Families that are new to the school have gotten through most of the tough "firsts" by now. Hopefully they are ready to start getting involved in the volunteer life of the school. When people volunteer, they begin to take ownership and when they take ownership, they begin to really contribute to the life and mission of the place! You should strive to have an entire community of families that contribute!
Sometimes it is hard to get new families to your school to volunteer. There are a number of reasons for this. I will focus on 2 of the 3 reasons that I believe are the most significant in this issue and I will spend the next issue dealing with the 3rd reason.
One thing that new families need is a list of key leaders who can answer questions they might have. We have included a template with the newsletter that can easily be printed. Have a staff person or volunteer complete the form and send it to the new families. It is best to give them a sheet like this when they first begin the school year, but a bit late is better than never.
Another one of the most common mistakes that leaders make when they are recruiting volunteers is that they do not follow a basic rule of advertising. Those who make their living in sales have studied consumer responses and they have found that the average consumer responds to purchase something occurs after the consumer has "been pitched" at least 8 times. Think about that information in light of your school volunteers. How often and in how many different ways to you present volunteer opportunities and ASK for volunteers? You may wonder why the only people who seem to be volunteering are those who have been in your system for a long time. Do you see the relationship between the advertising and the volunteer recruitment. In schools and churches we often present an opportunity to volunteer quite casually and we present it once or twice. Doesn't it make sense then, that the people who volunteer are the ones who are familiar with the project or event and who have heard the call to get involved every year for many years?
Here is a bit of advice for recruiting new families into your volunteer army. Present ALL the details of the event and the expectations of the volunteers very clearly multiple times and in a variety of ways! Think about TV commercials. Advertisers show a variety of commercials for the same product multiple times during the same hour long TV program. Why? Because they know it gets results! Take a lesson from them and you will be surprised how much you can improve your volunteer recruitment.
Forward this newsletter on to all the volunteer leaders in your school that are in charge of events and projects. They can sign up to receive it themselves as well. There is a sign up link at the bottom of the newsletter.
In the next issue we will deal with the hidden rules which face all new families as they try to integrate into the system and volunteer "army".