When you’re trying to accomplish big things on behalf of your children, your passion is palpable. You’re working with the principal, staff, school board and parents to help bridge the gap between home and school. That’s no small task.
And we don’t need to tell you that research shows parental involvement leads to higher test scores, confidence, social skills and graduation rates.
So it can understandably be frustrating when the people you’re dealing with are passive. Passive about ideas, change and involvement altogether. In today’s hurried society, we can empathize with time constraints, but how can we overcome those to increase parental involvement for the sake of our children?
If you’re struggling to expand your parent volunteer base, you might need to try some new strategies. Here are 5 easy ideas you can apply that you may have overlooked. You may not think little changes will make a huge impact, but it could help you get more new (and old) faces involved.
Increasing Involvement in Parent Associations (PTA, PTO)
1. Social Media: In today’s age, if you’re not utilizing social media to foster community, you are missing out. Chances are, you’ve got the Facebook and Instagram pages down, but you may not be posting frequently enough. It can feel like you are pestering people when you post too much. A good rule of thumb is no more than a few times per week. In addition, be sure to mix in some fun and positive tidbits with those that are asking for involvement. That will improve your interaction rate and ensure when there is a real need for volunteers, it will be seen.
Follow these best practices to connect with your current volunteers and grow your volunteer base on social media.
2. Refer-A-Friend: Encourage current volunteers to refer their friends. Create a simple, digestible graphic that can be printed into flyers or sent via email. This way, volunteers can easily share what your organization is about with friends who may be looking for an opportunity to volunteer in a group. This type of graphic works well on social media and can be especially effective when it’s around a specific issue you’re working to achieve.
3. Easy Registration: If signing up to volunteer with your organization is a long process, people will see it as a hassle. Make it easy on them with clear instructions. Use apps such as Sign Up Genius or a simple form on your website.
4. Keep Your Website Updated: Post pictures of all the fun events you may have. This can be accomplished with an Instagram plugin. Incorporate facts and statistics about projects and achievements. Testimonials help, too! You never know what might spark new volunteers to join your organization.
5. Tell Them Why: Spread awareness about your group’s mission and goals. Why do you do what you do? Who do you help? What have you accomplished? Making your group name well-known in the community will help others get excited to donate their time or money to you.
When people volunteer, they make a difference not only in the organization but in their own lives as well. You could reach new people looking to spend their time volunteering with these simple ideas. For more ways to engage volunteers and other ideas, visit our blog.