A one-day service project can be a rewarding and transforming experience, but in order to make that happen a lot has to do with the way in which the day is planned. Your job is to make it a positive experience for everyone. The following tips can help you succeed in that goal:
Make sure that you allow plenty of time to develop, organize, and carry out your project. We recommended that you establish time lines and make sure they are abided by. Make a checklist of everything you need to do.
Participants feel better about giving their time and resources when they are given concrete assignments, and they can see the results. It is important to remember that quality counts more than quantity: a small project that effectively gets things done is better than a large, poorly run project.
We encourage you to think about partnering with one of your suppliers or vendors. By doing this, you can get additional volunteers, plants, and other supplies, and a chance to have a team-building experience with another partner. That partner can also help to promote the event and may also have ideas for a good project.
Service projects are a good way to involve or reach out to the community. Use this as an opportunity to show others how great our green industry is.
Choose a project with accomplishments that will be meaningful and beneficial to the community. Doing so will help attract partners, volunteers, and the media. Think of a project that might not get done without the added help of your company.
Choose a project that can be easily scaled in size. The number of workers and/or volunteers you have will determine what you can successfully get done in one day. Remember that a project of any size — small or large — still benefits the community.
Make sure you have the proper permission needed to undertake the project. If it is on private property or at a school, church, etc., then get permission from the owners, preferably in writing, and look into the issues regarding liability. Make sure you can get access to the property at the times needed. If your project is on state, city, or federal lands, then make sure you have permission from the parks commission, town council, or other governing body. Again, discuss liability issues.
Be sure to register your project online with NALP so that we know about the exciting work you will be doing in your community and can make it known to the media and the rest of our members. Click planetdayofservice.org to register your project. The sooner your register your project, the sooner NALP can begin to help you promote it!
When you register your project with NALP, you will receive five free NALP-branded T-shirts, (while supplies last). If you require additional T-shirts, you may purchase them from NALP for an additional cost. They will serve as a gift to your participants and volunteers and will help promote the feeling of team spirit. In addition, imagine the impact of seeing hundreds people in your location and in locations all across the country wearing the Day of Service message and working to improve their communities. Quantities are limited, so be sure to order in time!
Be sure to tweet all the happenings of your Day of Service project at #PLANETDOS