Let me describe you the situation first and then dive in details.
I'm a passed out student of 2013-passed out batch of JNV Ch.Nagar, a district in Karnataka. We recently started to organize the Alumni events for our school. As part of the organizing the alumni event, we (batch-2013) took the responsibility to Alumni events. We were expected to organize activities every month of the academic year 2020. We had very little idea on this. Our questions mainly revolved around how can we benefit our junior students. Our ideas were to do counselling the students and organizing medical camps at first.
Some of the challenging aspects is :
1. Coming up a list of activities for the entire year.
2. How much money should each contribute every month ?
3. How to get all of my classmates to contribute money ?
4. Encouraging my other dis-interested classmates to get involved in this.
It was clear that we needed to work together as a team, brain storm and collectively decide on what we want to contribute as alumni for our juniors. I wanted to make my other classmates to also take this task in to their heart. I wanted to them to develop a sense of involvement. And I realized the best way to do that was if I could get them to contribute their ideas, share their opinion, put forward their arguments or involve in a discussion, then they would develop a sense of belonging. The problem I was trying to solve was bringing people together and sharing ideas. I wanted to get my friends thinking about and coming
up with ideas for the benefit of our junior students. So I devised rewards systems to encourage ideas sharing.
Develop a Sense of Belonging In Your Team..
Having Fun and Enjoying the Process is the Key
I invited everyone to a Technological museum in Bangalore on a Sunday morning. This was exciting and about 7 people joined. So hung out. We went to Cubbon park later in the afternoon. I used these hangouts as a place to discuss and get their inputs to some of the things I has planned. We discussed, argued and came up many ideas that day.
And then there was another time when I felt I needed to call my classmates for another discussion, I booked a meeting room in a co-working space building. And in order to encourage the more participation, I came up with all sorts of games and fun crafts that we'd play in the meeting to open up and lighten up the mood of them. It was important because many of us were meeting after at least 6-7 years.
Although most of discussions were full of ideas. There were some of my classmates
who wanted to join but couldn't because they stayed in a different city. They had great
ideas and opinions to share. I felt I needed a platform for them to share their views. I was
here trying to utilize the best of what online tools provides us for free. We tried video calls but they were helpful only to an extent, but I came with the idea of using Google docs.
We regularly updated a common google document that was shared with all of us and did
regular commenting and sharing of our opinion. Here's a link to it.
Setting The Target for Fund Collection..
Utilizing Google Forms for Surveys and Feedback
With all the discussions and debates done, we finalized to organize for the entire year. An activity every month aimed for the benefit of the students. And it was clear we needed money to do all those things. But we didn't know how much money we needed. So our next challenge was to figure out how much money did we need to accomplish our plans or in other we had to determine the financial target. and then come up with a plan to collect it.
The best was to utilize the experience of our seniors. They has organized a alumni events last year. So, I realized it best that we get that estimate by doing survey of previous year alumni meets and then add on the costs for the extra events we are doing.
So, I sent out surveys like this to our seniors :
Based on their suggestions I learnt that the previous year alumni event with minimum activities were conducted in budget close to 1 lakh. Now because our batch has decided to do few more activities than last year, I estimated to our costs could come close to 1.25 lakh.
With this we were able to solve another practical issue of determining how much money should each person contribute to the fund every month. It had to be an per month installment style contribution because it’s highly unlikely to expect huge amount of money from each person at the end of the year. In other words, it meant that at least 52 people have to contribute 200 Rs/month to amass 10.5k Rs every month. So that defined our financial burden our batch's decided to take up.
Raising Fund Through Referrals..
Using the Friends Circle Wisely
The challenge was to get money from my classmates with whom I didn’t have a good communication or friendship. So, I did something I came to learn later a technique banks use to get lure in customers to sign up for credit card. They have a referral programs which gives incentives to existing members. I took an approach very close to this. I listed out my close friends and then asked them to request for money from their close friends who are not very close to me. This enabled me to reach more people effectively than If I had approached directly by myself. This approach seemed to have worked like charm and we were able to collect close 11k Rs for the past 5 months.