START YOUR OWN REAL DIAPER ASSOCIATION
Both the United States and the United Kingdom have cloth
diaper advocacy organizations. Do you need to build an organization in
your country? Every organization will be different. We would
like to give you all the help we can. Start here.
You need people. Gather a group of like-minded
people. While it probably can be done alone, it will take up all of
your time. The ability to divide tasks among people you trust is a
You need a reason. What is the result you want
to see? How will you achieve that result? Create a mission.
Your mission tells you and the world the reason your organization exists.
This will guide your organization.
Are you really sure you want to do this? You
have a lot of work ahead of you. Are you ready for that? If so,
you absolutely must believe in your mission. Building an organization
takes much more time, energy, and love than you have anticipated. If
you do not believe in your mission it will be very hard to dedicate yourself
to the organization.
You need order. Get organized and stay
organized. Make sure that you keep an ongoing list of tasks and dreams
so that things don't fall by the wayside.
You need goals. Your mission tells you where
you will go. Your goals tell you how you will get there. State
your goals clearly. List them all, from the biggest, most important
goal to the most mundane. Give your goals order. How will you
measure your success? How will you make big goals into manageable
tasks? Continue adding to your goals and refining them as you go.
Who will you serve? Will you have members?
Why would someone want to join? What will you offer your members that
another organization cannot? How will membership work? How much
will you charge?
How will you serve? Decide what services you
will provide. What will you do for people? RDA provides advocacy
training and information as well as a structure in which to act, Real Diaper
Circles. What will your organization offer?
How will you reach people? Do the people you
intend to serve have computers? If so, build a website. It is a
fast way to get the word out about your organization. It is easily
accessible for many people and can describe what you do, who you are, and
what you can imagine for the future. If your potential members are not
online, how will you reach them? Think creatively.
You need structure. What will be the structure
of your organization? What will be the various departments, and how
will they relate to one another? Will you have a board of directors?
You will want to plan this before you open.
You need policies. Let your mission and
philosophy guide you. Write out your policies in detail. What
should your organization do in particular situations? Think through
every "What if?" you can. Ask, "Will we?" and "How should." How
should areas of the organization function? Will you make alliances
with businesses? If so, any businesses? Or will you limit the
businesses that you will work with? If someone other than you were to
take over the organization, what would they need to know about policies?
Write it all down and make it clear for them and for you.
You need legal advice. Ask friends, relatives,
neighbors, and acquaintances: Who has nonprofit experience? Get their
advice. Then, call a lawyer and learn how to create a nonprofit
organization in your country.
Can you stay flexible? Remember, that you are
building this organization for others, not for yourself. You need to
be flexible and respond to your members' needs.