Tuesday, February 10, 2015

3 easy to remember motivators for joining your Mpowerment Core Group

What motivates young men to want to be part of the Core Group, especially since it takes a considerable amount of time and energy to participate? Keeping these motivators in mind will increase your success in building and maintaining the group.

Me Plus U | Mpowerment New Orleans LA

First, a major motivation to participate in the Core Group is that it provides an opportunity to meet and socialize with other young men. Since the social aspect of the Project is a prime motivator for many young men (and therefore is a Guiding Principle), it is important from the outset to include time for socializing and team building among Core Group members. For example, sometimes Core Group members choose to go out dancing together on a Saturday night. Some Core Groups have made it a regular practice of going out to a cafe together following their meetings. Building such opportunities into the Project helps to keep young men involved.

Mpowerment YVR | Vancouver BC

Second, granting decision-making power to the Core Group members is very motivating. This contributes to the strong sense of ownership Core Group members feel for the program, which translates into a willingness to commit their time to Project activities. It can be far more rewarding to work on a program when you have a strong voice in it than if you are only carrying out someone else’s decisions, or if you only have very limited power in deciding what the program will do. Again, this sort of empowerment is one of the Guiding Principles of the program.

Influential young men
 are extremely helpful to have 
as Core Group members.

N'MPower | Mpowerment Albuquerque, New Mexico

Third, having an opportunity to help their community is highly motivating for some men, and the Project goals of community-building and HIV prevention offer multiple opportunities to become involved in these areas. 

Core Group members get to plan and carry out activities to prevent HIV infection among their peers, support friends to get tested for HIV, and support friends to follow up with medical care if they have HIV. For other men, helping their community by reducing the sense of isolation that many young gay/bisexual men experience is motivating, and thus they welcome the opportunity to actively create new social outlets for young men. 

FOOD.  It is important to serve food at Core Group meetings because—surprise, surprise!—people like to eat when they get together. The type and amount of food depends on the Project budget, as well as community expectations. Some Projects provide substantial meals before Core Group meetings, while others offer light refreshments (juice, soda, chips, crackers, and cookies). Depending on when Core Group meetings occur, it is important to recognize that Core Group members may be giving up their dinner hour to attend the Core Group, so having something to eat is important. 

Genesis Project | Mpowerment Pocatello ID

RELATED: Looking for ways to recruit for your Core Group? 
1 super simple way to recruit new participants

RELATEDHow to mobilize a successful Core Group with few resources via The Mu Crew Mpowerment Dayton OH

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More information can be found in Module 5 Core Group and other Volunteers. This module is a free .pdf download when you register at www.mpowerment.org 

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