as a high schooler.
Starting an organization is a huge thing, as it requires lots of hard work, time, effort, and more. Being a high schooler, there is not exactly much resources to guide us on how exactly to start. Running Bytes and Pieces as a high schooler, I have gathered some tips from what I had learned so far.
Identify a cause/hobby you are passionate about.
When you base your initiative on what you care about, effort follows through much more naturally. Whether it is based on an interest/hobby such as STEM, music, art, sports, etc. you are pursuing and want to share with others or a mission/cause you are involved in or care about such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc., an organization will be much more successful if both your hearts and minds are involved in it. For example, Bytes and Pieces was built off of my interests in music and coding (Check out our organization origin story:)). Next, be sure to identify the exact objective of your organization that is related to your cause/hobby (ex: fundraising for food cans for under-resourced areas, teaching people art, etc) and base all your activities/events off of it.
Identify who your audience is.
Who are you planning to serve? Keep in mind audiences’ ages, interests, needs, locations, etc. For example, Bytes and Pieces serves anyone interested in coding or music who are ages 11 and up as we host online events only.
Create an organization name and many social media bases for advertising.
Next, create a catchy organization names whose topic is related to your mission of your initiative. For example, the mission of Feeding America is to reduce food insecurity in America, ours is Bytes and Pieces (related to coding and music), etc. Then, create many social media bases (especially an organization email, Instagram page, website, etc) in order to advertise events, communicate with your audience, etc. For an easy and free way to create a website, check out our article on Replit. For an easy way and free to create an organization email, check out gmail (not a sponsorship lol). For example, try making an email that has the format [organizationname] @ gmail.com.
Start designing, advertising, and outreaching.
For your first organizational event, whether it’s a webinar, workshop, fundraiser, etc., to gather an audience, you need to get the word out. For online events, create and design flyers such as using Canva with name of event, time, date, location, etc. depending on the activity and then post this flyer everywhere such as through Instagram, word of mouth, etc. For in-person events, set up physical flyers and put them around the school, for example. If possible, ask your school teachers or principals to help advertise as well.
One tip is that, if you know any family members, friends, classmates, etc. who fit the particular audience you plan to serve, have them be the initial participants of your events first. Ask if they have any tips or opinions about your organization’s events and if they can spread the word further.
Tips for online topic workshops:
- We recommend using Zoom, as it is free to download and usually the first 40 minutes of a meeting are free to all.
- Set up a central online “base” for participants/members to meet, discuss, ask questions, etc such as through Discord/Slack/Google Classroom.
Best of Luck!
-B & P