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How To Start A Dating or Divorce Support Group
By Harlan Jacobsen
article is written for people in our AZ Singles newspaper or Midwest
readers area. So here is short summary of what it takes to get a group
going with little or no expense and not a great deal of effort in
any area. You can read the following article for more ideas and detail....|
Lets say you are newly divorced and there is no place in your area
for yourself and others newly divorced to get together.
1. You are the starter, you do not need to do all the work.
2. You need little or practically no money.
3. You do not need a place to meet.
1. Put out a press release, the need and an attempt to start a (whatever)
group list your phone number.
2. Keep a list of all who respond, (phone in) tell them you will let
them know where and when of first meeting.
3. Ask them if they have a home or apt, club house etc., you might
all get together once to talk about starting a group.
4. Pick date as much as a month or better ahead.
5. Ask people who call if you can call them back if you need any help
in notifying people etc.
6. Get together, suggest they invite others and elect who is going
to do what in getting this going.
7. Keep it simple. You can simply get together periodically to talk,
figure out who can suggest where to meet etc., expand from there.
Back to press release. The article that follows is about sending our
singles papers a press release, and a lot of groups have started with
publicity in our singles publication and no where else. You will likely
have to find who runs PSA's (public service announcements) in your
Newspapers, shopping news, church bulletins, radio stations, hospitals
or company newsletter etc. Do not miss sending a copy to anyone who
might distribute it, PSA's are free. If all else fails you may have
to run classified ads.
Press releases are normally written to answer who, what, where and
LABEL TOP OF PAGE
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
double space it.
Newly divorced people in the Brown County area that may be interested
in attending a divorce recovery group being formed, are invited to
call Mary Smith at (512) 934-8820. The group is being formed to help
one another handle the problems and adjustment to becoming divorced
in a married world. Plans for the regular recovery weekly meetings
will be finalized at the first meeting scheduled for the first Thursday
of next month. More details at 934-8820.
If you are hoping to start a singles square dance club, change the
If you get few or no calls you can drop the idea or keep the list
from first try and try again, nothing lost if no interest, you at
least tried, but you may well be surprised if you do a good job of
Ask each media personally if they will run it for best results.
NOTE: If you need help in planning what to do at divorce groups etc.
after organized, we can help with suggestions. That is new subject.
Read following article for additional information.
to Start a Singles Group by Janet L. Jacobsen
Lately several people have asked for advice on starting singles
groups. Since this is a notion that strikes most singles at one
time or another, here's our basic advice on how to proceed.
First you need to have a clear idea of what you want the group to
do, in the sense of who it will serve. A "neighborhood" group
- primarily folks from a certain part of town? Or focused on a certain
activity - single croquet, for instance - or a certain philosophy
or point of view - such as single sports fans or avocado lovers?
With a clear focus, it's easier to draw together the folks who would
also be interested in such a group.
But generally those considering the work of starting a group do
so with a specific purpose in mind, so then the question is how
There are a couple of possible approaches here. The least work is
to send a notice to us that you would like to start a singles group
and describe the purpose or goal for the group. Include a phone
number so that people who are interested can contact you. This is
a good approach particularly if you think you may be the only one
interested in the group you have in mind - single begonia growers,
for instance. The disadvantage is that some people will be interested
but never get around to calling, so you still won't be absolutely
certain of the level of interest.
The better alternative is to plan the initial general meeting (more
on the meeting itself later), send us a notice including the purpose,
time, date, place, and a phone number for the public to call for
information. The phone number is probably the most vital; it gives
others a sense of security that someone really is behind this new
Be sure to send the information in plenty of time to make the deadline
for our next issue. Then send the same information to your local
newspapers (don't forget the weeklies and the neighborhood editions
of the dailies).
Next make up fliers that give the details about the first meeting
and briefly summarize the purpose of the group. Hand these out at
singles events, church, work, to friends, and tack them up in laundromats.
Attend other singles' events and talk it up.
PLANNING THE FIRST MEETING
Plan the first meeting for around the middle of the month. That
gives people time to hear about it and plan for it after the news
comes out in this paper. Holding the meeting in a home is ok; an
apartment clubhouse is better - some people are uncomfortable about
going to the home of a person they don't know.
Community parks departments and libraries offer meeting rooms that
are generally free or very inexpensive. Your bank may have a "hospitality"
room available. Coffee shops and restaurants occasionally have meeting
rooms, tho some charge as much as hotels charge for their
meeting rooms. But restaurants may let you use the room for a guarantee
that the group will spend a certain amount on food and drink. When
planning a location, consider the availability of parking, how easy
it is to find the location and the meeting room itself, and how
well the area is lit. Hold the general meeting at a time and on
a day of the week that seems most appropriate to the likely interests
of the group.
THE FIRST MEETING
If the turn-out at the initial meeting is low, try one more general
interest meeting, and repeat the initial steps. At the first meeting,
discuss your hopes for the group and have each person attending
do the same.
Remember to be flexible, to allow for the interests of others. Maybe
there are lots of single croquet players, but you're the only one
interested in tournament play. On the other hand, if several people
at the begonia lovers meeting would actually prefer to grow roses,
suggest they start a separate group.
It's better to start with just a few planned activities at first
- those that you personally are willing to get going. That way attendance
is likely to be larger per group event, and you're less likely to
burn out on the project.
And preventing burnout is important if you want the group to go
on. Share responsibility; when possible, delegate. It's best if
others take responsibility for the events they themselves are interested
in. This includes offering their own phone number as the information
source for that event.
Schedule regular general/planning meetings initially. Gradually
add events as others take responsibility for them. Don't
worry about electing officers for the first couple of meetings,
until it's clear there is enough interest and clear who will show
Send the information about your next month's activities ~to calendar
editors (ours and other media's) right away, and repeat the steps
for the other publicity as well.
KEEPING IT GOING
New faces are essential to an on going singles group. No matter
how much we're interested in the activities of the group itself,
we're also interested in meeting new people. Besides, it's inevitable
that participants will move, marry or in other ways "match up" and
stop attending. New people are important to take up available roles
and to provide fresh ideas.
When we hear rumors that a group is cique-ish or not interested
in or friendly to new people, we know it usually won't be long before
we hear the group has "died". A welcoming attitude, an emphasis
on shared responsibility for the group, and continued attention
to publicity (especially sending this newspaper your club
information) are near-guarantees of a successful singles group.
Related Article: How
to find a divorce support group
Tell Your Divorced Or Widowed Friends
About This Article And Site, Send Them This Page Or If They Do
Not Have A PC, Print Out The Article For Them
How to start a Dating or
Divorce Support Group
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