Follow these 8 easy steps to plan the best project out there!

With the 2013 Service Challenge underway, some of you may already be finished with your project, while others may be wondering where to start! Well, don’t worry; this post will walk you through the steps to plan the project that will cater best to your community’s needs.

Looking at the flowchart below, the first step is to find the problem. It is important to remember that while you think you may know about a problem, it does not mean that it is the only one in existence. You should identify a need in your school or community by:
-Talking with students, community leaders, and family members
-Generating a survey to find out what the most popular problem is

The second step requires you to complete additional research andsimplex find more information that you can use to bring awareness to the most number of people. The more knowledgeable you are about the topic, the more credible you will seem.

In order to define the problem at step three, you must know specifics about the type of situation that your project is going to address. For example, if you say that you want to organize a food drive, that’s a great start, but it can’t stop there. By organizing a food drive, you must realize that the underlying problem would be that there are numerous people in your community that can’t afford necessities, such as food and water. The more specific you are with your problem definition, the more successful your project will be.

imagesStep four is the part of the cycle where you get to decide on the method that would best educate others about the problem that you identified with. If your school decides that they want to focus on children who are at risk, and start a mentorship program, that’s great! That same mentorship program would not be as successful if you decided to support a local animal shelter. For step five, you must select the final event, drive, or program that you will organize.

Step six is the implementation of all of your ideas and planning the details out for your project. Details that need to be considered include:
-How soon in advance do you have to get permission from your school?
-Where is the event going to be held and when?
-Have you made sure that the space is available the day you want it?
-Are volunteers involved?
-Do you want to reach out to businesses in the area to sponsor the event or donate food or prizes?
-Do you need to buy any materials?
These are just some of the things that must be thought about when trying to execute your project.

Step seven is the selling of your idea, which means spreading newspaperthe word to everyone in your community! To spread the word, you could:
-Make flyers to hang around school and your community
-Talk to specific classes or homerooms about the project
-Create a Facebook group and invite all of your friends
-Go to a local newspaper and present them with the story

Step eight is putting all of your hard work into action and seeing it accomplished successfully! You must remember that finding a problem in your community and creating a project based on it, is just the beginning. Chances are the problem existed before you discovered it, and chances are it will exist afterwards. That is why these eight steps fall in a circle, because in order to achieve long term success, you must continue to educate the public on the importance of the issue. The steps continue to be repeated, but the goal is that each time around, you will have a different version of the problem you began with. You will then know what worked with educating others the first time, what didn’t, and how you can improve for the future.

If your school has followed any of these steps or already completed your Service Challenge Project, make sure to let us know!  Be sure to tweet using #AMFChallenge so that we can stay involved with your project through our social media sites.

Becky Griesmer
Impact Intern

To see where we got our model from and to learn more about the Simplex Process, please click here.