Reaching Out to an Organization
It can greatly benefit your Global Minds club to have the opportunity to partner with a local organization, whether for a project, an activity, or to bring in a guest speaker. Community engagement is extremely important in empowering students to make a difference and sharing inclusivity beyond the classroom! Here are some tips to easily organize a partnership with another local organization, as well a sample introductory email you can use to get the conversation started and ideas flowing.
1. Know your city’s organizations! Do some research to find what’s available in your city. Think about possible nationally or internationally known organizations that might have a presence in your community (ex: AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Red Cross, religious or cultural coalitions, refugee groups and coalitions, activist groups, women’s organizations, LGBTQ+ groups). Many national/international organizations will list chapters they have around the country on their main website, with a local contact person. A quick visit to your city’s municipal or state website could provide you with a complete list of public organizations, non-profits, or groups in your city. Remember - stick with organizations that represent the same ideas and values as Global Minds! A good practice is to lead off with the values/mission that Global Minds represents.
2. Think outside the box! Sometimes connections can be found in the strangest of places! Consider other resources available in your city, such as museums, conservancies, performance halls, theaters, etc. Look into what these can offer your group. Many museums, conservancies, or performance halls offer guest speakers, or after-school/evening programs or classes. Perhaps they too would be interested in partnering to create or do an event.
3. Know your school and/or your limitations! Before you make arrangements with an organization, make sure you’re familiar with your school’s policies and/or limitations on bringing in an outside group and/or person. If the school requires any paperwork to complete, be sure it is completed prior to the project beginning. Also, be sure to check out your school’s policies on supervision, and parental awareness (ex: are permission forms needed for a guest speaker, or an off-site project? Are there to be more adults present if bringing in outsiders?).
4. Represent! Remind students involved that when partnering with an organization that they are representatives of Global Minds. As representatives, students are expected to uphold the ideals of the organization, and to act accordingly.
5. Follow up! Once you’ve completed an activity or project with your students, be sure to follow up the event with some type of a thank you (a card signed by students, an email, a letter, etc.). Also, if you feel the event went well, and is something you’d like to continue, be sure to trade contact information with those from the other organization that were involved. Keep the relationship alive!
Sample Introductory Email:
To Local Contact (if listed) or Whom It May Concern:
I am currently involved with an international organization known as The Global Minds Initiative. The school-wide Global Minds clubs aim to change the typical high (or middle) school atmosphere by promoting acceptance, understanding, and global perspectives. We participate in after-school activities based on educational pillars such as sustainability, cultural/individual identity, human rights, and confronting conflicts. These activities encourage students to work together, and to make a difference in their community. I found ___(name of org)______ on ____(name of site)___, and I felt that a collaboration between our groups, either for an activity or a project, would be a great fit because _____(describe why you chose this org)_______. Again, since one of our big goals is to get students more active in the communities that they call home, I am looking to partner with groups such as yours to increase our involvement and service in the community.
Thank you, ___(your name here)_____
__(contact phone number)_____ __(contact email address)_____