How to Start a
A step-by-step guide to starting an animal protection
Now that you know why you should start a club, there’s
the matter of where and how. Schools, churches, and
community centers are great places to form clubs, and
our guidelines below can help you get going.
If you're reading this, you're probably already aware of
many of the problems facing animals. Remember that not
everyone will know as much about animal issues—and they
may not share your opinions on those issues. Stay
receptive and open-minded to what others have to say.
1. Ask friends to help you get the club started. Tell
them your ideas for club goals. Do you want to get the
word out about factory farming? Help homeless pets and
local animal shelters? Lobby for animal-friendly
2. Find an advisor. Most schools require that student
clubs have an advisor—usually a school faculty member.
Do you know a teacher interested in animal protection?
New teachers may also be willing to take on a new group.
If you don't have luck at school, don't give up. Ask a
parent, church leader, or other trusted adult in the
community if he or she would be willing to help. Call
local animal organizations to see if they have youth
clubs. If they don't, ask if someone on staff might help
you form one.
3. Find a place to hold meetings (ask your advisor for
help with this), then start planning your first meeting.
Decide on a time and date and start thinking about what
you want to cover. (See Step 5 for ideas.)
4. Get the word out about the club and the first
meeting. Make flyers or put a notice in the school
newspaper. Use animal photos or artwork to grab people's
attention, and make sure to include the meeting time,
date, and place. List some of the goals your club hopes
Consider making an announcement over your school's P.A.
system, and ask to be listed in the events or activities
section of your school's website. You could also create
a webpage for your club or make a group on Facebook or
any other popular social media sites.
5. Hold your first meeting. Welcome potential members
and let them know your goals and how they can be
Create an agenda to help keep your first meeting on
track. It could go something like this:
• Explain why you formed the club. Talk about what
inspired you to start the club and what you hope to
accomplish. Tell the group about current animal issues
and why action is needed. Brainstorm a list of issues so
you can see what people consider most important. You may
have to bring them up to date on the issues. (Consider
letting a video do that for you.)
• Collect the names of everyone who attends your
meeting. Include columns for students to write their
name, email address, phone number, and an area of
interest or talent.
• Ask for club name suggestions and have everyone vote
for the best one. If you decide you want a club logo,
ask members to submit sample ideas at your next meeting.
• Decide how your club will be organized in terms of
leadership. Do you want a president, vice president,
treasurer, and secretary? If yes, take time to vote for
club officers during the second meeting. If you'd rather
have a less formal structure, ask your advisor to take a
more active role in managing the club and coordinating
activities. You might want to have a different person
lead each meeting so all members can play an active
role. Depending on the number of people and interests,
consider forming committees that work on certain issues.
• Decide how often you will meet. Keep in mind that
members will be busy with other activities during the
school year. If your group schedules meetings too
frequently, there may only be a small turnout at each
one. If you don't schedule enough meetings, members may
lose enthusiasm. Try to strike the perfect balance.
• Offer animal-friendly refreshments at meetings as an
incentive to get people to attend. If you do offer
snacks, be sure to mention it as you get the word out!
(Check our recipes page for snacks like Banana Chocolate
Chip Muffins, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Gingerbread Cookies,
Fudge Brownies, and more.)
6. Take action! There are a lot of animals out there
that need your help. You might be tempted to take on too
many issues at once, but you'll have the greatest effect
if you work on one at a time. Get motivated and narrow
your focus with our step-by-step actions and other club
7. Keep recruiting. As your club moves forward, you'll
gain and lose members. In all that you do, think about
getting new members. Bring sign-up sheets to events and
continue advertising your meetings