they went; their success or failure; positive and negative points and ideas for improvement; who turned up and how much they cost in time, resources, and finances.
OK - now you've got some more ideas about your situation and the environmental problem. Now apply it to your specific case. When trying to work out what your group should do, decide on some tactics, and then ask yourself if they:
* are focussed upon, or linked to, the group's goal
* meet the group's goal
* can be effectively achieved, so they put power behind your demands
* are within the experience of the group's members, or that they are comfortable with
* are outside the experience of those who oppose the group, so it is something they might not know how to deal with, or control?
Create a campaign with a unifying identity. Use a logo or colours to make your campaign recognisable.
Remember, the strategy may change as campaigns develop, don't worry - be flexible. If you don't know what to do, or how to do something, ask others for ideas
7.0 HELP FROM OUTSIDE THE GROUP
7.1 Networking with other groups
Help and support for your group and its campaign can often be available through other groups. Get together with other groups who have common areas of interest with your group, or goals similar to your group, and try to work with them. Other groups that may help you can include:
· Other environmental groups and environment centres
· Local groups or progress associations
· Hobby groups (e.g. gardening clubs, bushwalking groups, fishing clubs, climbing clubs, naturalist groups)
· Universities and other institutions may be useful for providing rooms, facilities, and people (e.g. students and researchers in particular fields may be able to provide specialist help and information that may be of use in your group's activities)
· Professional organisations and Unions.
Remember - networking is a 2-way process - so share information. Give people information and get information from them.
7.2 Getting help from the experts
Experts can provide advice and skills at all levels throughout a campaign - from providing knowledge on the wildlife and plants of an area, to helping get publicity for the group's goals. (It may be useful to have some experts available to provide independent confirmation of the scientific basis of your arguments).
Never be afraid of asking someone for some (free) help. You will be surprised by the people who are willing to help for a good cause.
8.0 WHO IS DOING ALL THE WORK?
What you want to do is affected by who makes up your group. After working out what you want to do:
* see what skills are available from your members
* if you want to do something and your members don't have the necessary skills, aim to get people with those skills in your group. Another possibility is to train and encourage present members in these areas - it depends on what the group needs.
If you are doing lots of work it means you need help and you are not recruiting enough members and volunteers. Every task that you do alone is a lost opportunity to get someone else to help with that job. Many organisations would be far stronger if the staff and leaders resolved to do nothing else but find others to volunteer for the jobs.
Groups can use three types of volunteers:
1 Volunteer workers in the field, or organising and helping in the office, or for functions or campaign work. The variety of work they can do is endless
* Discounts on goods or services, such as on equipment or repairs, or donations of free equipment. (These can be for the group's use, or even for prizes, such as raffles).
3 Volunteers can include busy workers for brief periods (such as holidays). In a situation of reciprocal trust these can be called upon in emergencies or when their specific skill is needed.
Finally, many people are sympathetic to environmental concerns and may become involved in times of crisis. A short-term explosion in membership (and volunteers) can occur during a time of crisis in an environmental campaign. This support may then dissipate until a new crisis occurs, as people may be too busy at other times.
The first thing many groups need is more help for their campaign - and to get more people you must first get out to tell people about the group; what you are doing and that you would like their help. You can get new volunteers by:
RECRUITMENT SHOULD BE AN ONGOING PROCESS. PEOPLE LEAVE FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS, SO THERE SHOULD ALWAYS PEOPLE BEING RECRUITED TO REPLACE THEM AND BUILD UP THE GROUP.
8.3 Keeping people
People join a group to show their support for what the group is doing and to become involved. They join and stay with an organisation that fulfils their specific needs, such as social contact and companionship or other social or work-related needs.
When people join a group, remember their interest in what your group is doing got them along to the group. Now they need to be reassured of the group's interest in having them as part of the group! Never allow people to feel that you wasted their time or do not really need them.
Have someone whose role is to talk to new members and to help them settle in (sometimes this is the volunteer coordinator). As soon as people arrive:
* explain the group and its goals to the newcomer, and
* try to find out what interests them, what their skills are, and what they can do to help the group.(This may not be what they are skilled at: they may not want to do the same job they do every day of the week, but would love to do something different.) Give a new person something to do immediately, making sure it suits them and it is what the group needs (on the VERY RARE occasions there is nothing suitable, give them something to read about the campaign while you find them something to do, or, if there is no work for them at the moment, arrange a time for them to come back to help). Select activities based on their personal interests, strengths and abilities. Explain to them the relevance of their work to the campaign.
* Introduce them to others who they can work with, and get to know (are there any members interested in the same things as the newcomer, or who they might have something in common to talk about?)
* Always have lists of jobs that people can do (including quick jobs and long-term jobs), with the name of the person to contact about each job.
* Keep a registry of volunteers. This should have their names, addresses and phone numbers, details of what they can do and when, and when they were last contacted.
* Keep in touch with volunteers, and keep them up to date. Some groups do not keep in touch with volunteers when the group is busy - and then lose the opportunity to get help when it is needed. You may need them next time.
The more jobs people take on the more they feel responsible for the group and a part of the group. The less members are given to do, the less responsibility they feel for the group and less a part of the group. They then become less committed to the group.
Volunteer are just that - volunteers who are working for no pay to help your group and the campaign they come in during their spare time and have to juggle helping the group with working for a living, their family and other commitments. Unfortunately, this sometimes makes it difficult and there may be a high turnover or infrequent volunteers. Don't push people too hard if you make it difficult for them they'll go away.
Everybody has a contribution to make - look at people and look for their potential.Encourage people. Appreciate those people who do help. Develop a sense of their helpfulness. Learn to laugh at the imperfections and odd situations that arise.
It is important to always thank people and give public recognition for what they have done.
Celebrate any victories, and focus upon the successes and the good work that has been done.
Groups often use the facilities and equipment of their members (e.g. phone, car, postage, photocopying, paper and stationery). However, many people who have the skill and time may not be able to pay the extra costs involved. Paying for any financial costs volunteers incurred on behalf of the group may enable people to do voluntary work for the group. Otherwise you may be making it impossible for students, the unemployed or retired, or those on a single income, to help you. Yet these people will have the time to help your group. (But make sure any financial outlay is approved).
MANAGING THE WORKLOAD
Working for groups can sometimes become too much hard work and frustration. Always make sure of four things.
I That the workload is spread out and there are regular events to get new people in, before it gets to be too much work.
2 Take time off! Limit people's workload so they don't overwork and always make sure people attend to their physical needs with regular meals, adequate exercise and rest.
3 Anyone getting too busy should have time off to relax! Give themselves a chance to get their energy back. Have a good sleep. Relax with a favourite video. Meditate. Have a massage. The aim is to take time off and just RELAX when it is needed. Not after it's needed, - but before! Encourage everyone to pace themselves. If anyone seems to be burning out,
· cut back on the workload.
· give them support and encouragement - appreciation can be a wonderful tonic.
· make sure they spend more time relaxing at home, with friends, family, doing nothing, having a holiday.
Bookshops and libraries have books on stress management that give ways to overcome stress.
4 HAVE FUN! Make sure your group's activities are enjoyable for all. Leisure activities have been a part of the operation of many groups, acting as a means of reaching people, a means of recruitment and as a fundraiser. They are also a way for members to have fun and get to know like-minded people. Therefore, leisure activities help the group grow by encouraging interaction and new members. Media coverage of activities can also help advertise the campaign or group.
8.4 Enjoyable activities
Leisure activities are essential to the maintenance of a group. There are three types of leisure activities that play an important part in the activities and maintenance of groups.
Firstly, the work volunteers do should be a rewarding activity for them.Volunteers join a group because they believe in what your group is doing and want to help, but they also join for other social needs. Therefore, a volunteer in the group should be doing work he/she enjoys. The advantage of environmental groups that are also running a campaign is that there is a greater variety of work for people to do, so the work can suit the needs of the individual. From office to outdoor work, from stunts to cooking, photography, research or painting banners.
Secondly, groups should also provide opportunities for people to relax and have a good time. This helps people get to know each other - and it's important people share good times together. Groups sometimes offer a social life through activities such as organised functions, walks, parties (post-event thank-you parties are good for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves after working hard), dinners, camps, outdoor activities, meetings, learning sessions, family activities and dare-devil activities for some. It really depends on what your members like to do.
Thirdly, you can reach new people through their hobbies. Such leisure activities can raise money, support and publicity for the campaign while reaching new people and providing a good time for all. These can be:
Volunteer groups are usually made up of very nice people! This is sometimes a problem because as very nice people they may never want to deal with problem people or ask anyone to leave but this can be a trap because there may be a person causing problems and a problem individual left unchecked can make other people miserable or frustrated by what is happening in the group so they leave. But this can also reflect on what they think of the group and how they portray the group can affect others' views. Don't be afraid of talking to someone about their behaviour. Try communicating with them. or use conflict resolution techniques (there are books that can help you with this and professional facilitators and conflict resolution consultants). Use facilitation to try and get cooperation between people, and consensus as a way to achieve a compromise that should suit most people
However, sometimes you may have to ask someone to leave - and if you aren't sure, don't wait until it gets worse. Think of what is best for the majority of the group's members and the campaign goal when deciding what to do. It is no good if the group dissolves slowly over the actions of a minority.
9.0 MEETINGS AND EVENTS
9.1 Types of meetings
Meetings can be held for a number of different purposes, and there are a number of different types of meetings - from your first meeting to informal meetings and special meetings Using one meeting for a number of different reasons may cause conflicts, problems and confusion. What you want to discuss and who you want to talk to affects how and where you should advertise the meeting and where it is held. Generally, the types of meetings are:
Group meetings. These can be in a hall or in a home and should be advertised (in local papers or on posters, as well as in your newsletter) so that the public (interested people and potential new members) are able to attend.
Special meetings/Public meetings. The idea is to boost the campaign and get more support, new people, new ideas and new workers out of these meetings. These are usually to attract public attention and therefore there should be lots of advertising before the event. (Posters around the place, community announcements, invitations to other groups or individuals who may be potential allies.)
Posters should be up at least three weeks before the event. Invitations to other groups should be sent in time for it to be mentioned at a meeting at least two weeks before the event. Get any community radios to do reminder radio announcements a day or two before the event.
These meetings are good opportunities for a stall that can provide membership forms and campaign information, to get more members and supporters, and have items for sale to raise funds.
As well as nominating a spokesperson for the group, nominate one (or more) of the meeting organisers as an emergency person, who everybody knows to go to with queries, for instructions, or if things go wrong.
(Are you going to invite the media, or put out a media release beforehand? If it is newsworthy, put out a press release to the radio and television stations and the newspapers. For more information on any of this see Section 10.1 on The media).
Small organising meetings or committee meetings. There may be sub-groups, or committees, that work on specific areas. These are usually in-house meetings to discuss strategies for your group in depth, therefore you only want people
who already know about these specific aspects. This is not a good time to bring along new people as they won't know a lot of what is being discussed and may become confused, needing some information explained to them - or worse, feel ignorant and left out. So advertise these through the newsletter or the minutes of meetings only.
Working groups. These are for people interested in a topic or subject, or who have a particular skill or area of interest. These are a good time to bring new people along who are interested in that topic or area. Therefore, advertise the meeting where you will find those people (as well as in your own newsletter).
Training sessions. These are for training people, so you will need someone with knowledge and training skills to do the training. Training sessions can be divided into those designed specifically for in-house training of group members and those designed for the public. For training sessions open to the public advertise where the type of new people you want are likely to be and in any newsletters they may read.
Events and activities. The same guidelines that hold for Special meetings/Public meetings are also appropriate for events. Make sure the day of the event does not clash with other activities that will attract the same audience. Also, do not have one event for different (contradictory) audiences. Have rehearsals beforehand. If it involves publicity or the media see Section 10.0 on PUBLICITY.
For a fundraising event the group may also be able to get the site/venue and the use of equipment (even the paper for posters or programmes) for free or at a reduced rate as a contribution to your campaign. If firms or people do donate their services don't forget to acknowledge this and thank them. This may help their business and be an example for others.
If it is a fundraising event based around a particular leisure activity (e.g. a sport or concert) also put posters and articles out where people interested in those events will see them. Many events are based around a celebrity or celebrities who are performing for free - who can be role models for others, encouraging others to join and be active.
Once an event or activity is over, hold a debriefing session; evaluate how it went and how it could be improved next time.
After an event, celebrate with all your willing helpers. The group should thank them, on a general post-event party/pat on the back. (Even if an event was not a success it may still have involved hard work for many people and they still need to be thanked and feel good about all the effort they put into it.)
9.2 Guidelines for all meetings and events
Time. Check when is the best time for your meeting. For example, if it is held during work hours many people won't be able to attend while others may not be able to come after hours. What time you have the meeting therefore depends upon what best suits the group's members and the people you want to attract to meetings. Also check that it doesn't clash with other meetings that may be important to your members.
Site. The choice of a meeting site will also affect who comes to a meeting.
· Are people familiar with where the meeting is to be held?
· Is it in the area, or out of the way?
· Can people get there using public transport?
Does the building chosen have adequate facilities for the meeting, for.
· The number of people. (Is it too small, or too large - too large may mean the meeting may look small and insignificant and may also cause problems with hearing the speakers if they talk quietly. Are there enough chairs?)
· Coffee, tea and food - even if it is only biscuits, afterwards.
Advertising. Always get advertising out in plenty of time (approximately three weeks in advance for posters or leaflets, and at least ten days for community radio announcements and community newspaper advertisements (check your local media for details). Check all advertising has the date, time and place and any special information (such as the name of guest speakers).
Advertising may include posters, leaflets, articles in the papers about the event/meeting, radio community announcements, feature articles in papers, newsletters, and journals that any interested people may read, advertisements in the paper, notices in the free community notices section of the paper, and word of mouth.
The agenda. Before the meeting work out a rough agenda for putting on a blackboard/whiteboard or butchers paper that everyone can see - this may be changed by the meeting, but some idea of what is to be talked about is needed.
A popular format of meetings is for reports and updates on all ongoing jobs, and then getting onto any new business. Finish with a summation of what has been decided and who is doing what; and the date, time and place of the next meeting.
Make sure there is someone to:
* CHAIR THE MEETING (OR A FACILITATOR)
* TAKE NOTES AND MINUTES OF THE MEETING. Keep records of decisions made and actions planned, and who is going to do the various jobs.
* HAVE SOMEONE KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME, and to get the meeting back on line if anything gets bogged down, or is taking too much time.
At the end of the meeting go over the various tasks that people have volunteered to do. Make sure there is no confusion and that everyone remembers what they have said they would do.
Provide coffee, tea, and time, at the end of the meeting. (You may wish to ask for donations to pay for this). After the meeting give people time to relax and circulate and exchange ideas. Post-meeting discussions can bring new ideas that can be useful. It is also important to encourage interaction with the new members so they can feel a part of the group. This helps the growth of the group. New members can often help with an outside perspective on what other people think of what you are doing.
PROBLEMS: TALKING ABOUT IT;
Too much talk can put off those who came along to work, while those who like to talk will stay. This may mean the group is talking rather than doing something about the problems they originally wanted to fix. There is a need to balance planning and action.
How successful a group is can depend upon the amount and type of publicity the group gets. Good publicity can get you support and help you achieve your goals much more easily. Too little publicity can mean more work for everybody. Bad publicity can cause problems for the group and can set back your cause.
The amount of publicity you can get depends on the goals of the group. (E.g. if you are trying to fix up something in your local community, then it may be of interest only in your local community). Be realistic about the type of coverage you deserve and what kind of coverage you need. Check:
· if your campaign is of local importance only, or of statewide or national importance?
Target the people you are trying to reach and organise your events and articles to reach them and to appeal to them. Check what kind of image you are showing. Is it caring, knowledgeable, angry, dynamic, efficient, confused or naive? Are you showing the image you wish people to see?
Most groups can't afford to pay for advertisements to get their message across to the community. Instead groups can sometimes use the news and current affairs programmes to publicise their viewpoint.
Forms of publicity can include:
* displays and stalls
* articles in the papers
* speaking to other groups
* small paid advertisements for smaller meetings
* notices in the community notices section of the paper
* campaign advertisements
* radio community announcements
* feature articles in papers, newsletters and journals that any interested people may read
* word of mouth
* holding events and activities to get publicity and people's attention and interest
It is a good idea to have a leaflet that tells people about your group and its goals. This should describe what the environmental problem is and what the group is doing and why it is important - and what people can do to help It should also include a membership form and information about how people can join the group.
Campaign publicity. People are interested in what affects them - so base the campaign publicity on how the environmental problem affects them and how your campaign benefits them - and always say what they can do to help. Posters and articles in papers and journals may be useful for telling people about the campaign and getting them interested. Sometimes radio and television stations have an environment programme that may be able to do a story about the campaign and your group.
Leaflets, posters and advertisements. Make sure any leaflets, brochures, posters, advertisements, (and even products) are designed properly. There are many good artists in the community who can help with design, illustration and layouts. Sometimes you can get artists and designers through word-of-mouth, or with small notices at the schools, colleges, or art schools. There are a lot of people with skills who are willing to work for a cause - so go and get them!
Posters can be done simply using a silkscreen, (or even colour photocopies). Most students who have done art in high school know the basics of doing silkscreens. Another easy method is to photocopy posters in one or two colours (e.g. using blue and red). Posters can also be done easily using A3 or A4 black and white photocopies, that can then have some parts coloured in with bright marker pens.
Displays and stalls. Have a good display with photographs (and/or drawings) about your campaign. This could be set up at markets, fetes, libraries or shopping malls. Have leaflets and membership forms, and if allowed, products for sale.
Newsletter. A newsletter keeps people up to date on the campaign and the group's activities. Therefore, the group should have a newsletter to send to members, the general public and other groups and individual contacts that are important for the group or the campaign. It is a form of in-house publicity that can also be sent to local libraries, groups and politicians to update them about your activities.
Photographs. Sometimes the place (or plant, or animal) can speak for itself. Make sure you have good photos (or graphics) of your goal that the media can use - these can make a difference. Sometimes a drawing may be more flattering - it depends on your campaign goal.
Most areas have amateur photographers. Some of Australia's well known nature and wildlife photographers started when their photographs were used for environmental campaigns, where the groups couldn't afford a professional photographer - but the publicity and extensive use of the photographs helped turn these people into professionals.
Keep a graphics file. Keep any graphics (including cartoons) and photographs, that may be of use for your campaign.
Whatever you are producing always include information on the group, include a phone number for inquiries so people can contact the group. If it is about a meeting give the date, time and place of the meeting, and why it is being held.
10.1 The media
Media coverage can be important for the success of a campaign, and can be achieved effectively with only a few people - however, not all publicity is good publicity, so be careful.
Media avenues can be television, radio, newspapers and magazines, including:
· Feature articles in the papers or magazines, or on TV or radio programmes.
· Interviews on talk shows.
· Letters to the editor.
But the media needs to have something it can use. For your information to be NEWS it needs to be new, interesting and unusual (in other words, newsworthy). However, as the. news is often about what will affect people, most environmental issues can be called newsworthy - or made newsworthy.
So create a programme for the media to follow.
Throughout your campaign provide entertainment with the information. To get into the news provide something newsworthy. Provide something interesting and with visuals - of what you are fighting for, trying to save or protect. Highlight the problem and why you are acting. But - be positive and show what your group is doing and what can be done.
Have pictures, excitement (or fun), and a story for the media to use. Television (and the papers) need something to photograph, and all need a good story.
Events or activities may be put on specifically to attract the media's attention - and through them get the public's attention. Or the media may be invited to cover an activity. But remember, never leave it too long between activities as people may otherwise forget about the problem and what your group is trying to achieve.
Be original and inventive. The section on campaign tactics lists some tactics that you can use (but also stresses that there should be lots more ideas that you can think of)!
Unfortunately, there seems to be a dichotomy where those tactics that are controversial and unacceptable to some sectors of society can get good media coverage. This means that the group can reach a large audience, and may achieve large scale support; but can alienate sectors of the population. Be careful.
Compile a list of the name, address, phone and fax numbers of all the television and radio stations and newspapers covering your area. This is one of the first small (but very important) jobs to give to a volunteer to do. Keep this list handy and ready for instant use. This should also include:
I The deadline times for the papers and programmes.
2 The names of the newsrooms, the community programmes and any
3 The name, address, phone, or fax number of the local reporters.
4 The name, address, phone or fax number of specialist reporters (e.g.
the environment reporter).
Develop contacts with your local media, and any media people specialising in your campaign area. Check the local papers and find the most sympathetic journalist. For more information refer to Margaret Gee's Media Guide (republished annually and often available in libraries).
Put out a media release to get your views into the public eye and/or to publicise an event. Media releases should be no longer than 1 or 2 typed A4 pages, and include the name and phone number of the group's spokesperson at the end of the statement. Put the group's name in a prominent place, and the group's aims and views. Keep the message clear and simple. Say why action should be taken NOW! The media release should show what you want (what you are campaigning for) - and any alternative proposal you are suggesting. Don't just say you don't want something. It's important to show that what your group is against is not necessary, and that there is a better alternative.
Make your main point in the first few sentences or the journalists may not read enough of the media release to discover it. Present some of your argument as quotes for the journalist to use - and clearly attribute each quote to your spokesperson.
To publicise an event, if you have a fax machine, put out an alert to the media the day before, and a media release on the actual day of the event. Or post the media release 2-4 days before the event, and make a follow-up phone call on the day of the event. Take copies of the media release to the event for journalists who turn up on the day.
Media releases should go to the newsrooms, certain individuals in the media and sometimes to the community announcements section. Community announcements usually only come out weekly, so check that any media releases reach these stations in time. If it is a local or weekly paper check their deadlines.
SPEAKING TO THE MEDIA
See if you have someone who can be the spokesperson for your group when talking to the media This needs to be someone who knows the issue and is articulate. Give
her/him practice talking on the topic so they become brief and concise. He/she should be able to be clear, come quickly to the point and give quotable lines. The spokesperson is representing your group to the viewers, or audience, so what she/he wears is also important - some outfits may put some people off your cause. Furthermore, as the spokesperson is your group's representative they should give the group's position. If they do not they should not act as a spokesperson!
AT FUNCTIONS OR EVENTS
Hang banners behind speakers. (Always have a large banner with the group's name and logo on it ready for use). And always have information around saying who you are and what you want (e.g. on posters and leaflets). Have a rehearsal of the event beforehand. Act out role plays, with someone as the press and someone as a hostile audience asking smart/tricky questions; make it so that there are as few mistakes as possible before the real thing.
Get your people to come ten minutes early.
Have a press statement ready. If possible also have:
* Background pieces about your organisation and the campaign.
* Photos or graphics for the media to use if they want them; this may affect where the article is shown.
So, the media uses your story - it is important for you to know what was written/or shown, and how your group and campaign are being portrayed to the public.
* Keep a record of any media information about your group and campaign, including newspaper clippings. Get people who read the papers, watch the news, and/or listen to the radio to check and keep a record of the kind of coverage you are getting.
* Be prepared for the interest generated by the media coverage. Is the group ready to:
take on new members?
respond to any suggestions or criticisms generated by the media coverage?
II.O WRITING REPORTS
Writing reports can be an important part of running campaigns and organisations -and this may be a problem if you are not used to writing reports. However, there is a growing number of people who have skills in writing, and people who have computers and know about desk-top publishing. Moreover as all groups often need to effectively tell people what they are doing, it is useful if someone can become good at this. By getting people to write small articles for the group's newsletter you can check their style and give them practice so they may be able to write more for the group.
Preparing reports or articles involves:
* design and presentation
* editing (proofreading)
When writing a report or article make sure you write it to suit the people who you want to read it. So decide:
· who will you need support from to achieve your goal?
· what information will influence them to support your group and its goal?
- and write your article according to this.
Government style manuals can be useful for showing how to write reports.
Make sure your information and facts are correct - incorrect information may invalidate the report, or people may see it as inaccurate or false.
A big mistake in writing a report is to see it as an assignment. With a report it is what is in it that counts - concentrate upon getting your points across and into the system Sometimes the due date for a report is critical, but not always. If you think you will be unable to meet the due date make a quick phone call for an extension, or if you know beforehand that it won't be ready, see if you can make an INTERIM SUBMISSION showing your main points - and then get the main report finished and in.
11.1 Scientific and research reports
How strong a case you can mount quite often depends on proving your case. Therefore, a lot of the time you'll need to present research and evidence of the importance of your campaign goal in scientific terms and/or in scientific reports. Always make sure your facts are correct Help with producing scientific or research reports can be obtained from local tertiary colleges or universities. Put a sign in the faculty common room asking for help (or the honours or postgraduate rooms, or on notice boards).
A group that sometimes may be able to help is USERP (United Scientists for Environmental Responsibility and Protection). USERP's aims are to halt and reverse the continuing destruction of our natural environment and to work for the conservation of the world's natural heritage. They look to achieve these goals by promoting sustainable economic development, making scientists aware of their social responsibility and encouraging scientists to speak out and participate in environmental debates. In Queensland, USERS can be contacted through the Queensland Conservation Council on phone (07) 3221 0188.
12.1 Sometimes you don't need cash
The group can get goods, help and service through interested people, so cash isn't always necessary; or if you ask people they may give you the goods at a reduced rate.
12.2 Stocktaking / keeping stock
Keep a record of who has what - either goods you can use (e.g. who has a sewing machine, paintbrushes, fax, etc.) or goods the group owns (e.g. calico, paint, reference books). As members come and go groups often lose track of an original item and have to buy new gear - when they may already have it! Just a simple exercise book for STOCK/LIBRARY RECORDS will do, with columns for: Date; Name, Address and Phone; Item name/book title; Date returned. Also have a RESOURCES AND SKILLS REGISTER where you list a person's Name, Address and Phone number, and their skills (or equipment) that the group can use - and when they were last contacted. (Always keep in touch with these people).
In addition to providing resources for your campaign, fundraising gives people an opportunity to support your cause. Ways to raise money are:
Membership subscriptions to the group. All groups can work with (and use) paying members - and people can say that they are a member of your group and thus show their support.
The sale of goods. You can hold one-off fundraising stalls (e.g. plant stalls, garage sales, cake stalls), or sell items on a long-term basis to keep the group in funds. For some ideas on the types of products you can produce and sell, check The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation's shops and catalogues. People have to buy goods/gifts anyway, so having products to sell means people can support the group through their everyday activities. Check the prices also, and keep everything businesslike. The group should not seem greedy or opportunistic by charging too high prices, or naive with too low prices.
Holding fundraising events. These are often based around donated (unpaid)
work and performances by celebrities. They may include: sports events and activities, concerts, theatre nights, dinners, raffles, art shows, or a variety of other activities. Sponsored activities are another type of fund raising. Many firms may help events with the loan of equipment and facilities, either free of charge or at reduced rates, or with donations of goods or expertise. Mention their name in the publicity. This may help them with business and lead to further support, or act as an example for other groups. Corporate support can also sometimes be given through sponsorship of activities. Refer to Section 9.0 on MEETINGS AND EVENTS for more information on this.
Donations or sponsorship from companies. As well as cash donations these might include gifts for prizes, raffles, or the use of equipment. Sponsorship and donations can be found in the most unusual places, as well as through the usual places. Look amongst companies that may benefit from your campaign, but be scrupulous about the companies you receive money from!
Government grants. You may be able to get a grant to undertake your project. Or the group may be able to contract for government-instigated research which is in their field of expertise.
12.4 Guidelines for fundraising
The group should always set aside some money to raise money - some activities require little expenditure, but most require at least some funds, so this should be taken into account. Aim to raise more funds than you spend. (Otherwise it is not fundraising!). Starting with small schemes may give you the money and experience for larger fundraising activities.
Check that products or events don't clash with other similar groups' activities and that you are not competing for the same supporters.
When fundraising, remember to emphasise that the funds will help the group achieve its goal (name the environmental problem you are trying to avoid or overcome), and how people will benefit by this.
Keep records of ideas for future fundraising activities. Always be on the lookout for new ideas, products, or even new celebrities who may wish to help your campaign.
Record how the fundraising activities went: what they cost and what was spent. Analyse what went wrong, and what went right; and why some events were successful while others failed.
Be scrupulous about keeping books and accounts.
Always check the legal situation, particularly when it comes to raising money. (For example, in Queensland an association may run a small private raffle but only if they conform to the guidelines provided by the Queensland Treasury Art Unions Division. If you require more information on this phone the Division's Community Liaison Officers on (07) 3877 1089 or (07) 3877 1094).
12.5 Financial matters
It is very important to keep records of your finances You may need to keep and present accounts, and it is amazing how the money goes, so keep records from the very beginning, even if it's only petty cash records.
Make sure the group's financial system and situation is legal and above-board - a lot keeping financial records for depends upon this. Some banks provide guidelines on non-profit groups.
Have a clear understanding of what the group can pay for, who can make decisions on money, and what receipts are required. You will need receipts for keeping track of expenses and for keeping accounts. This is also useful on a long term basis, if the group needs to work out a budget.
13.0 IS IT LEGAL?
Legal advice can cost money, but without it you or the group can get into trouble, so always check what you are doing.
The Environmental Defenders Office may be able to advise you. They are non-profit community legal centres specialising in environmental law. The EDO acts for individuals, resident action groups and conservation groups seeking to protect the environment in the public interest. In Brisbane the EDO is at:
Environmental Defenders Office
2nd Floor, 133 George Street
BRISBANE QLD 4000
Phone (07) 3210 0275
Fax (07) 3210 0253
If there is no EDO near you, some community legal groups may be able to advise you so see if there is an office nearby.
14.0 WINNING OR LOSING - WHERE TO NEXT
So the campaign is over You have achieved your goal, (or now cannot achieve your goal, if you have lost) We hope you've won! Congratulations!
Whether winning or losing the campaign, the group now has no unifying campaign goal to work for. Without this a group can become confused about its job, and what it is doing, and start to break-up. A number of things can happen to a group at this stage.
1 Some groups, enjoying themselves and having a good time, find they would rather keep going and start a new campaign. By now the group is more experienced and skilled and should be able to do much better, and enjoy itself more.
2 If you don't want to start a new campaign (you may all be just tired out), and you have won the campaign, you could keep the group as a watchdog/monitoring body checking the goal is kept. In that case scale down the group's activities and send new volunteers elsewhere so they can he/p in other areas. Otherwise the group can waste energy and active people can get frustrated with your group's lack of campaign activity By now you are the veterans, and you might be able to help them start their own group, fixing up something else in your area!
3 Some groups close down after the campaign is over. Whether winning or losing, people will still have fought valiantly, and may need a rest. HOWEVER, if you are still taking members and doing fundraising you may be competing with/stopping a new group from being formed without realising it. Because sometimes it may be hard for a new group to form when you are considered the "resident" environmental group - and people come to join you. Remember, an environmental group is one that tries to do something about an environmental problem, rather than just a social club. (The advantage is that people can have a social club that also helps our environment!) Therefore, if you are all tired but want to continue as a group, think about adjourning your group for a while (2 months off, perhaps) and then start afresh. With the new campaign it will be easier, as you don't have to start a new group as well.
15.0 FOR FURTHER HELP AND INFORMATION
There are groups and individuals that may be able to help you. Try:
* Other environmental groups and environmental centres
* Other organisations
Your local library or your local conservation council should also be able to provide you with more information on the topics covered in this guide. However, other books you may find useful are:
Prior, D., TACTICS FOR LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION, (TVS Community Unit), Community Education Development Centre, Coventry, 1988.
Bobo, K., Kendall, J., and Max, S., ORGANISING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: A MANUAL FOR ACTIVISTS, Seven Locks Press, Cabin John, Washington, 1991.
Shields, K., IN THE TIGER'S MOUTH, Millennium Books, Newtown, N.S.W,1991.
Tymson, C., THE DO-IT YOURSELF GUIDE TO PUBLICITY, SPECIAL EVENTS AND FUNDRAISING, Millennium Books, Pty, Ltd. Newtown. N.S.W., 1988.
Foley, C., and Sparks, J., FUND RAISING MADE EASY, Viking O'Neil, 1992.
Finally, if you have any more questions, please get in touch with us. The QCC will do everything we can to help you, and we look forward to working with you