You’re the newly elected fundraising chairperson for your group. Fundraising volunteer recruitment should be your first task to ensure that you are successful. Remember you can’t do it all yourself! You need to a team of volunteers.
Recruit, Recruit, and Recruit
Fundraising volunteer recruitment is probably the most difficult, yet most important task you’ll undertake as the fundraising chairperson. Recruiting volunteers can be uncomfortable and intimidating. The best approach you can take is to jump right in with both feet and start asking people to volunteer their time to help. The clock is ticking you need to plan and start your fundraising programs. Send e-mails asking for volunteers, make personal phone calls, and network with other parents. You’ll hear a lot equivocating like, “let me check my schedule” and “let me think about it.” Some parents will flat out say “no.” Remain positive. Stay focused on the big picture and who is ultimately going to benefit from the funds you raise. You’ll find great volunteers. There are parents who love to support their children’s groups, who love to meet new people, and who are goal driven and like the challenge of fundraising. Be persistent, keep networking and recruiting volunteers. Before you know it, your committee will be filled with parents who are willing and excited to help.
Diversity by Grade is Important
When recruiting your volunteers, work diligently to have a variety of grades represented by your parent volunteers. Generally, parents with children in the same grade level interact with each other outside of school activities. They see one another at sporting events, church activities, and play dates. They also tend to have relationships through social media. Parent-to-parent influence through day-to-day social interactions increases communication about your fundraising activities, and helps garner participation across all grade levels. Ask your volunteers to talk to their children about fundraisers they’ve enjoyed the most over the years. Identifying fundraising programs well-liked by the children can help create better participation. This creates responsibility, accountability and participation.
Diversity of Experiences
The make-up of your volunteer group is important. Strive to include both female and male, young and older, and various ethnic groups. Each person will bring unique perspectives that will make your efforts more successful.
Once fundraising volunteer recruitment is finished and your volunteer committee is in place, it is time to get to work. You are the leader of your committee. Successful leaders listen to their team of volunteers and include the volunteers in forming decisions. Most importantly, include your volunteers in the selection of the fundraising programs. Listen to the types of features that are important to them as parents. Focus an entire planning meeting on reviewing fundraising programs and selecting the best fit for your group.
Plan and Communicate Meetings
How you conduct your committee meetings is important. Propose several dates and times, and select the one to which most committee members can attend. Send reminder e-mails and over communicate the date and time. Everyone appreciates a friendly reminder.
Run Comfortable Relaxed Meetings
Keep you meetings friendly and make sure everyone feels comfortable participating. If you have a volunteer member who is quiet, ask her/him for his input. Sometimes great ideas are never mentioned because someone is not comfortable speaking at a group meeting. Bring a few refreshments, but don’t go overboard. You want to send the message that the volunteers are appreciated, but also that you are a good steward of the groups funds.
Welcome Your Volunteers Young Children
Have activities for the young children of your volunteers. Encourage your volunteers to bring their young children to your meetings. Many of your volunteers might not have easy access to sitters.
Set an agenda and stick to the times on the agenda. Respect your volunteers’ time. Include time for introductions!
Create a volunteer information card. Collect each volunteers contact information, then create and distribute a communication list for your committee. Review your school or groups volunteer policy, and provided each volunteer with the necessary paperwork, forms, etc. Make it easy for volunteers to complete the paperwork.
Communicate with Parents
Work with your school or group leadership to determine the best opportunities to communicate your fundraising plan to the general parent population. However, don’t wait for the official kickoff meeting. Encourage your volunteers to start spreading the word among the parents. A great week to kick of your fundraising program National Take Your Family to School Week, February 17-21, 2016.
Appreciate Your Volunteers
Continue to show appreciation to volunteers through emails, personal notes and recognition at events. If a volunteer really goes over and above in her/his efforts, get permission from your group’s leadership to provide the person with a special, inexpensive gift.
Contact Wolfgang Fundraising today. Our sales team would be happy to help you plan a successful fundraising program.