Throw “professional pot lucks”
You don’t have to be an activist or be especially brave to act out your civic desire. Actually, most viable projects are born out of a shared effort, people getting together to turn their dream into a reality.
So instead of thinking you have to do everything on your own, try thinking of your project as a “professional pot luck”. You play the important part as the host who takes the initiative, creates the frames and makes everything happen. But the guests all bring a little something, and suddenly it’s a party – without being enormously expensive, burdensome or time-consuming for any of you.
The key is “micro-actions”
If you want more people to join your project, limit the tasks at hand. It’s much easier for people to say yes to handling a micro-task – particularly when they are:
Time-limited and well-defined from the beginning: State clearly when and for how long you need people’s help. If you start asking what works for them, you will end up spending too much time playing the calendar game – and there will always be last-minute cancellations anyway. So choose a date that works for you – and stick with it. The people who can make it will come – the ones who can’t will be there next time.
Tangible and functionally concrete: Describe as clearly as possible what the task is. Most people enjoy either learning something new while completing the task at hand or using skills they already have in new ways. It’s also more enjoyable if you handle the task together, or work side by side at the same time, so you can see the project moving along and feel a nice sense of community.
Visible and important:
Make it clear how each micro-task contributes to the project at large. Demonstrate why it’s important and what difference it will make when someone handles it well. As a participant it’s nice to know that your contribution really makes a difference.