The Full Story
Sierra Club SPROG Scholarship Project
This was a particularly challenging and exciting project. After being an alum of the SSC's SPROG(summer program) program, I was tasked to help other young people get scholarships to what was a groundbreaking organizing experience for myself. I led a team of eight folks on a fundraising effort that ensured no person was unable to attend SPROG; here's how I did it.
Here was the high -stakes game: There were around 125 spots across the U.S and Puerto Rico for these summer programs. Unfortunately the push for more equity didn't come with an increase in scholarships, with some regions having around 10 scholarship slots.
The trainers were all from different parts of the country: South, East, Midwest, and Puerto Rico.
We were also trying to get scholarships from the Chapters, decentralized parts of the Sierra Club, which the trainers did not know.
Chapters and the SSC were on opposite sides of the club and had a big generation gap. I focused on the 'one club' approach and framed the ask in service of the whole organization
I focused on what the stories were. The chapters and scholarship folks were from the same area and I focused on geography, such as wanting to protect the same body of water, in my pitches. I also connected the applicants with the chapters
It was clear that this relationship couldn't end when the program did. I focused on what the scholarship recipients could share to the chapter after the program, and how they could continue to stay in relation.
At the end of the effort, all students that needed them were given scholarships and no one was turned away . The program that year had one of the highest levels of participant diversity.