You probably landed here because your school doesn’t offer an after school club that fits your interests. Or, you want to be viewed as a leader and innovator at your school (which will help you nail those college applications).
Either way, you know you want to start an after school club, but you have no idea where to start.
No worries! You just found the ultimate guide to starting your club the fastest way possible. By the end of this short article, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Now let’s take a closer look.
1. Start By Brainstorming Ideas
Obviously, you can’t start a club without knowing what the club’s focus will be. You may have already decided. If you haven’t, spend some time thinking about activities and interests you are drawn to.
There’s a good chance you can build a club around them.
Once you’ve nailed down your idea, take a look to ensure that your school doesn’t already have a club that’s similar.
This is easily done by asking your academic adviser, checking the school’s2. student handbook, or asking fellow students.
2. What are the Goals and Purpose?
Now it’s time to get more specific about your new club. What are you trying to achieve with your after school club?
What activities do you plan on having? What is the specific goal of the club?
Keep a record of every idea you have for activities and goals, and write them down as soon as you think of them. The best ideas are often forgotten!
Some additional points to consider are:
- How often will your after school club meet?
- Where will you meet?
- Will anybody be allowed to join, or will try-outs be required to get in?
- Why, specifically, do you want to start the club?
Without having a full understanding of the goals and purpose of your club, it probably won’t last very long.
3. Get Your Club Registered
You don’t need to be a member of the Honor Society to figure out how to register your club with the school.
It could be as simple as filling out a single form, or you may be required to discuss details about the club with school staff and/or teachers.
Either way, you’ll need school approval if you’ll want to have meetings and post information around the school.
If you’re not sure how to get your club registered, hit up your academic adviser or someone in the school office.
There’s a chance you may also be required to write bylaws for the club, which will help explain your club’s purpose, how to join it, if there will be elections, and much more.
If your school requires club bylaws, they’ll probably have a template for you to fill in which will make the process faster.
4. Start Spreading the News
You’ve found the perfect idea, defined your goals and purpose, and got your club officially registered.
Now it’s time to start recruiting members.
First, you’ll want to figure out a place and time to hold your first meeting. Get permission from your school so that you can hold your meetings in an empty classroom or another approved place.
Then, start mentioning your club to friends and other students you think might be interested in getting involved.
If your school permits it, post flyers a few weeks in advance of the first meeting. On the flyers, briefly detail the name of your club, its purpose, and the date and time of the first meeting.
Do your best to make the flyers eye-catching. Use several power words to get students’ attention.
5. Time for the First After School Club Meeting
First, don’t be too aggressive at the first meeting. Don’t try to do too much. Your main goal is to introduce the club and answer attendee’s questions.
Talk a little bit about yourself and why you started the after school club.
Explain what the members will do, and lay out potential ideas for events and activities. It’s a great way to get real-time feedback on your ideas.
If you’re able, provide some snacks and beverages.
Get people excited about future meetings!
After you’re done speaking, give your attendees an opportunity to introduce themselves and give opinions on what your club should focus on. Write down any and all ideas.
Also, have a list where new members can jot down their e-mail addresses so they can stay up-to-date on club news.
Lastly, at the conclusion of the meeting, let everybody know when and where the next meeting will be.
6. Plan Events and Assign Duties
This step should happen in your first 2 or 3 meetings. Leadership roles will help to keep your after school club running efficiently.
Some common club officer roles are:
- President, whose main job is to lead and supervise the club
- Vice President, who will fill in when the President isn’t available
- Secretary, that will take meeting notes, maintain records, and keep members updated on news and events
- Treasurer, who will manage all the club’s expenses and budget
To fill these roles, you can either hold club elections or nominate the individuals yourself.
Once your club is organized, it’s time to start planning activities.
Some ideas include:
- Guest speakers
- Club outings
- Discussions and Lectures
For your first event, keep it small to prevent yourself and other members from getting overwhelmed. You can grow your events as time goes on.
7. Determine Your Budget
Your club is going to require at least some money to keep running, even if it’s just to cover snacks and printing costs. Other types of clubs are going to require a much larger budget to cover materials or go on trips.
It’s the Treasurer’s job to create a budget that gives a general estimate of the expenses your club will have.
Some expenses to consider include:
Food and drinks
- Printing fees
- Guest speaker
- Other materials
Some schools offer stipends to official clubs. This could be enough to cover expenses. If not, start brainstorming fundraising ideas or even consider small member dues.
Keep On Rocking It
Now that your after school club is up and running, make sure it lasts.
Staying around long-term will bring you more members and will be more impressive on your college application.
It will also be a great experience that could help with starting your own business in the future.
If you have a go-getters attitude and an entrepreneurial spirit, jump-start your career path by signing up for our online courses.
It’s never too soon to start planning an amazing future.