How To Organize A Cycle For Education Event

HOW TO ORGANIZE A CYCLE FOR EDUCATION EVENT (pdf)

Background information:

Jolandie Rust is an accomplished South African cyclist and will act as Iduka’s Goodwill Ambassador for the duration of her 40,000 kilometers solo tour of Africa. She departed from Cape Town on April 27, 2011, and will be traveling through 34 African countries in a clockwise fashion.

Objective:

Mobilize our volunteers around our Cycle For Education campaign.

Note: Countries not on Jolandie’s route are also encouraged to host Cycle For Education events.

Step 1: Register a Local Outreach Chapter

The best way to organize a Cycle For Education event in your area is to start a Local Outreach Chapter. All you need is to recruit 4 friends and register your group online.

Step 2: Contact individuals, groups, and organizations

Contact every friend or local community based organization, including other Iduka teams, which are interested in education. You want to spread the word far and wide and should enlist all the help you can. Your Cycle For Education event should be organized in coordination with other Local Outreach Chapters and can be affiliated with other local groups and organizations. You should contact them and let them know your plans — they may offer to help organize and promote it.

Step 3: Host an organizational meeting

Invite everyone to an organizational meeting (or a conference call). Brainstorm how to make your event focused and successful. The organizing meeting should be inspiring and well organized.

Identify volunteers to spearhead tasks like:

  • Social media outreach
  • Community outreach
  • Flyers & posters
  • Media
  • Crowd control and person responsible for headcount
  • “Bike Along With Jolandie” event coordination team
  • Crowd control
  • Cleanup
  • Speakers

and anything else that needs to happen. Create subcommittees if needed. Appoint a single point contact for the Bike Along With Jolandie event.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!

Step 4: Choose the best location and date

During the organizing meeting decide on an appropriate location. You want a place that

is very visible and speaks to your cause, like a school or a college.

Make sure there aren’t other major events happening around the same time. You don’t want a small, diluted turnout. Weekdays tend to be better than weekends to get press attention.

Type of other possible events you can organize around our Cycle For Education campaign:

  • Community outreach sessions about Iduka, its programs, and Cycle For Education campaign
  • Workshops on how to register a local outreach chapter
  • Workshops on how to use social action networking sites
  • Organizational “Bike Along With Jolandie” meetings
  • Press conferences (more information coming soon)
  • Music concerts planning meetings (more information coming soon)

Note: when planning a “Bike Along With Jolandie” event, make sure the single point of contact appointed to coordinate this event has a cell phone and easy access to the Internet. Jolandie will be contacting this person as she gets closer to your city. These events should be planned as farewell parties for the day Jolandie departs the city.

We are planning a series of music concerts for some capital cities along Jolandie’s route. At this moment we only have set on Luanda, Angola. Other cities will be include once we identify strong local support from local chapters.

Step 5: Logistics

Take care of logistics as soon as you can, such as directions, signs/posters, bathrooms, sound systems, food and water, shade tents, etc.

Step 6: Get a permit (if necessary!)

Local government in some cases may require you to secure a permit and in certain situations you may want to have participants sign some kind of liability release form.

There also might be rules about volume for the sound system or limits to the size of the rally. If you have concerns about permits and liability, contact your town or city clerk, policy station, parks and recreation office, or a local non-profit that has organized events in the past.

Step 7: List speakers

Create a list of people you’d like to speak at the event. Make sure the people you choose are charismatic and articulate… and know the organization, particularly its organizational structure, mission, and Cycle For Education Campaign. Confirm your speakers (you may want to use more than one person!) the day before the event — and put the best person speaking last.

Step 8: Make posters and flyers

Prepare posters, banners, and flyers, including an e-mail flyer. Make sure your flyers clearly state IDUKA, CYCLE4ED, and give a hint about our mission is to promote post-secondary education in Africa. Also, don’t forget to highlight the key issues with regards to our Cycle For Education campaign.

Cycle For Education Campaign

Mission:

Raise funds and awareness to support girls’ post-secondary education in Africa.

Goals:

  1. deliver an open letter to African leaders asking them to promote and protect higher education in Africa.
  2. raise funds and award scholarships to local students.
  3. mobilize volunteers in every country.

Avoid signage that is vague, too long, or offensive… and stay focused on promoting post-secondary education. Stay away from local party politics. Focus on the issues. Remember, the idea is to get the visuals into the media — you want a message that’s easy to understand and suitable for a local mass audience.

Creating Effective Slogans

For example, when creating your posters/signs, use catchy phrases like these slogans:

 IDUKA = EDUCATION

I WISH I COULD GO TO COLLEGE

PROTECT HIGHER EDUCATION

CYCLE 4 EDUCATION

GO JOLANDIE!

IF YOU THINK COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE, TRY IGNORANCE!

TAKE A+CTION!

WE ARE THE FUTURE

EDUCATION 4 ALL

EDUCATION IS A HUMAN RIGHT

GIVES US A CHANCE

STAND UP 4 ED!

SPEAK OUT 4 ED!

EDUCATION = FUTURE

BUDGET 4 EDUCATION

Make it simple, make it colorful, make it fun!

Making a Sign

Please refer to the PDF file linked above for an example of a blank sign. Now, it is up to you what slogan to use and how you will color it.

Step 9: Create a Press List

Create a list with the contacts of local media, including print, radio, and television.

Step 10: Make a press release

Prepare a press release for the media, stating the “who, what, when, where, and why” of your cause. Include contact information in case the press wants to interview someone. You may want to recruit the assistance of a local journalist to review your press release. Send releases out at least a week ahead of time — then make follow-up calls the day before.

Step 11: Spread the word

Contact everyone you know to come to the event. Even those people whom you don’t think will be interested at first. This helps spread the action to more people by word of mouth, which is by far the most effective recruitment tool. Then ask them to contact everyone they know.

Back this up with e-mail blasts, posters, phone calls, and notices on social networking sites and groups. You should also put flyers at local schools, universities, bakeries, salons, popular cafe, etc. Nothing’s worse than an event where no one shows up.

1. A few ways to spread the word:

  •  If your local newspaper features a story about education, try writing a letter to the editor inviting people to participate in the Cycle For Education event you’re planning.
  • Place posters in local hangouts and be sure to include your contact information. Places like:
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Popular cafe
  • Bakeries
  • Salons
  • Barber shops
  • Supermarkets
  • Grocery stores
  • Etc.

2. Closer to the event, find some committed friends to hand out fliers with you at a local market or movie theater.

Step 12: Hold your “Cycle For Education” event

If you’ve followed the steps above, you should be well prepared for a successful event. Check out the event logistics list to help you stay organized the day of the event.

If you’re hosting a “Bike Along With Jolandie” event, make sure you event single point of contact has had a chance to talk with Jolandie the day before the event and that he/she has the most current information about the exact time when Jolandie is expected to arrive at the event site. “Bike Along With Jolandie” events should only be planned as departure events. It will always be difficult to determine the exact time Jolandie will roll into town.

Step 13: Report back

As soon as your event is over, be sure to select your best photos and video footage and send them out to the groups you’ve been working with and to our volunteers@iduka.org. All images and video footage should be properly labeled.

We also need to know how many people attended each of these events and a brief summary of the event. Who was present, who spoke, media coverage, etc.

You might want to ask a volunteer to help with this important last step.

Have fun organizing your event!

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