CHAPTER 2. STARTING A NEW BRANCH:
5. Recommended Steps to Setting Up
In life there are three types of people:
- People who talk about things that happen
- People who watch things happen
- And very few people who are actually in the playing field making things happen
“Once you choose the third camp, it is very difficult to sit in the other two” —Unknown
If you have read this far then count yourself very lucky, because you ARE in the third camp. Not only do you choose to talk the talk, but you choose to walk the walk and want to find out how YALDA can help you and others do this. The following are a few tried and tested methods of setting up a new YALDA branch at your local university. We recommend taking a month to a semester to set up a YALDA branch on your campus.
IMPORTANT: Before you embark on setting up a YALDA branch at your university, you must be very familiar with the YALDA Branch Constitution found in Appendix A or by clicking Download . If you are not, then we strongly advise you sit down and read it as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable enough with its content and only then will you be ready to work on setting up your branch.
There are 5 recommended steps to setting up a YALDA branch (detailed below):
- Get people interested
- Forming the YALDA Executive Board
- Registering YALDA at your University
- Branch Application Form and Registering on the YALDA website
- Attracting more members
GET PEOPLE INTERESTED
The first step to setting up any organization is finding people who are interested in, and willing to commit time to YALDA – both in helping to set it up, and in running the branch. These people would serve as either the interim YALDA board for the setting-up process, or the board for the rest of the year. Here are some ways to spark initial interest by holding an information session at your school:
All marketing materials are available for download at the following website: Click Download to access them (you may also find some of them Appendix B, for you to reproduce):
- YALDA 1-pager click here
- Logos click here
- Banner designs click here
- Posters (where you can write the time, date and location of the information session)
- Flyers Template 1 (place same information as above)
- Flyers Template 2
- All Clothing designs click here
- T-shirt designs click here
- Golf shirt designs click here
- Cap designs click here
- Business cards click here
Information Session Materials:
- YALDA Information Session Outline (that you may edit)
- YALDA Official Video by clicking here
- YALDA Official Power-point by clicking here
- YALDA Sign-in Sheets (to collect information of people in attendance)
Handouts (please email email@example.com to get your own branch copies):
- YALDA Membership packet and Application Forms: https://goo.gl/forms/KzzOEfFpgoDL9Kds1
- YALDA Executive Board Applications: Form
The initial steps for advertising YALDA in order to form the interim Executive Board:
- Before you advertise you must contact the YALDA Branches Coordinator to confirm that you are in the process of setting up a YALDA branch, you may contact him/her at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find out from other organizations and your student activities office the best time, location and date to hold information sessions at your school (sometimes you can entice people with free food!)
- Find a way or a niche that would set YALDA apart from other organizations on campus. Please use the introduction to help you find what that YALDA selling point could be at your university. For example:
“Advertise YALDA as an opportunity for youth leaders to make a difference in Africa and collaborate and share their culture with their peers in countries other than their own and with youth around the world.”
- Use social media, Facebook Groups or Pages at your school, LinkedIn and Whastapp to spread the word and get people interested
- Put up posters and hand out flyers in the most popular student locations
- Set up a booth or a table and have people sign up including their cell phone numbers and text them about meetings (very efficient on the continent where people do not check emails regularly)
- Send out announcements over whatever forms of communication exist at your school (e.g. Radio, newspaper, email lists, social media)
- Contact several lecturers and professors on campus that teach courses about or related to Africa (the students in these classes are already interested in Africa and make a good ground for recruiting). Tell these professors about YALDA and ask them if they would allow you to make an announcement at the beginning or end of the class or if they would not mind giving the students the announcement themselves.
- If this does not draw the desired crowd, don’t give up. Consult other YALDA branches, the Headquarters and other groups on campus to see how you can reformulate a new, more effective strategy for wooing people over.
FORMING THE YALDA EXECUTIVE BOARD
Once you have attracted a number of interested people and held an information session, the next step is to create the Executive Board.
Steps to setting up the Board:
- You may edit the Executive Board application forms by adding any additional information you would want to know about the people you are selecting. You may not delete any items or questions on the application forms (please see Appendix B (vi)).
- You may also find a more user friendly online version of the Executive Board Application on Google Forms: Form Once you request access to the form, you shall be sent a copy of the form for your branch. You can do that directly on the Google Form or by emailing email@example.com.
- You can decide how many information sessions to hold on your campus, when to hand out applications for your interim board and the deadline for their submission. Also decide whether or not you would like to interview applicants.
- You must review the YALDA constitution to get an idea of what different positions you might require for your interim board - make sure your board exists in such a way that it fits your branch’s needs.
- The following positions are mentioned and elaborated on in the constitution: Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, Local University Coordinator, Inter-University Representative, Financial Director, Research Director, Inter-Governmental Organizations Liaison, Multi-media Specialist. Please consult the constitution for more details.
- The Interim Executive Board can be decided on by:
- You, if you feel you will be impartial to it, and you really understand YALDA and its mission
- A Member of a well established YALDA branch and/or their Executive Board who will review the applications and select the interim board for you
- The Headquarters, who review the applications and then choose the interim board.
- The new interim board should decide how future board members will be chosen. (E.g. By application? By election? Keeping in mind the rules and regulations governing student organizations at your university)
- We strongly advise that the interim board or the new YALDA Executive Board be made of students that will not be graduating at the end of the semester or year. This will ensure continuation with the setting up process. If you do have graduating board members then please make sure you have found people to replace them well before graduation.
REGISTERING YALDA AT YOUR UNIVERSITY
Once you have your Executive Board you should contact relevant administrators at your school and find out the requirements for the creation of a new organization. At this point, it is important to adapt the YALDA Branch Constitution so it meets the requirements of your university, following which you can then adopt it. Register under the name: YALDA (Insert name of University) e.g. YALDA Harvard, YALDA University of Nairobi, or Harvard YALDA. Go about fulfilling the registration requirements set by your university as soon as possible so that the entire process runs smoothly.
- In forming the structure of the branch, review the YALDA constitution. You may want to make small modifications to the constitution, but not in such a way that they contradict the original version. You may not create a completely different constitution. After making the changes, e-mail a copy of your modified constitution to the headquarters.
- Identify a required minimum of two faculty advisors/patrons or more (if so desired) to help you navigate university bureaucracy and also to give you advise on running your YALDA branch.
REGISTERING YOUR BRANCH ON THE YALDA WEBSITE
After registering the branch at your school, please provide YALDA Headquarters with proof of registration and complete the Branch Application Form (BAF). You are required to complete the online version found at Form. Following the success of your branch application, you will receive a certificate as proof that you are an official branch and only then can you register your branch online at the YALDA website, www.yaldafrica.org.
- The Branches Coordinator will provide you with a university branch access code, that will enable you to register your branch online
- After registering on the YALDA website, your branch will receive a unique branch access code. Whenever a member of your branch wishes to register online, they will need to use this code
- Once the Headquarters have proof of your branch registration at your university, and your branch has also registered on the YALDA website, then the Headquarters will send your branch an official certificate stating your university is a recognized YALDA branch.
What is an access code? It is a randomly generated computer number that identifies a particular YALDA branch - like a passport number. Each YALDA branch is assigned two access codes: one to let them register as a branch, and the other to register their individual members. Entering in the branch access code for the YALDA branch nearest to you proves that you are affiliated with that branch.
Why do I need an access code to register? This is for your own security and benefit as a YALDA member. It prevents individuals from joining the YALDA network who do not have a strong commitment to working with others in the network. It also allows local YALDA branches to keep track of all their members.
Attracting more Members
After having built the foundation, you should start to search for potential YALDA members at your school. Online version of the Membership Application Form is available on Google Forms: Form . You can request your own branch copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For the ones in the zip folder you may edit the membership forms provided to you by adding any additional information you would like to know about your members. Do not delete any items from the forms.
- Use similar strategies used to attract people to form the interim board, if they were successful. If there are people who have already expressed interest at the first information sessions, then you may call them back to become members
- Again, you may wish to send out announcements about YALDA over whatever forms of communication exist at your school (e.g. Radio, newspaper, email, posters, faculty members, and sending text messages to interested parties cell phone numbers.)
- Host an exciting and fun “Launch Event” announcing YALDA at your university where you might include announcements for committees, fundraising efforts and possible branch projects.
- At the information sessions, make sure you have sign-in sheets and pass out the YALDA membership forms for your members to fill out. Also encourage them not only to fill out these membership forms but also to register on the website by giving them the branch access code (please see Appendix B (vii) for the forms).