Sustaining Groups

May 26, 2009

RESULTS groups are the fundamental building block of our movement to create the political will to end poverty. Here are some key concepts and tools for keeping your group active and focused on bold, edgy actions.

Roots of a Powerful Group — Meeting the Needs

Understanding why people volunteer is critical. Volunteers don’t have to do any of this stuff, they choose to. Why? They must have needs they are trying to meet. If we understand those needs, we can build our groups to meet them. What do volunteers need?

  • Change: They need to be able to make change happen in a more powerful way than they can on their own, or with other groups. The group and the organization must offer this.
  • Relationship: They need and desire relationship. Volunteers want to make change happen, but they also want to like and enjoy the people they are volunteering with. They want to be with people with shared values and passions. Getting to know each other personally is an important part of building a powerful group.
  • Learning and Personal Growth: They need to grow personally. Many of us want to gain new skills and knowledge — we want to learn something. We also want to know that we are more powerful because of our participation. We want to be able to walk away and use our new skills and power to make other kinds of change happen, to apply them to our jobs, or to build our resume.
  • Time: They need for participation to be manageable. Volunteers want to be able to participate meaningfully in the amount of time they have available.

So, what does this mean for you and your group members? Each of you needs to be aware each other’s needs and try to create a group that meets those needs.

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