We hosted a lunch and dinner awareness event for Grameen in April. That event generated enough interest for Grameen to help create a volunteer organization with Susan as head coordinator. We kicked off the volunteer organization with a recent Saturday meeting. Based on a my experience in consulting and at my earlier Asian American organization in the Bay Area called M Society West, here’s what we did to organize the volunteers:
We handed out to everyone a pen and a pad of sticky notes. We asked them to write down, on their own, any ideas they have for our volunteer organization, 1 idea/note. Ideas could be big or small. This took about 15 minutes. Then, still without discussion, everyone stuck his/her notes on the wall - and here’s the trick - categorized them with other people’s ideas. We gave no advice on what the categories should be. Amazingly, after a flurry of initial confusion, the categories self-formed.
Once everyone had sat down again (and quieted down after all the excitement), we gave each category a name, and asked everyone on their own to pick their top 5 categories. They had 5 points and could spend on the categories any way they wanted - 5 on 1; 2, 2, 1; 1 for 5 different categories). We tallied up the votes, and basically had a rational and democratic vote of the most important things to do as an organization, in a prioritized list format, which we then can now form committees around.
Try it out sometime. It’s really fun.