There are carnivals to plan, programs to fund, projects to oversee, and your school volunteer base needs a boost to handle them all. Check out these simple steps to find the kick you need to get your school's volunteer program freshly motivated and growing in numbers.
1. Recruit the old to reach out to the new.
Those signup sheets won't fill themselves! To max out on new parent volunteers, recruit a few old faithfuls to brainstorm 5-10 newbies they'll approach about volunteering. It'll show your organization is open to change and give new recruits confidence that they'll know at least one person when they come on board.
2. Welcome back to school!
As the school year kicks off, hold a few small meet-and-greets to let potential new vols get a feel for your group. Organize a volunteer breakfast, tea, or dessert. A lowkey lunch potluck could be a good way to connect as well. The casual tone of these functions will provide the perfect opportunity for folks to ask questions and decide to commit.
3. Make the direct ask.
Who doesn't feel flattered when someone points out that they'd be really good at a new task? It's a fact, a lot of potential volunteers will only sign up after a direct invitation, so go ahead…ask away. Just make sure to follow up with those who do decide to sign up for a spot. Even if your needs change, make sure to contact everyone who volunteered to help. Give new recruits a role, even if it's a small one. Then, let them know you think they're swell to help out. Doing so will build the foundation for future volunteer opps.
4. Start small and find a niche.
While it might be easiest to load the no-one-wants-to-do-this jobs on the newbies, you'll keep them around a lot longer if you let them dip their toes in the volunteering pool first. Ask about their interests and give them choices and support. Pretty soon, they'll be diving into the deep end like the pros.
5. Don't be cliquish.
Most of us are glad our middle school days are in the past, so how about you don't offer a refresher course on how to negotiate a clique? Sure it's natural for people to stick with their comfortable buds, but leave room for the latest additions to the group. To foster new relationships, pair people up for tasks and vary the groupings each time.
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Once you've hooked some great recruits, you want to keep them close by your side. How? Keep everything from meetings to signups to the actual volunteer tasks simple. Meetings should be focused and brief. Sign ups…well, obviously, you can't go wrong if you use SignUpGenius. We'll make sure you don't misplace a sign up, double book a volunteer, or forget to remind anyone of what they agreed to do. Plus, your volunteers will be able to swap spots without even contacting you.
7. Say Thank You.
Often. For every event. Whether it's a personal email, note, or a few words of thanks in person, be sure that each volunteer is thanked personally within one to two weeks after the occasion. If you used SignUpGenius to coordinate an event, you can send out a thank you email in a snap right from the toolbar on your sign up form.
Before heading out to organize that next event, remember that SignUpGenius is here (and free!) for all your sign up needs. We love working with school volunteers, so we've made sure to include a whole kit and caboodle of fun templates to fit your needs. Why not check them out today?