Starting a U3A

Printer  There is a printable version of this page here.  Printer

Step one

Find a few friends with the same intention.
Establish a steering committee. Ideally some locals and some U3A members.
Contact a local U3A, or the Canterbury Network for help.
Download the Starter Kit written by the Auckland Network.

Step two

Set a date for a public meeting to see what support there is.
Hire a venue for a public meeting and organise refreshments.
Advertise the meeting widely. Ask for a Gold Coin donation [or similar] to defray expenses.
Arrange for someone from the U3A Network Canterbury or from a nearby U3A to speak to the meeting, outlining what U3A is and answering questions about it.
Depending on the level of interest, the meeting may like to decide that a U3A be established and may elect a small foundation committee to get things going.
The U3A Network Canterbury or a nearby U3A may continue to provide help and advice where needed.

Ideas for the Steering Committee

Download and study the Auckland Network's Starter Booklet.
Set up an email address with gmail or some such source.
Decide on a name for your U3A.
Set up banking. You may be offered an interest free loan for start-up costs.
Decide how publicity will be organised?
Decide how to get your Special Interest [Study] groups started.

Moving Forward

Publicity is important at this stage to increase your membership.
Put up posters in public places.
Make pamphlets available in public places.
Run a promotion day in a public place.
Use a large banner outside your meeting place and /or at promotion days.
Any local U3A will have promotion materials they might let you borrow.

Starting Study Groups

Make it clear at the outset to new members that involvement in these groups is a condition of membership. There are lots of other organisations for Seniors which do not require this which may suit them better.

New members can be asked to choose two or three groups listed on the registration form. The conveners of those groups can then approach the new member to offer a welcome, a lift to their first meeting, etc.