- You should let people be able to do what they want to do as long as it dose not get out of hand
Whatever your reason for gathering a group of like-minded people together, creating a club is a great way to formalize your group’s activities. A club can be used to share ideas, to do trades, to pursue a cause, to be creative, to hold events, and much, much more. When making your own club, there are basic things to consider, such as ground rules, meeting times, procedures for doing things and, of course, finding a regular meeting place.
Part 1 of 5: First steps
Decide on what kind of awesome club you’d like to have. Do you want an animal club, a sports club, a collector’s club or maybe a club of super fans of a music group or a movie,or a nature lover club, or maybe just a club to hang with your friends? Maybe even a tree house club! There are many reasons for forming a club, but the most important thing is to follow your passion.
Organize and plan. Get a binder or folder to keep all of your club documents in. We will add more to it later.
Create a calendar. Put all the club meeting dates, locations, and trips on it. Let all of your members have a say in it. You should probably have a scheduled “planning meeting” so you and all of your club members can plan together when everything happens.
Part 2 of 5: Sorting out the club basics
Choose an interesting name. An interesting, fun, attractive name will help to attract members. You may also like to consider whether it is possible to abbreviate your name so that it sounds great when shortened. For example, M.U.S.I.C. might stand for Mixing Universal Soul Inspiration Club .
Find an area where your club can meet.
It is best if you can use the room or area regularly and even better if you can decorate it to make it look like your club. But this isn’t always possible, so you might like to develop a portable kit of signs, banners and other club objects that you can set up anywhere to make any room or space transform into your club when meeting.
- If you want you can meet in somebody’s bedroom, den or treehouse.
If you would like, you can have club uniforms.
If you know somebody who can make clothes, you’re in luck. Make your own club colors, too. However, some club members may not like the idea of a club uniform, so make sure to ask their opinion about it first.
- Uniforms increase the cost and effort of members. Keep that in mind before insisting that there be one.
- A simple t-shirt with the club’s logo or name might suffice and is an affordable way of developing a “uniform” of sorts.
Develop a website, wiki or other online club portal. A club website or wiki can be really helpful for arranging meetings and passing on all communications. You can use a free service such as Yola or Google Sites to make a website. Or, you can start a wiki.
Decide on basic rules.
Many formal clubs have a “constitution”. That is fairly formal, so you might like to just start with a basic list of rules that apply to your club; if your club becomes more developed, a constitution could be created and voted on at a later stage. Consider things such as:
- Membership fees
- Office positions and who can hold these positions
- Meeting dates, or regularity
- Annual general meeting requirements
- Activities (what the club exists to do, what activities it promotes, what activities it does not want, etc.)
Be clear. Make sure that all members are aware what the club does and what they can and cannot do. This is especially important if someone keeps breaching the basic rules and making the club unpleasant for others; you can point to the rules and say “no more or you’re out”.
Part 3 of 5: Gaining members
Get some members to join your club.
People will want to join if you tell what the club and its reason-for-being are all about, so prepare some fliers or posters with this information.
- Make a list of people. Take all of the members that you came up with before and make a nice looking list. Make sure you have lots of room to add more people.
Be ready to explain when people ask about the club’s purpose.
If you don’t have lots of ideas yet, don’t worry, just let them know this. It is better to be honest and find people who can help build up your club than to have people scratching their head about why you cannot provide all the things that you told them the club offered. Many people like to join a club when it is just starting, as they can get a position in it easily and help build it up with you.
- You can also have the existing members list some ideas.
Part 4 of 5: Funding the club
Think of ways to get some money to put into your club. You might ask the members for a small donation or contribution. Maybe you won’t need money but can ask members to donate time, food for meetings, paper for posters, skills such as drawing / painting / sign creation etc. The more who pitch in, the less money will be needed for running it. Money is more likely to be an issue as the club grows in size and activities.
Part 5 of 5: Club activities
Determine meeting times according to the availability of the club’s members. When your club is small, it is important to ensure that everyone is free to come at a set time. If your club grows in size, still try to accommodate as many people as possible but realize that the more members you have, the harder it will be to ensure that everyone can make the same meeting time.
Have an agenda for meet-ups and meetings.
This will help everyone to know in advance that something is happening. The agenda doesn’t have to be long or even closely followed; it is just a great way of organizing the meeting time so that it benefits all the members.
- Consider having different things to do at each meet-up, to keep things fresh and interesting.
Make the meetings comfortable.
Ensure that there are plenty of places for members to sit, that it’s easy to hear or see demonstrations and that there is actually enough room for everyone.
- Bring refreshments like chips and soda to meetings. Members can be asked to donate something each meeting, and occasionally you might even have a potluck supper or a shared picnic.
Put in place a way to achieve things by being part of the club. Accomplishments help make a club better and give the members a sense of purpose. Accomplishments could be things such as being a good friend, self improvement, creating things, providing help, etc. These achievements could be acknowledged through badges, certificates, ribbons and even trophies, depending on what the achievement is.
Raise money for a cause. If your club has a focus on something that you and all the members really care about, you might like to raise money as a club to send to a larger, more official organization such as the ASPCA in New York or SPCA in Canada if you like animals, or the Sierra Club if you care about the environment or a local tree-planting group if you care about trees and your neighborhoods amenities etc. Schools, local hobby groups, local sports teams etc. are other possible target groups for your club’s fund-raising efforts. Make sure people know your club exists.
- If you are on your own, ask for help.
- If IDs are a requirement, make them out of paper. Let attendees color them.
- If you’re a kid, ask your teacher if you can pass the fliers out!
- Consider making club passports to put bags and meeting times in.
- Let members speak out and don’t be too serious. Being too formal and telling people that it’s not the right forum to discuss their issues or concerns will put them off belonging to the club.
- Don’t spend all day talking about your club to everyone else. It will mark you as less than interesting and people will be likely to avoid you if this is all the conversation you have to offer. Stay broad-minded and interested in many things!
- Try not to become disheartened (mean) if friends are not interested; they will not always have the same interests as you or simply might not want to be a part of a club. You will meet more friends through a club and will still keep your old friends as long as you don’t hassle them about it!
- Seek advice if finances or legal issues arise. These might become relevant issues for certain activities (such as requiring waivers for ice climbing or hang-gliding) or for fund raising (having a bank account, properly accounting for funds).
Things You’ll Need