Onboard Guide

an initiative by: THE PLANET CALLS

Download our how to guides:

01. Welcome new member

I express my most heartfelt gratitude to you for joining the Moving Water Alliance. You have taken great steps towards heeding nature’s call. You have shown up! You have realized that we cannot wait for someone else to do it, the time for action is now! We are in this together and our team will offer support in getting you started. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for! All my best blessings

Tarryn Johnston Chairperson

 

02. How to attract volunteers

It might feel uneasy to go about attracting volunteers, especially if you are introverted. But you have to put in great effort to promote your river or beach cleanup project. This is key!

Here are a few pointers

2.1: Awareness of your movement is the ONLY way to get people to know about what you are doing.

Be consistent, post regularly and frequently on your social media accounts. Tell your story, share your passion far and wide, all over your social media platforms and in your local community communication groups. Approach your local newspapers and ask them to write a story about you and what you are trying to accomplish.

Make sure that your contact details are all over the place and be ready to engage with potential volunteers.

 

2.4: Create videos, livestream, take photos of before and after your cleanups, and ask people to share on social media, you’d be surprised how many people don’t share unless you ask them to! Encourage people to join your efforts to save the planet!

TIP: In the end, it’s a numbers game, the more people who know, the more people will join your cleanup project. There are so many people who want to do something but just don’t know where to start, so you need to share and share and share.

 

2.6: I have found that sometimes social media posts only get noticed on day 3 after posting, so be sure to post well in advance, and keep reminding people, because it is so easy to be distracted by all the distractions of the world.

TIP: Ask your volunteers to create their own posts on social media, and share their experiences of the day and tag you and your organization.

 

2.8: Make it easy to find your meeting point. Make the job fun and create a safe environment to work in – (if it’s potentially unsafe, involve your community policing forum or a security company to volunteer their services in aid of your cause.)

TIP: Start with your friends and family, and then your neighbourhood and broaden gently, you don’t want to come across as disorganized and unprofessional, so make sure your house is in order before you go large.

 

2.10: Have screening protocols in place and indemnities signed to assist with data collection so that you can communicate with volunteers after your event and keep them posted about upcoming ones too!

TIP1: Remember, awful people don’t volunteer, so you will attract like minded individuals! Not all events will have your anticipated turnout, but you just keep going.

 

TIP2: It’s always a good idea to have fruit or snacks and fresh drinking water available for volunteers, if you can – offer tools, boots and/or gloves – ask around to try to get these items sponsored and always give public thanks and recognition to all who have supported you! Otherwise just let your audience know what to bring along to your cleanup!

 

 

2.13: Besides your own platforms, use international platforms like these to advertise events where willing volunteers will be waiting to find an opportunity that you make available! :

 

www.volunteerworld.com

www.volunteermatch.org

www.volunteeringsolutions.com

 

TIP1: Your volunteers are without a doubt your most valuable asset. They arrive with passion. Treat them like gold.

TIP2: It’s always a good idea to have fruit or snacks and fresh drinking water available for volunteers, if you can – offer tools, boots and/or gloves – ask around to try to get these items sponsored and always give public thanks and recognition to all who have supported you! Otherwise just let your audience know what to bring along to your cleanup! 

 

2.15: These are people, like you, who are offering their precious time to help save our communities, rivers and oceans! Treat them with love and kindness, engage with them, find out more about them, what brought them to you, what their area of expertise is and have discussions about how their skillset can bring about more positive change on our planet!

TIP: Be sure to define clearly what your expectations of them are, and make sure there are no blurred lines or over expectations.

2.17: Arrange to speak at community business meetings/forums, give presentations, etc. Any opportunity for you to get noticed publicly will help you grow your organisation. So be proud and confident!

You’ve got this Warrior! And we are right behind you!

03. How to Communicate with your Team

Once you have reached the point where you are creating paid jobs for your local community by cleaning up your local river or beach, there are a few pointers we would like to share with you. These pointers also apply if you only have a volunteer team.

Here are a few pointers

3.1: You need to be able to effectively communicate what work needs to be done. There may be language barriers so it’s important to be very clear in your communication with your team.

Tell your story, share your passion far and wide, all over your social media platforms and in your local community communication groups. Approach your local newspapers and ask them to write a story about you and what you are trying to accomplish.

 

Your own physical participation will certainly earn you the respect of your team. You need to lead by example. If your team sees you doing the work, they will follow.

3.3: Appointing a Team Leader

Each person needs to find his/her own flow in doing the work, even though you are guiding them. You will soon see who stands out as a leader. Once this becomes obvious,you need to approach this team member and ask them if they would like to be a Team Leader. Be sure to communicate exactly what this will entail and how many hours per week it requires. Should the person accept the position as Team leader, and you need to make it known to the rest of the team that you have appointed one person as the Team Leader.

 

TIP: This is your GOLD. A well respected Team Leader will easily be able to communicate with the team in their language and you will have one point of contact to communicate about all your cleanup activities. Be sure to cover the data and airtime costs of your Team Leader so that he/she is not out of pocket for his/her Comms with the team unless he/she is able to cover these costs by themselves. Should your Team Leader require these costs to be covered, you will need to set about securing sponsorship from your local businesses.

3.4: Your message needs to be clear and consistent.

Whether you are communicating with your team or with the community at large, your message should be clear: we are custodians of the Earth and we deserve to live in a clean environment, and the environment deserves to be clean and healthy!

3.5: Safety

It’s not highly technical to clean up the planet, if you have hands, you can do it. However, it is vitally important to ensure that you and your crew are taking all the necessary safety precautions to avoid being infected by pollutants and/or contaminants. For river work, it is advisable to wear waders, life jackets and use safety harnesses and ropes while working in water. Gumboots on the river banks are very useful, and protective gloves are vital because of contamination and also sharp objects that are around such as sticks, thorns or even needles.

 

TIP: You need to be constantly aware of your crew at all times during cleanups, and you should have emergency exit plans in place in the event of flash floods.

 

3.6: Purpose and acknowledgement

Your team is the core of your operation, and often, they are people who are living well below the breadline and in extreme poverty.

This work can really give them a sense of purpose and will lead to them being “noticed” in the community. A team leader from Hennops Revival in South Africa recently appeared on the front page of the local newspaper and he told our Chairperson that everyone he passed on the road acknowledged him, and they told him about the article before the project organisers had even seen it.

 

 

TIP: Acknowledgements are so important, and be sure to compliment your crew after a job and show them what magic they have done by taking before and after photos and letting them see how amazing they are.

3.7: Substance abuse

Remember that, often in poverty, people are faced with substance dependence issues and you need to make it very clear that there can be no misconduct, drunkenness or any other intoxication while working in the water or on the beaches. The risk is far too great and this needs to be respected as a rule.

3.8: Volunteering vs paid work

It’s a good idea to get your crew to volunteer from time to time, this will also give you a clear indication of who is in it from the heart. Those who are doing it from the heart are the more dependable members of your team.

3.9: Don’t forget to have fun!

Remember, it’s not an institution, it’s a river or a beach. Don’t forget to have fun! It’s hard work, physical, labour intensive work, but it doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, the more fun and laughter you share with your team, the less it feels like work and yet, the work still gets done!

3.10: Open door policy

Our Chairperson has an open door policy where her crew are welcome to approach her at any time. They know she looks after them in any way she can and they trust her. But when it comes to anything work related they actually prefer working through the Team Leader, which gives them the ability to communicate in their own language.

3.11: If you wish to register your organisation as a non-profit

Should you get to the point where you want to register your project as a non-profit, it becomes vital to be fully transparent with the directors of your non-profit. Each director will take on their own role and these roles should be clearly set out and agreed upon in order to run your NPO efficiently. Create a platform where you can communicate as Directors to keep each other abreast of all movements.

 

TIP: Administrative roles should also be clearly defined and expectations, timelines and deadlines need to be communicated and respected.

3.12: Effective communication

Communication is the key. If you don’t express your needs, expectations and boundaries, nobody will know, so use your voice, even when it feels uncomfortable and out of character.

04. Record Keeping

From your very first cleanup you should keep track of the numbers of bags you collected from your river or ocean as well as an estimated weight per bag. (Hennops Revival in South Africa packs their bags in rows of 10 for easy counting.)

Here are a few pointers

4.2: Have all volunteers sign indemnity forms, so that you can know how many people attended, as well as having their contact details, should you wish to start a monthly newsletter. (See our Standard Indemnity Form). The data acquired from this exercise will be proof of your hard work and be helpful in keeping your volunteers informed about events they may have missed and upcoming events, ideas and plans!

The data acquired from this exercise will be proof of your hard work and be helpful in keeping your volunteers informed about events they may have missed and upcoming events, ideas and plans!

 

4.3: Keep financial records, and acknowledge any donor contributions, acknowledge them in social media posts (with their permission of course – some donors prefer to be anonymous, and also be sure to get their permission to use their logo on your posters and advertisements). It is not necessary to advertise the amount of money that has been contributed, but show them the work that has been made possible with their contributions..

 

4.4: If you have officially set up your non-profit company and have it registered, then it’s best to appoint an external auditor to ensure that your financial accounts are up to date and that documents necessary for potential funders are readily available to send out to them on request. This ensures that there is a flow and easy process when corporate social responsibility comes your way! You may be lucky enough to know an auditor and it’s possible to get this service sponsored. All this data will be evidence of your track record and will be valuable when presenting to potential funders and stakeholders.

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!

Share