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How to Thrive as a Parent Volunteer Group

By Clay Boggess on Apr 21, 2015
How to Thrive as a Parent Volunteer Group

How to unlock hidden potential in your school's volunteers.

There's more to a successful parent volunteer group than being able to get things accomplished and check off a long list of tasks and objectives. So often, the people who have committed to helping out become discouraged as the year unfolds because the group is all about getting things done, and not enough emphasis is placed on appreciating and utilizing the abilities of its volunteers.

Consequently, the group can lose its cohesiveness and, as a result, whither over time. Getting future volunteers to join can thus become an even more difficult task.

Some things that groups may overlook that they should probably consider before doing anything else.

Show Parent Appreciation First

It's hard enough to get people to volunteer in the first place. Additionally, 20% of those who commit to volunteering will probably do 80% of the work anyway. It's a given that most people will say no.

Therefore, your main objective should be first to make each parent volunteer group member feel valued. Then help them see the importance of being a part of a more significant cause, and lastly, work on your goals and objectives. A positive approach incorporating teamwork and working together to make decisions and accomplish reasonable goals will have more significant implications as the year progresses. You may be surprised at what you'll be able to accomplish.

Base Your Goals on Volunteer Strengths

Unless you know where your strengths are, you probably won't be fully effective. Have you asked your volunteers where they feel they can contribute and their visions for the organization?

For example, if your parent volunteer group is small but you've set many ambitious goals, it's easy to see why people may eventually become frustrated from exhaustion and overwork. It's great to have objectives planned out in advance, but you need first to ensure that your group can handle these tasks efficiently.

Instead, consider your group strengths first, then incorporate a list of prioritized objectives based on what everyone's agreed upon. You'll be able to accomplish so much more if your group is harmoniously unified.

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Author Bio Clay Boggess, Author

Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.

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