Summary: This exercise asks you to reflect on, and then discuss, your expectations of, goals for, and contributions to the group. It then outlines steps to create a contract.
Introduction: Every member brings different personalities, expectations and expertise to the sponsorship group. Past groups have mentioned that a group of 8-12 core members and a surrounding team of volunteers works well. Groups have also attested to the benefit of using a formal agreement to help divide responsibilities between core members and maintain a balanced workload throughout the year.
1. Consider the following questions individually, then discuss as a group:
● What would a successful sponsorship look like for you? What would you point to at Month 13 to know that, on the whole, the sponsorship had gone well?
● How much time do you expect to commit? Would you like to be a point-person for the newcomers’ daily concerns?
2. Take out or draw a copy of the Contract Table below. Working individually, fill out the table using the following steps.
3. In the left-hand column entitled, Availability, write down what times you expect to be available throughout the sponsorship. Be as specific as possible. Daytime availability is especially important as many appointments occur during the daytime.
4. In the next column, entitled Resources, write down what kind of resources you have that will be applicable to sponsorship. Ex. a van, connections to community groups.
5. In the column labeled Skills, write down what kind of skills you would like to contribute and roles you would like to play. Examples include interpretation and language skills, driving, social media, public speaking, advocacy, volunteer coordination, budget tracking, activity organizing.
6. Leave the responsibility section blank for when your group delineates responsibilities based on the balance of resources, availability, and skill sets which emerge.
7. Once you have filled out the Contract Table individually, discuss it as a group.
8. As a group, fill out the responsibility part of the tables. Certain skill sets will be utilized more frequently than others (e.g. interpretation, driving, appointment accompaniment) and will need to be assigned to more group members. Different cultural practices or religions might also affect who is able to fill each role. For example, in certain cultures, women cannot be accompanied (to appointments) by a man who is not a relative.
9. Revisit your goals and expectations for a successful sponsorship. Does the agreement you’ve created enable you to achieve your goals? What additional support, if any, do you need to source before the newcomer(s) arrive. How and when will you evaluate your progress and needs throughout the 12-month period?