Start a Rainforest Student Group
If you’d like to create a rainforest student group at your school, here are some tips to get you started:
Step 1: Get Acquainted with School Policy
Check with your school’s student affairs office for student organization requirements. Often there are requirements for gaining campus or school recognition. The benefits of recognition can be: school funding, more liberty to post fliers, ability to join events, or claim a table at events as a student group, and access to school space (often free of charge) for group events.
Step 2: Find Members
Most schools require a minimum number of prospective group participants, in order to reach that minimum, create an initial core group of members. Here’s how:
- Ask your friends to join your club: Encourage them to check out the Rainforest Foundation website and Facebook page (rainforestfoundation.org and facebook.com/RainforestFoundationUS)
- Ask like-minded people to join: Attend seminars, lectures, or events where like-minded individuals might be easy to meet and confront. Talk to classmates about your organization, regardless of whether it’s a human rights or science-related class.
- Promote on Social Media: Create a Facebook page for your group and find other groups at your school that share the Rainforest Foundation’s –and your own- missions and beliefs. Ask those you find to join your Rainforest Foundation group.
- Host an Information Session: Create a flier and post it on bulletin boards around your school or campus. The flier does not have to be elaborate, just informative: post the time, date and location of where you will discuss your student group and why it’s important.
- Attend Meetings:: Check out meetings held by related or like minded student groups. Make an announcement at other group meetings, or ask to talk to group members about your intention.
Step 4: Write a Simple Mission Statement
Make sure your mission statement aligns with the Rainforest Foundation US statement, but make it your own. Explain why you, as students, value this mission. Work as a group to coordinate your core values and agree upon them. Keep your mission statement short and concise. You want to be able to attract other students and groups with your statement in no more than 30-40 seconds. Typically the first sentence of your mission statement might be “the purpose of the Rainforest Team (name of school) and its activities are…”
Step 5: Optional: Draft a Constitution
If your school requires a constitution, write one in accordance with the mission statement. Be sure to include the structure of the board, role of other group members, each individual’s responsibilities, board elections and nominations, requirements for membership, code of conduct, and how amendments to the constitution can be made.
Step 6: Set Goals and Make Plans
Set up long term and short term goals for your group such as:
- The number of members you would like to have regularly attending meetings and events by the end of the year.
- The number of people signed up for your e-mail list by the end of year
- The amount of funding your group will have raised by the end of the year
- The number of events held in the semester, and the estimated costs of events
Step 7: Hold Events
- Hold meetings, lectures, seminars, as well as fun events like game nights, movie nights, etc.
- Post fliers and spread the word whenever you host an event.
- Network with other organizations to share each others’ events amongst your groups, network not only within your group but with other groups, teams, people, and local businesses
- See our Fundraising Packet, and visit our teachers, and kids in action pages to view previous successful events
Step 8: Save Rainforests!