Hello, service leaders! This document will detail the general steps on planning your own large scale service project, mostly through coordinating with organizations outside of Circle K. The definition of a large scale service project is pretty ambiguous, but I would say that generally any project with over 20 attendees qualifies as a large scale service project. However, a large scale service project differs from a single service project in that a single service project is a large scale service project that is planned from scratch by the chair, usually in conjunction with a committee. A large scale service project is just any service project that occurs on a large scale, such as DLSSP.

Step 1. Brainstorming

So, you want to plan a large scale service project. You should brainstorm some ideas with a committee or with your board so you have some options to choose from. If both are unavailable, you should make sure that your potential projects specifically addresses a need in the community. You can also consider the District Service Initiative (DSI) – Serve to Conserve, Planet Conservation, but you should make sure that meaningful service to the community is foremost in the brainstorming process.

While thinking about different projects or even different types of projects, you should consider potential organizations that have goals or interests that align with something your project has to offer. Consider the possible sites and the proximity these places might be from your campus.

Step 2. Contacting Other Organizations

Finding and contacting other organizations to partner up with may seem like a daunting task, but you’ll never get a response if you don’t send out an email. First, try to utilize connections that your club already worked with, for example, you can try asking your predecessor or more senior officers if they know of any people/organizations that could be interested in partnering with Circle K again. If this doesn’t work, you will have to do your own research.

Google is your friend. You can usually find websites for public things like parks, conservation sites, or homeless shelters just by searching. You could also try contacting larger groups that oversee a geographic area you belong to and see if they have any recommendations. For example, if your club is located in the Bay Area, you can try typing “Bay Area homeless shelters” or “Bay Area environmental conservation groups”. The best way is to find an organization’s website and find a “contact us” page.

Step 3. Drafting the Email

This may seem like a daunting or stressful task, but you’ll never get a response if you don’t write the email. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t get a response. If you’re emailing an organization for the first time, you should introduce yourself and give a brief description of what Circle K is and what you’re trying to accomplish. Try not to bog your emails down with too much of what Circle K is; 1-2 sentences should be enough. Here’s a handy checklist of what you should include:

    • Brief intro
      • Ex. My name is Ryan Tsao, and…
    • How you came into contact with this person
      • Ex. …I got your email from the [their organization] website.
      • Ex. …I was referred to you by [person from different organization].
    • Brief Circle K intro
      • Ex. I’m writing on behalf of Circle K International, a collegiate community service organization that strives to…
      • Ex. I currently serve as [your position] of [your school] Circle K, and my goal is to…
    • Other important information to include:

    • What you’re trying to accomplish – Feeding the homeless? Youth enrichment? Environmental conservation? Make sure it is clear what your project entails so the person can decide whether their organization is a good fit for this project or not.


      • The question – this is the most important part that warrants a response
        • Ex. Do you know of any sites that could benefit from this project? (environmental project)
        • Ex. Would your organization be interested in working with Circle K for a project of this scale? (general)
      • Scale of your project – how many estimated volunteers
      • Projected date – if it’s still to be decided, at least give them what month you’re planning it to be. Remember to tell them the exact date later on!
      • If any of the above information is missing or not yet decided, be sure to let them know in a follow up email.
    • Thank them for their time!
      • These coordinators are very busy and taking time out of their day to read these emails. Make sure to thank them appropriately.

    You should try to start corresponding with coordinators at least one month in advance; the earlier the better. Depending on the scale of your project, anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months is ideal. If you can get it on their calendar earlier, it’s less likely that they will have conflicts later on. Lastly, remember that you are representing Circle K, so be sure to be courteous and use proper spelling/grammar!

    Step 4. Follow Up!
    Sometimes, you may not receive a reply right away. The person could be busy or they might have simply forgotten to reply. In any case, it may be difficult to gauge when to send a follow up email as you don’t want to come off as rude by following up too early. As a rule of thumb, you should follow up sooner if you are close to the event date and you can follow up later if you are further away. If you are still unsure, 5-7 days should be good. Make sure to include any new information not present in your original email.

    Step 5. Other things to consider

    After you’ve secured a project, make sure to think about other things for the day of like:

    • Food donations
      • Typically you should try to send out donation letters 1-2 months in advance, but the earlier the better. Some places, like Noah’s Bagels, will allow you to take whatever is left at the end of the day, but this isn’t as reliable as you can’t predict the exact amount of food you will receive.
    • Transportation
      • Try to figure out transportation ahead of time. Is there a convenient bus route you could use? Do you need drivers? Plan things out in advance so you won’t have to stress about transportation the day of the event.
    • Shift delegation
      • If you have a project that runs over 4 hours or is particularly strenuous, you may want to split up jobs into shifts so volunteers can take breaks. This also gives people a chance to perform different tasks, if possible.
    • Budget
      • This only applies toward single service type projects that require materials, but it’s a good idea to plan out things you might need to buy for your project for when the time comes to get reimbursed.
    • Safety
      • You have provide waiver forms and medical forms for everyone participating in the event. For any event with Circle K members that involves labor, all members MUST bring a signed waiver and medical form to the event in order to participate. These forms can be found on the CNH Circle K website in the Resource Database tab or down below at  http://resources.cnhcirclek.org/category/2-policies_forms_and_manuals/  
    • Proper Permission
      • If you are planning on working with other schools outside your home club you must fill out an Event Request Form or ERF to ensure the proper permission is granted and correct number of chaperones/advisors are available for the event. ERF’s take some time to fill out so please allow AT LEAST one month before the event to fill out all the required sections. ERF’s can be found on the CNH website in the Resource Database tab or at the link below http://resources.cnhcirclek.org/category/2-policies_forms_and_manuals/

    If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me or anyone else on the District Service  Committee! You can email me at ryantsao.cki@gmail.com

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