How do I start a new club?

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How do I start a new club?

Post by littlebluedove on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:46 am

In my previous thread, someone suggested that I go to meetup groups to meet new people. I'm currently friendless and single. All of the meetup groups I'm interested in conflict with my meal times (I live in a group home), which is a problem for me because it would really bite into my budget of $38 a month to have to buy something for dinner when I miss a meal. I thought I'd try starting some groups of my own so that I won't have to spend any money. I can't afford to register a group on Meetup, so I'm trying to find other ways to start a club.

The first club I'm working on starting is a club called The Literary Dungeon that will involve discussing the books we've been reading, doing writing workshops, and occasionally going to literary events, like poetry slams. I've tried advertising it on Craigslist and one other site for a few days now, but nobody has RSVP'd. I'm getting really worried that nobody is going to show up.

So far, the only members are my mom and myself. The only online resources I could find for how to start a club were wikihow articles, and all of them suggested the same thing: talk to your friends about the club and see if any of them want to come. My mom doesn't have any friends either, though. But we need a club so that we can make friends!

One strategy I've been trying is looking for individuals online who list reading and/or writing in their interests, messaging them, and, if they message back, continuing the conversation for a few more messages and then inviting them to the group (though I haven't gone this far yet, only to the initial message). What do you think of this strategy? Do you have any more ideas of how to recruit members for the club? Another idea I have is, if I can get permission from the leader of the women's support group my mom and I go to, tell them briefly about the club and ask if they would be interested, and pass around a piece of paper for people to sign up.

Or do you think it would be better to make a significant financial sacrifice and go to the other groups where I'd have to pay for food and in some cases, the group activity, or wait until I get a job and get out of the group home to start building a social life?

Thanks for any input.

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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by reboot on Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:57 am

I think there are instructions on the meetup site: https://secure.meetup.com I think it is $10/month and let's you run 4 groups with 50 members.

If that cost is too much, tell us what topics you are thinking of and we can probably suggest ways to recruit people
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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by readertorider on Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:36 am

Would your group home find it acceptable to have your mom pack you a meal at their meal time for when you come home? If the group meetings are at a restaurant it is polite to buy something (can be small), but otherwise if you're just worried about the cost of food there may be some work arounds. Do you have access to any of a stove/hot plate, refrigerator, microwave? (I personally really like uncooked ramen noodles, but I'm weird)

I've, umm, actually been in charge of quite a few clubs where no one shows up to at least some meetings Smile Quite a few of my friends have had very similar experiences--if no one shows up it is not a reflection on you.

I think asking the women's support group's leader if you could advertise your club there (just once and have the regular day/time planned so if people can't make it the first time they'll know how to find it) is a good idea! Just be attuned to your members decisions of what they do/don't want to read/discuss. Other advertising options might include adding a flyer to a bulletin board at either your home or a library (ask permission of whoever's in charge of the wall first).

I would not recommend messaging people who share your interests on a meetup (or similar) site about your club. At that point you decide if it's worth the $10/month to you.

Do you have a location for your club? A public area is usually best if you don't know the attendees.  

For your first meeting I'd advise going, bringing a book, staying throughout the advertised time of the meeting (sometimes someone will arrive verrry late) and if no one shows, you and your mom got to read for an hour Wink

I'm not sure about the exact specifics of your living situation, but if you can get a part/full-time job additional money would open up more options as well as give you social contact with possible co-workers (desirability depends on the co-workers in question).  

My personal thoughts are that it would be easier to join an active club than to start your own, and if you have an opportunity to work while staying at your home that might be a good way to explore other options while building savings.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by Enail on Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:29 pm

What about advertising at your local library? They might have a free-for-all message board, or if not, you could ask the librarian if you can post it somewhere. Maybe at community centres too? Or even bookstores.
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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by littlebluedove on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:07 pm

I haven't been messaging people on Meetup. I've been messaging people on OkCupid, Fetlife and Craigslist. What's bad about getting to know someone online and then inviting them to the club if they express interest in reading and/or writing?

These are the clubs I'd like to start in time:

- The Literary Dungeon, a book discussion/writing workshop group
- A social/environmental justice group for discussing social issues, feminism, etc., things we've learned about the social and environmental sciences, and doing community service
- A Mental health/adulting support group
- A munch (group for kinky people)

$10 would be pretty steep for me, since I only get $38 a month to spend, with about $30 left over after paying my share of the low-income internet bill. I'd prefer not to have to spend any money, but I haven't ruled it out completely.

My mom and I were hoping that we could have a standing date (i.e the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 am to noon) but we can't promise that, since there's no guarantee a room will be available on any given day at the library.

I'll see if the libraries and bookstores would be willing to let us advertise.

I'd be nervous about trying to make friends at work, because I know some people go there just to work and don't want to make friends with coworkers. I think just to be safe, if I can get a job I'll let my coworkers be the ones to initiate overtures of friendship (I'm having a hard time being hopeful that I'll get a chance to work with them because it took me 4-5 YEARS to find my first job, and that didn't work out because I kept having breakdowns, being unable to process what people were saying, which got people mad at me, etc. If it takes me the same amount of time to find my next job, I'll be in my mid 20's before I'm working again, if anyone ever decides to hire me at all).

I have a mini fridge and a microwave in my room.

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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by littlebluedove on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:09 pm

Actually, I think I'll just try to figure this out on my own. I've made two threads here, and in both threads people have made negative assumptions and jumped to conclusions about me and my inentions. Being negatively and inaccurately judged is one of my biggest triggers, so I don't think this is a safe forum for me to use. I'll try to find other forums.

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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by readertorider on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:24 pm

Sorry--did not intend to make assumptions. Captain Awkward has forums that seem pretty good, you may want to try there.
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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by littlebluedove on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:53 pm

I appreciate the apology. I think I may have been too hasty to jump ship. I'll stick around longer to see if this forum is a good fit for me, and I for it. I'll craft my posts more carefully in the future to try to reduce the chances of something like this happening again.

Also, I appreciate the advice everyone has given me.


Last edited by littlebluedove on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add more information)

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Re: How do I start a new club?

Post by reboot on Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:14 pm

Just brain storming here, but are there other group homes or social support organizations around your area that might let you advertise? I work at a refugee support center and we would totally let someone post and recommend to appropriate clients for everything except the kink group. I can think of other groups we work with who would feel the same. It is hard to find safe spaces for clients to socialize and build support networks. In my clients cases, it is also hard for them to socialize outside their communities which makes learning American social norms hard.
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