Step 3: Lining Up Resources

The third step of the Success Cycle focuses on lining up the resources you will need to perform project activities. Some of these resources include a central location or office, copy equipment, and computers. What resources will you need? Crime prevention and other community-building projects require:

bullet Volunteers who are interested and committed.
bullet An organization, formal or informal, to carry out the project.
bullet Materials and services, such as food, printing, and transportation.
bullet Money and/or donations of goods and services.
bullet Publicity, even if it's only in the immediate area.
bullet The support of key adult leaders (teachers, principals, city officials, agency staff, etc.).
bullet Evaluations -- a way to check on the success of your work.

What are the skills, goods, and services needed for your project?

Recruiting Volunteers

The commitment of volunteers is usually the most significant element in lining up resources. An important question to ask is, how do you recruit others for your project? Here are some ideas:

bullet Ask for help. Most people are willing to help or do something if asked personally.
bullet Stress project results. People need a mental picture of how things will be made better.
bullet Ask volunteers to recruit friends. (Note: Recruiters should know whether their friends are interested enough to do more than hang out.)
bullet Let people know they will gain skills and opportunities from their volunteer efforts (for instance, make new friends and gain leadership skills). They may also be able to earn school credit for their activities.
bullet Publicize all your activities (surveys, forums, social events).
bullet Give volunteers public recognition and proper thanks for participating.
bullet Show potential recruits that your project involves activities they enjoy -- art, music, writing, speaking, organizing, etc.

To motivate people, you need to know what is important to them, what their interests are, and what encourages them to participate in an activity. Youth frequently give the following reasons for volunteering in crime prevention or community service projects:

bullet Meet new friends.
bullet Do something with friends.
bullet Help others.
bullet Explore careers.
bullet Learn new skills.
bullet List as accomplishment on college or job application.
bullet Reduce crime against young people.
bullet Make the school or community a safer place.
bullet Help victims of crime.
bullet Be part of a group doing something interesting.
bullet Help someone or some institution that asked.

List three ways you will recruit peers to participate in your project. What kinds of motivation would work in your school or neighborhood?

1. ____________________________________
2. ____________________________________
3. ____________________________________

In many projects, youth have an opportunity to develop skills that will not only help others now, but will also help them in school and later on in their careers. Circle the skills from those listed below that could be developed by your project. Worksheet 3 is a volunteer application form. Make copies of the form and ask each volunteer for your project to complete one. Keep the forms on file for easy referral.

Skills, Skills, and More Skills
bullet Public speaking
bullet Resource development
bullet Counseling
bullet Developing and managing coalitions
bullet Salesmanship
bullet Problem solving
bullet Coaching
bullet Playwriting
bullet Time management
bullet Report writing
bullet News reporting
bullet Resource management
bullet Teaching
bullet Conference/event planning

bullet Data analysis
bullet Document design and production
bullet Planning
bullet Development fundraising
bullet Teamwork
bullet Survey techniques
bullet Evaluating
bullet Editing
bullet Mentoring
bullet Advertising
bullet Organizing techniques
bullet Personnel management
bullet Chairing meetings
bullet Composing music

Recruiting Adults

Besides recruiting young volunteers, you will want help from key adults. These could include your principal, teachers, civic leaders, business leaders, law enforcement officers, parents, and other adults with talents and interests that could aid in meeting your goals. Sometimes you will encounter such adults in the process of seeking help from a particular agency. They may not be connected with an agency, but may just be interested in making the school or community better and safer. They may want to help you so that the world their children and grandchildren grow up in will be safer.

You may need to recruit at least one adult to serve as your group's sponsor or advisor. You may need help from an adult with knowledge in a particular area -- law, medicine, construction, advertising, and so on. When you seek assistance from adults, you should keep several key points in mind:

bullet Know what you want. Prepare a specific, brief statement of the kind of help you need. Be ready to explain how this help fits into your project and why it is important to your project's goals.
bullet Don't ask for too much. Frequently, the best volunteers (both young people and adults) come from among those who agreed to help "a little."
bullet Appeal to their interest, just as you would with young people. Reread the "Recruiting Volunteers" section and mentally substitute "adult volunteer" for "volunteer."

Experience has shown that youth-adult relationships can be better and more productive if young people remember some basic pointers:

bullet Speak out clearly. A number of adults have said they are more worried that youth have no opinion than that they have wrong, or inappropriate, ones. It's a sign of maturity to disagree without being disagreeable. How is anyone to know about your great idea if you keep quiet?
bullet Communicate, don't stew. Adults have said they get frustrated when youth refuse to bring up a problem until it is of huge proportion. Share a concern or problem while it's still a small issue. It will be easier to solve at that point.
bullet Remember, respect works both ways. Showing simple respect for the adults and young people you work with will usually get you their respect in return.
bullet Be reliable. Don't make a promise to meet on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then ditch the appointment without even a phone call. Don't offer to take on tasks you can't complete.
bullet Dress the part. If you're going in to ask the head of a local company for help, dress appropriately. Wear "nice" clothes, low-key accessories, and a proper hairdo. At your celebration picnic, however, dress as wildly as you like, even if adults are there!

Who are some key adults who might have talents you need?

Finding Materials

In addition to recruiting young volunteers and adults, you will also need materials for your project. What are some ways to find money and goods?

bullet Talk with officials from the school, neighborhood, or community organization where you will perform your project. The principal may have a fund to provide small amounts for certain events, or neighborhood organizations may have a small budget or a source of funding. These organizations may have wanted to do something similar to your project.
bullet Ask local businesses to sponsor your project. In return, they receive public acknowledgment for being associated with a visible, positive effort.
bullet Have a special event to raise funds or goods -- car washes, talent shows, or walk-a-thons in which friends, family, and others pledge a certain amount for each mile walked.
bullet Ask local businesses to contribute goods for your events and treats for your workers.

Don't let a lack of funds be an obstacle to your project. In most cases, a crime prevention or community service project requires very little money; it does require volunteer talent and commitment. Don't say you can't do anything because of lack of funds. Think in terms of what goods and services you need, and seek those, not cash. Ask about borrowing equipment or trading services.

What are some ways that your project will ask for goods, services, and funds you need?

What can you trade to receive goods and services?

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Youth In Action Bulletin April 1998   black   Number 01