First and foremost, this type of grassroots fundraising requires a meeting of the minds to discuss what you can do as individuals and how you can combine your efforts to maximize results and solve the problem at hand.
One way to utilize the collective intelligence and experience of everyone involved is to brainstorm ideas. Businesses and organizations use this method of generating ideas, so why shouldn't you? You benefit by having input from a variety of sources. The person who called the meeting might be considered in charge by default or simple courtesy.
To brainstorm ideas, everyone will need to understand the basic problem or issues. They also need to remember five things in brainstorming:
Everyone's opinions and ideas are equal in value.
Ideas, not individuals, are to be discussed or criticized.
No one should be married to their ideas.
It is not a competition to see who provides the best ideas.
A simple democratic vote should be available at all times to resolve deadlocks.
While brainstorming works at all levels, it is particularly effective in a small group situation because you can generate a large number of ideas without being overwhelmed. You can then list every idea as it is presented.
To begin, write down all ideas on a master list, making sure everyone has had the opportunity to contribute. Then evaluate the logistics and practicality of the plan based on manpower needed, cost, time frame, and so on.
Eliminate ideas as you go, based on logical reasons. If the group is split on whether an idea should be taken off the board, vote on it. You add positive elements to ideas that stay on the board and eliminate ideas that are considered impractical. You then repeat the cycle as many times as you choose until you settle on the best idea.
Because there is no hierarchy in a newly formed group, there is no political agenda and no one should feel too intimidated to participate. It is a process that allows everyone to feel included, appreciated, and valued. In fact, the small, intimate setting is often ideal for stimulating the kinds of discussions that bring out true inspiration. Brainstorming creates an environment to foster raw ideas and mold them into profitable outcomes.