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How to Run an Angels Project

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 at 9:27pm.

I have been asked for tips time and time again for running great projects for the Angels, and instead of typing it each time, I’m posting it here so that whenever I get asked, I can just send a link!

The Angels is a group the harnesses the power of neighbours doing small things to create a big effect for a neighbour in need. We approach each case in our given community on a project-by-project basis. Usually a report of a neighbour in need will come in to the admin of the group, and the admin will assign a project leader or team lead to handle the request.

As team lead, it’s your job to make the project a great one. Here’s some tips to run a great project.

  1. Write a good story. Tell the people why they should support your cause and why your family needs their help.

  2. Give a few ideas for what could work but ask for more. Having run several projects, I can testify that often times the best ideas come from the public.

  3. Accept what you’re given. If someone wants to donate some old shoelaces and 4 paperclips to your family, just say yes! Why not? Look for ways to say “Yes,” wherever you can and wherever possible.

  4. Keep all your comments on the thread and try to keep everything off PM. The more that you comment on the thread, the more Facebook sees that your post is relevant and bumps it onto people’s pages. You may post your request, and have no response from the public. That’s likely because no one has seen it. Comment yourself and have other people comment, and you’ll start being bumped into people’s newsfeeds, and more people who are available to help will see it. Don’t get sheepish because no one is responding, call a friend and start to get those comments pumping. People want to help! If they can see you!

  5. Babysit your thread in the hours after you have posted it. Move the comments along. If several ideas are coming up, pick one and keep directing the ideas to move forward until the project begins to materialize. You have to keep coming back to your thread and seeing what’s happening and if you can sharpen, improve, or add to ideas that have been posted. If people are making meals or dropping off gifts, continually summarize who is doing what, to make it easy for people to volunteer. Make it easy for people to drop food or gifts to you or the recipient by being available or putting a box on your stoop.

  6. Be thankful and encouraging. Thank people for helping you and helping the family and encourage them on a job well done. Nobody has time for anything these days, and when they take time out to help you or help a neighbour, that’s commendable! Take some time to actually write out your thankfulness on either a PM or comment!

  7. Be prepared to fill in the blanks or drop the project. Whenever I take on a project, I can feel good about it by knowing that if no one volunteers, I’ll just do it all myself. OR if I know I can’t do it myself, I give myself permission to drop the project if there is no interest. Some projects gain traction, and some don’t. That’s just the way it is. Decide which path you will take before you post so that if you don’t get traction, you won’t feel upset.

  8. Delegate as much as you can so you can focus on the big picture: making sure the recipient received all that was supposed to get to them, and coordinating all the volunteers.

  9. Never get upset with a volunteer who missed the mark. If someone forgets to bring a meal or gift, just leave it. It wasn’t meant to be. Better to be silent than assuming! C’est la vie!

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to email me anytime with questions on how to run projects!

Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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