It’s easy to start your own project to get your school, after school group, or community involved in saving the rainforest! This is a guide to setting up your own project that is aimed at kids. If you have any questions, please comment on the page. Here are first steps to take to start a project:
The most important first step in starting any project is establishing goals. Here are some questions that you need to answer about your new project:
Will you be raising just awareness, or awareness and funds?
If you are raising awareness-
- Decide your project focus
- Learn more about the species
- Decide how to keep track of awareness raising
- Decide your awareness raising goal
If you will be raising awareness, take some time to research more about the rainforest and the animals that live there. Do you want to focus on a specific animal? You can focus on any endangered animal in the rainforest, not just orangutans. After you decide your focus for awareness raising, do more research just about the animal you will be raising awareness for. Write a fact list on a piece of paper about what you have learned. How long until the species is extinct? What is it’s status with the IUCN Red List? Why is the species endangered? How can we help? You will need a way to keep track of awareness raising and an achievable awareness goal. Some ideas of how to measure awareness raising are:
- Count the people who you do presentations or talk to about the species
- Count the number of information sheets you give out
- Count the number of signatures on a pledge you create
Or you can come up with your own idea. After you find out how you will be counting awareness, set a reasonable goal for yourself. For example, if you will be doing presentations at your school- How many kids would you present to at a time? (For example 20) How many times will you present in the next few months? (For example 3) I could see that I could set a reasonable goal of raising awareness to 60 people.
If you are fundraising-
- Decide where to donate
- Decide how much money to raise
If you will be raising funds, check out this page: (LINK) with links to other organizations that help rescue orangutans or plant rainforest. Make sure you decide which organization you will be donating to before you take action. Then decide how much you will be raising. It’s better to have lots of small goals than one really big goal, so keep your first donation goal under about $1000 USD- once you reach that goal, and donate to the organization, you can set another goal. (Unless you are doing a large scale project with help from experienced fundraisers)
Are you setting up an ongoing project, or a one-time campaign?
It’s important to decide if you will be doing this project for a long time, or temporarily. Ask yourself: Will I want to achieve more goals of fundraising/awareness raising after I reach my first goal? Do I have a mentor, parent, or teacher who will support me in a long term project? Do I have the commitment to work on this project for a long time?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are probably ready to start a long term project. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to. You can start out with a one-time campaign and then develop a larger scale project once you have more experience. Either way, you now have a lot of information about your new project. You should be able to fill in all of these blanks:
Organization you will donate to:
Ongoing project or one-time campaign?
Great! Now you are ready to move on to Step two: Action Plan!