This individual will help by educating you in more detail about The 912 Project mission and its goals, and by reviewing certain pointers with you that we emphasize for group leaders and members. Most representatives will also connect you to other 912 Project group leaders in your state, as well as to other collaborative groups and resources that may be of assistance to you and to your professional development.
Step 2: Set up a website.
Even if you don’t plan to add content regularly, having a website for your group is like a business card. It lets others in your community know that you are there, and gives you a place from which to start. You can look at other 912 Project sites out there for inspiration. Below are a few easy do-it-yourself website services that make creating and maintaining your 912 website unbelievably easy.
- WordPress.com – a free service that provides hosting and website templates. All you need to do is point and click, select a design, add some content and publish your site. All at no cost!
- WordPress.org – this is the premium version of WordPress; if you are hosting your own site or you have a host already established, and if you want more flexibility, this is the version for you. Still extremely reasonable pricing and just as simple to use.
- Web.com – Our Do-It-Yourself Website Design packages include everything you need to create a unique and successful Web presence, from $11.95/month.
- GoDaddy – purchase a domain name and website builder package for everything you need from GoDaddy.
- Ning – create your own social network; this is better for sites whose members plan to share information and collaborate online.
- Meetup – helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities.
Step 3: Start Communicating.
We are not here to tell you what to do or how to operate your local groups. Every group maintains the freedom to operate autonomously, and we are simply here to assist you in whatever ways you need – that includes communicating the mission, goals and message of The 912 Project.
Whether it’s by what you display on your website, what’s written on any of the materials you distribute, or it’s the words you speak – YOU are representing The 912 Project as a whole in your communication with others about the organization. While each local group may have differences in the issues and activities on which they choose to focus, we do aim to try and maintain a consistent message at the national level. Building our brand is an important component to the growth of The 912 Project – our mission, our goals and a consistent message represent that brand. Below are a few pointers on how to start communicating with others about The 912 Project.
- First and foremost, The 912 Project is NOT a political organization.
We are not an organization of Conservatives, or Republicans, or Libertarians or Democrats. We are Americans who believe in the principles of the American system of individual responsibility and constitutionally limited government – that by following these principles, as so wisely memorialized by our founding fathers, America can offer the greatest chance of prosperity and happiness for the greatest number of citizens, above any other system of government. Placing politically partisan labels on our organization only serves as a distraction from the message that we do want the public to hear. This does not mean that we discourage members from otherwise getting involved in supporting or working for political candidates; in fact, such activity is encouraged locally. We simply do not describe ourselves as a political organization nor do we endorse candidates at the national level.
- Our primary purpose as an organization is to educate others.
“Our Mission is to inspire individuals and groups to connect with their communities through education, service and dedication to the 9 Principles and 12 Values to which we have committed.” We believe that if more individuals became familiar again with the history of our nation’s founding, they would be inspired as a matter of principle to make the right decisions and to take responsibility for themselves and for the welfare of others in their communities. We recommend that you use the language found in our About section on your website, as it contains our Mission and the 9 Principles and 12 Values and makes for a good introduction to new members to your group.
- We believe in the 9 Principles and 12 Values upon which The 912 Project was founded.
At the origin of America, our Founding Fathers built this country on 28 powerful principles. These principles were culled from all over the world and from centuries of great thinkers. We have distilled the original 28 down to 9 basic principles. If you believe in at least seven of them, then we have something in common. We’ve also added 12 values that represent the qualities of those who founded our country. If we can all live by these, we believe America can get back on course again.
- We conduct ourselves with integrity.
Conflicts arise, especially in a growing organization. If there is conflict with your group, please handle it with dignity. If the issues can not be resolved or you would simply like to go in a different direction, please feel free to form a separate 912 Project group. Many cities have multiple 912 groups simply because they wanted to focus on different areas. And that is fine. This isn’t a competition – we are all working toward the same goal. We strongly encourage you to create a written code of conduct for your group. Have each member sign and stick to it, top to bottom. This not only serves as a reminder for participants, it also serves as protection against unsavory actions. Lastly, we think it goes without saying, our organization will NOT tolerate racism or acts of violence.
- We are NOT a Glenn Beck or FOX News organization.
While there is no denying that The 912 Project was inspired by Glenn Beck, it is a fully functioning independent and autonomous organization of its own. Shortly after the initial March 2009 launch of The 912 Project, Yvonne Donnelly took on the role of the organization’s National Chair and began building a team of people to help manage the organization and maintain it as an independent entity. Today, The 912 Project is an independent organization, operated entirely by a group of volunteers and comprised of hundreds of individual state groups. State representatives have been established to serve as liaisons of information and correspondence, while helping to keep groups focused on The 912 Project’s mission of education and community involvement, while staying true to the principles and values that hold us together. A volunteer national advisory board oversees the organization’s activities on a broader scale and works with the state representatives to establish guidelines and help in getting new groups off the ground. When asked about the organization’s prior association with Beck, a detail that is often confused in the media, Donnelly responded,
“While our organization will always cherish the inspiration of Glenn Beck, which sparked our creation, the truth is that we are, and always have been our own entity. We’re not associated with or endorsed by Glenn Beck. I’m sure he’ll always appreciate our efforts; after all, we share the same values and principles and want the same thing for this country. But it was time to take the last step of establishing our own website and focusing it on supporting our local groups. We enthusiastically look forward to this newly established independence and we embrace our future as a completely autonomous entity now.”
We hope these pointers help you in crafting your own communications when writing or speaking to prospective and current 912 Project members, and with the media and members of the general public. More information, including materials that you can download and use on your own website, is available on the Market Your Group page.
Step 4: Recruit Members
Now you need to find members for your group. There are a variety of ways to recruit members and a variety of places in which you can find them.
- We suggest that you start in your own homes. Talk to your family about the Values and Principles. Discuss the importance of what the Founders designed for America.
- Next, get involved through social networking, on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for groups that are local to your geographical area, and for interests such as volunteerism, social groups, politics, etc. Follow people on Twitter who seem to be near your area and share the interests and values of The 912 Project. Search online for other like-minded groups and ask to partner with them in finding new members – often you’ll find that you end up partnering on many other things going forward.
- People often ask how they can best work with local Tea Parties. We suggest that you partner together – The 912 Project local group can serve as an educational arm, while the local Tea Party can take up specific policy issues and politically leaning causes. This helps keep politics separate from your group, while still offering an outlet to those members who want to take on that type of involvement.
- Hold or attend a weekly meeting in your neighborhood or town. Communication with your neighbors is vital to the process of protecting our country. Gather in living rooms, coffee houses, restaurants, libraries, VFW halls, churches and community centers. Share your thoughts and ideas with one another.
- Drop off informational fliers/brochures to people at various locations: neighbors, stores, supermarkets, parking lots, events, etc. Set up a booth at a local fair or show and hand out information about the 912 Project. (Be sure to check the local rules regarding distribution of materials at any location you’re targeting – some may require a permit or permission).
Visit this Web site often. Make use of the resources that are linked here. Share the ideas and resources that have worked in your home or town, and get ideas from others. More information, including materials that you can download and use on your own website, is available on the Market Your Group page.
EXTRA: To form a public entity or not?
While it is not necessary (and frankly, not recommended except in specific circumstances), some groups decide to form their 912 Project group into a non-profit organization. There are strict rules regarding what you can and cannot do as a non-profit, especially with respect to political activities. Some groups decide they want to be more involved in politics, and decide to set up a separate group for that purpose. Please be sure to check out all the rules and discuss with your group whether setting up a non-profit or a political organization is appropriate based upon what you intend to do as an organization. A few links to help you find out more:
Next >> View the Market Your Group page.