Generating Interest from the Community
In addition to the other students, school personnel, and parents, you willneed the support and cooperation of many subgroups in the community,including local merchants, civic groups, law enforcement officials, and themedia. If possible, give each subgroup a poster to display that will identifythe organization as "A Supporter of Project Graduation."
Local Merchants-for Donations of Money, Services, and Prizes
The fundraising/finance committee, prize committee, and food committeeshould work together through the Project Graduation chairperson to makesure they don't contact the same merchants for donations. In the initialapproach to merchants, give them a brief sketch of the party reasons, rules,and benefits. Put emphasis on the community service they would provide bycontributing to the success of the event. Some Project Graduationorganizers have sent letters to merchants prior to contacting them in personor over the telephone. The advantage of sending advance letters is that fundraisers will not have to repeat the information or take as much time ateach place. The drawbacks, of course, are that processing letters takestime and involves the cost of paper, envelopes, and postage.
Civic Groups - for Donations of Food, Prizes, Money, or Labor
The leaders of these groups may be approached in a similar manner to themerchants. It is possible that an organization like the Masons, Elks, orWomen's League, might choose Project Graduation as their club's specialcharity project, and give both financial and volunteer support. Localchurches and synagogues might also be willing to help with financialassistance, volunteers, or by loaning equipment or special facilities.
Law Enforcement Officials - for endorsement and any help that might beneeded in policing the area surrounding the site(s) of the party
Also, the public support of the police and other officials could go a long wayin selling the idea to parents, school administrators, and other members ofthe community.
Media - for generating positive print and broadcast stories on ProjectGraduation
The publicity will help convince the public that the party will be fun, safe,and a worthwhile community project. More information on contacting themedia may be found in the Publicity Committee section.