People who are part of a car club say that one of the most rewarding things is meeting people. Car clubs are an opportunity for people who share interests to meet and make new friends and contacts. Many clubs start small in a local community, and then grow to incorporate national and even international branches. Clubs can focus on car enjoyment in general, or they can focus on a car of a specific make and model. To start a car club, decide on your approach and write your mission statement. To expand your club, build your online presence, make brochures, host convocation meetings, and consider being part of a larger organization.
Part 1 of 3: Developing the Club
Step 1. Determine the focus of the club
Car clubs can focus on one make and model of a car, or they can be comprehensive for anyone with a passion for cars. It's a good idea to decide on your approach so that you and the people who join you can get the most out of the club.
- Whether you focus on one type of car or keep an open vision will influence the goal and mission of the club. A car-focused club might mean members have more in common, but an open group might make more people want to join.
- You can start the club with an intention in mind and, as it progresses, shift the focus in a new direction. This is fine if it works for members.
Step 2. Write an objective or mission statement
The club will only grow and be successful if you have an idea of its purpose. It is advisable to write something specific that briefly summarizes what the club is about.
- For example, you could write, "Our club encourages members to perform preventative maintenance, helps them build friendships, and promotes responsible driving."
- You can get new members to officially accept the mission statement in some way, perhaps by signing a membership agreement.
- You can write a draft mission statement on your own, but you can also ask others for feedback as people join the club.
Step 3. Set long-term goals for the club
Goals can range from reaching a certain number of members to becoming a business or non-profit organization. Set specific goals that you can easily determine when you reach them. You can even have individual members set personal goals for their club expectations.
Other examples might be hosting five car-themed charity events the following year, having all members receive auto detailing and maintenance certifications, and taking a road trip across the country during the summer
Part 2 of 3: Establishing the Club
Step 1. Find a meeting place
Since the club revolves around cars, it is advisable to find a site with a large parking space. You can even organize the meeting in the parking lot to be around the cars. From time to time, you can organize the meeting in a large garage to be with the cars in a closed place.
- Where you meet will be partially determined by where you live and the options available. Community centers and churches often rent their space to groups, so they are good options for research.
- If you can rent a space on a regular basis, it will be easier for people to know where the meeting will be.
- You will likely have to pay to rent a space, so it is important that you determine where you will receive the money from. You can take care of the payment the first time, and then collect dues or rent money through club members.
Step 2. Gather people to attend the first meeting
Ask your close friends or acquaintances who are car enthusiasts if they would attend the first meeting and if they would be interested in being a member of a car club. You can inform them about the time and place, and give them an idea of the content to address in the meeting.
- You can spread the word to many people if you want, but for the first meeting, it may be better to have only a few interested people present. From there, you can expand.
- Tell the people you've gathered that they can invite those they know who are passionate about cars. It is possible to create a large club by asking people someone knows, rather than inviting strangers.
Step 3. Set up the meeting
Receive all new and potential members. Discuss the club's mission, restrictions and requirements, and what members can expect from the car club. Share information on the fees charged and the structure of the club. Talk about the leadership and expectations of the people who run the club.
- You can print copies of the agenda so that people know everything you will cover in the first meeting.
- Start by getting everyone to introduce themselves and bring up something they like about cars.
- At least in the first meeting, it is advisable to have some food as an attraction, and a centerpiece to hang out at the beginning and talk.
Step 4. Make follow-up phone calls
After the first meeting, call the people who have attended to get their opinions and thoughts for greater participation in the club. You don't want to set a date for the next meeting and realize that no one is interested in doing anything else. Tell the people in the meeting that you will contact them.
- You can also have people fill out a comment card of some kind to get an idea of everyone's opinion of the club.
- During the phone call, ask people how they felt about the meeting, whether or not they would like to participate in the club, and what they would like to see at the club in the future.
Part 3 of 3: Expand the club
Step 1. Build your online presence
Most organizations, businesses, and groups in the modern era thrive on their online presence. You can take the simple route and start a Facebook page for your club, or you can create a website.
- If you're not good with social media, ask one of the early promoters to help you create a club page.
- This page may have contact information for the club leader, the venue and other details, the club's purposes and mission statement, and other relevant information that may be of interest to a person doing a club search.
- As your club grows, it can become a vital resource for staying connected as a group. It can be a place to message members, post interesting articles and videos, and inform members about upcoming events or agenda changes.
Step 2. Print business cards and brochures
While an online presence is important, getting your name out there requires more than a web page. You can post brochures near college campuses, high schools, offices, church, or anywhere in town. You can give founding members cards to present to people.
- Business cards and brochures should include the name of the club, contact information, and a brief outline of the purpose of the club. Local auto shops are a great place to drop off some brochures and cards.
- Brochures are an ideal tool because they are a constant presence and will ideally stay where you leave them for a while. In addition, more people will see them than when giving a card to a person.
- You can visit parking lots and put them in cars that you think belong to people who may be interested in a hobby club. Some of the get-togethers may focus on getting in touch with new people and handing out brochures and cards.
Step 3. Organize convening meetings from time to time
Once your club has been established for a while, perhaps a few months, you can organize meetings specifically designed to invite new people. It can be a mix with a welcoming environment so that prospective members feel comfortable.
If you feel like your club has a good number of members, you may not want to expand it further. It's okay to find a size that works well and allows the club to hang out for a while
Step 4. Make it official
If your club is based around a university, talk to club or organization offices for official approval. The benefit is that you can access university funding for programs and events. Another option is to seek accreditation through a national car club. You can become a chartered club that is part of their official network.
- Membership in an organization offers many benefits, and branches of national car clubs generally advise local venues regarding management, event planning, and marketing opportunities.
- Do an online search for national car clubs available in your country.
- Consider hosting a car event once your club is established. Organizing a car show or competition will generate excitement and visibility for the club. It will also allow you to raise money for some things that club members want to do.
- Build partnerships with other clubs. There are probably several car clubs in your area. Don't compete with them for attention or members. Instead, work with them and partner for events and fundraisers that can help both groups.