Former UNA-City College of New York chapter President, Rabita Tareque, offers her advice on how to seamlessly transition your own chapter's leadership.
What are your group’s fundraising goals?
Before you begin, take a moment to think about what you would like your chapter to be like this time next year. With your leadership team, discuss the following points.
- What plans you have in mind for the upcoming year? Think broadly, then focus on the details later in the discussion. Your whole team should be on the same page before you can work on the nitty gritty.
- Now that you have the big picture, set specific goals. How many events do you want to have? How many people do you want to reach? How much money do you want to raise?
- With your goals in mind, create a timeline of events, and begin to outline a budget that will support events. Without setting goals and outlining strategies to meet those goals, the everyday task of fundraising will have no direction.
- Once you have a goal in mind – and a strategy that will get you there – you can begin raising funds!
There are three key forms of fundraising on campus:
UNA-USA’s campus chapters are ambassadors for the UN in their local communities. They educate themselves and others in the vital work of the UN, advocate to their elected leaders about the importance of a strong US-UN relationship, and have fun while doing it! Across the nation, a network of young UN supporters is mobilizing to build a bright future for our generation.
Ready to get involved on your campus?
Anna Mahalak, Youth Engagement Manager
Events can be the lifeblood of a successful organization. They help you build awareness and membership, and ultimately give your chapter a louder voice in your community. However, hosting events can become challenging endeavors. To provide a better experience for attendees and to improve your on-campus relationships, we highly suggest building partnerships with other like-minded organizations
Any event can be made better through teamwork and collaboration. Working alongside amenable clubs who are sympathetic to our cause allows us to cast a wider net and build lasting relationships. Ultimately this will allow us to:
- Increase Membership
- Raise Awareness
- Split Costs & Share Materials
- Reach a Wider Audience
Types of Groups to Partner With:
Discovering mutual causes to rally around will help you find an ideal partnership for an event or campaign. Depending on your audience, you may want to consider extending invitations to one of the following categories of organizations:
- Academic (e.g. International Relations Council)
- Service/Social Action (e.g. Amnesty International, Circle K, Mortar Board)
- Cultural/International (e.g. African & Latino Alliance of Students)
- Academic/Professional (e.g. Engineers Without Borders, Future Business Leaders)
The UN touches a breadth of issues related to health, security, science, politics, and more. The sky is the limit for collaboration!
Maintaining the Relationship:
Growing the relationship beyond a single event is always ideal. Consider hosting annual events together while engaging their membership throughout the year with activities of your own. Create a lasting relationship between your groups and find new ways to work together on events like:
- Advocacy Efforts
- Awareness Campaigns
- Award Ceremonies
- Model UN Conferences
- Donation Drives
- Speaking Engagements
Best Practices for Building Membership:
1. Be Organized and Diligent
The first step towards building your chapter starts well before you engage your peers!
a. Establish a committee to establish membership goals and strategies.
b. Discuss potential membership challenges and use “group-think” to find solutions!
c. Work with the UNA-USA national office – the staff is here to make sure your experience is a success.
2. Be Proactive
Always remember to prepare for success!
a. Membership applications are always available online, so have a laptop or tablet ready for any event you host!
b. Publicize your events and programs, utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to spread the word before and after your event.
c. Most important! Remember that people do not join unless you ask them to! So always remember to follow up whenever possible.
3. Make New Members Feel Welcome
Now that you have them, keep them!
a. Reach out to new recruits as soon as they join!
b. Invite new members to an event or host a party to celebrate new members.
c. Have a new member spotlight in your newsletter or on your Facebook page, make sure that your existing members have a face to put with the new name!
4. Engage All Existing Members in Recruitment
Everything you need is already at your fingertips!
a. Network through your existing members.
b. Encourage your members to find prospective members in other organizations.
c. Have current members invite prospective members and/or their organizations to UNA-USA events!
5. Learn from your experiences. Regularly evaluate your groups’ practices and level of success.
6.Transition leadership positions to allow for leadership growth of your members.
Helpful Hints for Promoting Growth
Characteristics of our members:
- Ethical – Many members get involved because they see UNA-USA as an opportunity to serve their ethical and civic responsibilities. Show them that working with UNA-USA is an effective way to make a positive difference in the world!
- Social – Members often join in order to meet others with similar values and interests, make new friends, and have fun. Others may join to network or work on issues that they’re passionate about. To make your group more appealing to potential members be sure to plan several activities that provide opportunities for members to interact and get to know each other.
- Intellectual– Many members join UNA-USA in an effort to learn more about the United Nations so they can educate others about the work of the UN, and in some cases, correct misinformation about the UN’s work. Encourage this enthusiasm and these passions, and work with potential members to show that joining Campus Advocates will broaden horizons and increase global understanding.
- Open-Minded– GenUN is a program that encourages new and creative ideas. As the new generation of global leaders, UNA-USA Campus Chapters are encouraged to find innovative ways to engage their campuses and communities.
- Professional– GenUN leaders develop new skills, network, and build leadership skills. Embrace this learning experience that will help prepare you for your future career. The GenUN leadership experience can be invaluable and it challenges members to take on important tasks and learn how to better develop relationships.
Why focus on building a group that works as a team?
- More Local Resources: Increasing your membership allows your chapter to access a larger pool of talent, ideas, and resources. More members means more hands ready and willing to staff events, raise funds, and engage your campus directly
- More Americans Understand and Appreciate the UN: As your chapter grows, you’ll have increased capacity to help others understand the UN’s day-to-day role in building a better world.
- More Power to Advocate Effectively: The voice of many is stronger than the voice of few. Having more members means your chapter’s voice is more likely to be heard when engaging with elected officials, partnering organizations, and other members of your community. It is easier to mobilize UNA-USA members than unaffiliated supporters when critics make misinformed political attacks against the UN. More members means more respect for your organization, and your team’s efforts will help make this a reality.
- More Attention for Your Goals and Partnerships: As you strengthen your team and membership, other organizations and local media outlets will pay more attention. Soon, you’ll be able to form coalitions with other organizations to help accomplish your education and advocacy goals.
So, Why Join Our Team?
- Help build support for the United Nations among elected officials and your community.
- Be part of a community of like-minded individuals across the nation.
- Develop yourself as a global citizen and leader.
- Gain vital experience as a young professional.