Organizing Your Group Into Teams
Working in Teams is part of the Organizing and Mentoring Your Group series.
Starting teams isn’t a requirement for any chapter, but if you have the time and volunteers it will strengthen your group to ask people to work together. Co-leaders can keep the work from becoming overwhelming and provide support and accountability to each other. Adding a second person to a job or role enables more people to gain useful skills and experience, and creates a backup for when your point person has a time conflict or life crisis.
Chapters of various sizes may benefit from organizing into teams. In large metropolitan areas, inter-chapter teams, comprised of CCL volunteers from several chapters, may form to address chapters’ purposes that benefit multiple CCL chapters. Teams may choose to organize around a specific function such as working with a member of Congress or a broader regional goal such as metro-wide tabling and presentation opportunities.
Special thanks to CCL CA San Luis Obispo for providing an example of their team’s framework below:
Possible Team Types
Community Outreach Teams
- Education Outreach Team: outreach to community colleges and universities to create CCL chapters on campus. Work with campus clubs and leaders to host speakers, put on Earth Day events, and conduct presentations.
- Tabling Team: organize tabling events including researching opportunities, transporting equipment and materials, covering shifts and printing handouts.
- Presentation Team: locate venues for speakers to talk about CCL, climate solutions and/or more general climate change issues. Staff events where appropriate and create presentations.
- Endorsement Team: build relationships with local community leaders and seek their endorsement.
Media Outreach Teams
- Letters to the Editor Team: meet monthly to work on op-eds and LTEs, study the art of letter writing and share research resources.
- Editorial Board Team: meet with Editorial Board staff, develop relationships and become a resource for climate solutions and science.
- Social Media Team: administer Facebook page and Twitter account. Have several administrators who post to social media. Hold trainings for members on how to use social media.
- Congressional Liaison Team: schedule appointments and develop relationships with MOCs and staff.
What should we consider before starting teams?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating a team structure for our chapter?
- What activities could we work on if we had a team structure?
- What teams could we form to meet our current needs?
- What organizational structure would oversee our teams? To whom would team captains report their plans, activities, progress, and goals?
- Who would the team leaders or co-leaders be?
- How can teams work to develop and expand our chapter and its outreach ability?
- What are the possibilities, if any, for inter-chapter teams in our area?
What are the advantages of teams?
- The team organizational structure may make the chapter seem more supportive and inclusive.
- Members have a stake in their chapter when given an opportunity to be involved in a specific way.
- Members may be more likely to continue their involvement.
- As chapter members come and go, having a team organizational structure ensures more stability for chapter activities.
- Members have an immediate way to become involved in their chapter, in addition to attending monthly national call meetings.
- Teams can expand outreach into the community.
- Teams are an effective way to divide up complex tasks.
- Teams can help avoid overloading too few people with too much work.
- Teams can meet regularly to strategize, plan and carry out activities, thereby extending member involvement in CCL past the monthly national call meetings.
- Teams can be added or deleted as a chapter’s membership and activities grow and their needs change.
How do we incorporate teams into our current group structure?
- Include team reports at monthly national call meetings. Each team leader, or a member of the team, gives a description of what the team’s function and a report of what’s coming up for the team that month so that new and prospective members can learn about chapter activities and be informed of upcoming team meetings.
- Pass around a sign-up sheet for new and prospective members to indicate their willingness to be on teams which need members.
How can teams work together in a larger chapter?
Many larger chapters have found that if Team Captains can coordinate around a regularly scheduled Steering Committee meeting to keep each other updated, they more effectively align the larger group’s goals in the same direction.
Team: A number of chapter members working together on a specific project.
Team Captain: Volunteer responsible for leading the team, organizing meetings, creating agendas, and reporting on team activities.
Steering Committee: A group of volunteers who provide leadership in overseeing chapter organization, activities, functions, membership, teams, annual planning, and finances. The Steering Committee is like a Board of Directors.