How-To’s You Can Use to Improve
Polish and shine your Quota club with these three GREAT IDEAS that will raise your club’s community profile, increase your service success, and ensure a club full of committed and caring members.
- When It’s Time to Change
- Clubs in Cyberspace: Create Your Own Quota Web Site
- Getting Grants for Good Work
When It’s Time to Change
Many clubs can benefit from change and the development of new traditions. The payoffs come in new and renewed commitments from members, potential members, and other partners in Quota’s important work. Here now are the stories of Quota clubs who found that making a change increased Quota commitment and caring.
Service and Fund-raising Projects
Quota of Bossier City, Louisiana, U.S.A., has become known for their Christmas Tour of Homes, but in 2005, they chose a fairly new club member to chair the event planning. The real change came when they accepted her new ideas: seven homes instead of five, older and newer homes combined, and a glossy, magazine-style program including full-page ads for sponsors at extra cost. Not only did visitors love the variety of homes offered, they also loved the gorgeous and professional program. The Bossier City Quotarians raised over U.S.$10,000, a very tangible pay-off for risking change.
Change happened in another part of Louisiana—Baton Rouge. After 55 years, the local Quota club changed their annual schedule, moving their largest fund-raiser from October to March and pushing new member recruitment to August and September. Not only does this allow new members to get a real taste of Quota by taking part in the planning for the fund-raiser, it intensifies the Quota Cares Month experience for the Quotarians in Baton Rouge, some of whom are pictured above. With service and fund-raising combined, public awareness of Quota will intensify in March. Don’t be surprised if new members join then, too.
For the Quotarians in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A., new members and more active participation came through new service projects. After taking a careful look at existing committee structures, the club decided to match seasoned Quotarians with new members fresh to Quota work. The result was a higher percentage of members taking part in existing projects (like the club’s food bank program pictured above and below) and their favorite new project—providing backpacks of food for needy children over weekends away from school. Not only did this energy translate to meeting attendance, now at 75 percent, but several new prospective members heard about Quota’s good work and wanted to infuse the Quota spirit in New Haven with their own energy.
In Bakersfield, California, U.S.A., the Quota club had spent years holding one, hour-long monthly business meeting, but with an influx of local teachers beginning in 2005, club leadership knew a change was needed. Bakersfield Quotarians moved to a two-hour, evening meeting for club business and a bi-monthly program meeting on Saturday afternoons. With this single change, they went from many meetings without the necessary quorum to do business to 75 percent member attendance at all meetings. They found a simple route to renewed spirit.
For Quota International of Bluefield, West Virginia, U.S.A., 80 years of tradition was broken in 2006 by a change in the meeting schedule, but the successful move from weekly to biweekly Wednesday meetings gave the club more time and energy for service. Last year, Bluefield Quotarians reported 450 service hours dedicated to 600 people in their community, clearly reapportioned time well spent.
Quota of Five Cities, California, U.S.A., quadrupled their membership in four months thanks to a combined effort of clubs in District 33. A district-wide team organized a recruitment event that attracted 15 new members. Bringing in all this new energy meant more helping hands and caring Quota club members.
Part of rebuilding after the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for Quota of Mississippi Gulf Coast, U.S.A., was recruiting new members. At their first planning meeting, it was obvious no one wanted a hard-sell event where people would feel obligated to commit and then drift away. Instead, the Gulf Coast Quotarians organized a Quota Reunion. The best part was all the memories of fun and good work shared by current and former members. After a wonderful evening of laughter and tears, seven members were added to the club at the next business meeting (two returning and five new) and seven more potential members expressed serious interest and planned on joining.
Clubs in Cyberspace: Create Your Own Quota Web Site
Creating Web sites can be daunting for someone who isn’t “tech-savvy,” but the value of an area, district, or club on-line presence is worth a leap into the unknown. Here are four steps that will help you in getting your site up and running in the virtual world.
Step 1: Shop the Web
Finding sites you like—and asking yourself why—is the best way to begin creating your Web site. Once you know what colors, organizational strategies, and layouts you like, you can plan how to communicate your own information. This process can begin with an individual club member or the whole club searching for ideas to brainstorm. Be sure to click on the “site map” link to see how the site is organized. You may want to print it out for a club or committee planning meeting. We suggest you visit sites created by other Quota areas, districts, and clubs, which you can do on www.quota.org by clicking here.
Step 2: Plan Your Content
Now it’s time to create your own site plan. Who is your site’s audience? What do you want those people to find there? These questions should be the first ones answered when you are planning what to include in your Web site. Ideally, your club’s site will be designed to communicate with both current and potential members as well as potential donors or project partners, meaning you will need areas that explain the club’s mission, history, immediate and long-term goals, as well as service activities, event and meeting dates, and contact information for club leadership. You might even include information on how—and, of course, why—to become a Quota club member. And don’t forget those fabulous photos of Quotarians “on the job!” One good photo IS worth 1,000 words! You are welcome to use information found on the Quota International or We Share Foundation Web Site, and we suggest you provide links to our sites so your potential members can learn more about the international organization they are considering joining. We are happy to provide you with an electronic version of the Quota International logo to include on your site. Contact email@example.com for a copy that we can send you via e-mail.
Step 3: Find a Host and a Site Name
Many local, national, and international companies that provide e-mail access also host Web sites. For some, packages are available for e-mail and Web hosting services at one cost, but other places may offer free sites to certain kinds of organizations or for certain kinds of information. Start with local companies or a national one with which you are familiar, but also contact other local membership organizations and community service groups to find the best way to get your area, district, or club on-line. These hosting companies will also usually have ways for you to get a domain name or URL, so talk to each potential host about getting your own site name. Another source for locating Web hosting companies is to do an Internet search for “Web Hosting Companies.”
Step 4: Put It All Together
You have planned design and content, identified a host and a domain name. Your club is ready to get on-line. The software now available for Web design isn’t hard to use or expensive, and, in fact, your host may have a site builder interface that is as easy as filling out an on-line form. Many Web hosting companies will provide different templates that you can choose from, and some even offer templates in a variety of colors. Club members may already have some of these skills or just be good at using software, but training classes are available through many community centers and even libraries. Of course, asking your children for help or turning to young designers from job-training programs or local colleges is always an option—and the perfect way to involve the next generation in the work of Quota!
The truth is that the next generation lives in cyberspace and giving them the chance to find your Quota club out there in the virtual world can actually make the amazing work Quota has done for nearly a century more real to them. This same public face for your club allows potential donors and partners to find you first, making it easier for your club to focus on caring and sharing with those in need. You will be raising people’s awareness of Quota’s mission with a few clicks of a computer mouse, a service that has endless payoff down the road.
Getting Grants for Good Work
While Quota clubs across the globe have a long history of helping those in need with their own hands, they also have spent decades organizing others to help community members in need with donations made through Quota. However, simple donations aren’t the only way to harness external funds for the good works of Quota; grants from foundations large and small are an excellent way to unite resources to make a real difference.
Quota of Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.A., started their grant-seeking adventure in 2005. Encouraged by a U.S.$500 grant from a local women’s ministry group, the Quotarians applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Salem Five Bank. Former club president Beth Poulo spearheaded the effort. She was successful at obtaining funding to provide crucial support to women and children at the YWCA, residents at local nursing homes, and deaf students counting on scholarships. As this grant came at a time when illness and scheduling problems had delayed the club’s major annual fund-raiser, it was the only way the Andover Quotarians could provide these funds.
How can other clubs begin getting grants to support Quota work in their towns and cities? A few tips gathered from the experiences of these and other successful Quota clubs can help.
Identify possible grant-making groups.
These aren’t always foundations with national or international profiles, and finding funding partners in your own community can be most beneficial, as those groups want to help the same people with the same problems.
Match their funding priorities to a specific project.
Very rarely will a grant-maker provide funding for general good works or operating funds; most often they want to know where the money is going and what it is going to do. Matching what they want to fund to what your club wants to do is the best way to begin planning your application.
Discover untapped resources in club members.
Often, good writers and those with professional experience negotiating complex administrative systems can be the best assets to anyone seeking a grant, and Quotarians have lots of hidden talents. Find out which club members have these skills—or interest in gaining them—and get to work.
Ask for help when you need it.
Wonderful resources exist on-line. Here are some sites located in North America and the South Pacific:
Philanthropy Australia offers fundraising information and resources. The site includes a helpful section for those seeking funding.
Imagine Canada provides information and research for Canadian nonprofits and charities. Free information available along with paid subscription services.
Philanthropy New Zealand offers fundraising information and resources
The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers a very informative newspaper online. Some information is only available via paid subscription.
The Foundation Center based in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., offers a number of free resources, a free Foundation Finder, and more in-depth assistance and information via paid subscription.
- Keep at it! After decades of Quota developing its presence around the world and expanding its mission to help new populations, clubs should know that good work and good ideas take time. For grants, that means don’t stop after one “no” and don’t let yourself get discouraged. Think about ways to make better documents, a better pitch, and a better match.
These Web-based Foundation Center resources can be helpful to clubs in any Quota country:
We Share Foundation Programs
- Community Champions
- JQ (Junior Quota) Club Program
- Cops ‘n’ Kids Literacy Program
- Healthy Hearing “Ear Plugs” Campaign
- “Listen Up, Turn It Down” Campaign
- Quota World Service Public Awareness Campaign
- Quota Cares Month Campaign
- Volunteer of the Year
- Club Publicity Resources and Tools
- Polish and Shine News Release Service
- Protect Your Hearing Month
- Global Youth Service Network
- Quota Service Project Directories
- Quota Cares Teddy Bears
- 2001-2012 Photo Contest Winners
- Setting Up 501(c)(3) Status (U.S. clubs)
Donate to the We Share Foundation
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org