Unfortunately, a common struggle for many Parent Organizations is volunteer recruitment. There never seems to be enough parent volunteers to keep up with volunteering and financial support.
Before we begin looking for solutions we’ll first need to address the possible reasons why parents aren’t volunteering to begin with. Here are a few different reasons why parents may not be signing up for your Parent Teacher Group.
What Stops a Parent from Volunteering
The first reason you could be having trouble with your volunteer recruitment is fear. Parents may fear that once they say yes, there will be pressure to take on more than they can handle. That volunteering once, even for a small task, will lead to a bottomless pit of volunteering hours. They fear the stress and burnout that they think comes with volunteering.
Another reason parents might be holding back is time. Some parents may believe that volunteering only has tasks that take up more time than they can give. Maybe they believe that the little time they can offer isn’t enough and so they avoid it altogether.
Lastly, they may think they don’t have the needed skills for your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club. Parents may believe they will be thrown into any random tasks, left to sink or swim on their own.
How to Address Volunteering Recruitment Concerns
If parents outside of your group have these fears, perhaps you should look inwardly. Are these situations true for your group? Are your current volunteers overly stressed or constantly running out of time? If you answered yes, let’s change that.
As a PTA, PTO, or Booster Club you may be in charge of several events, programs, and activities. As the years have come and gone, you’ve likely added on more and more. Therefore, it may be time for an Activity Detox. List out all the activities that your Parent Teacher Group is in charge of and start sorting through them. If you have many low priority activities, it may be time to cut them and allocate your time elsewhere. Quality over quantity.
Take into consideration:
- How successful is the event?
- How is attendance? High or low?
- Is this activity still important?
- Is this activity in line with our mission statement?
Now that you’ve detoxed your activities, you can distribute tasks evenly according to skill and availability. If your parent volunteers can’t come to you, perhaps they can still contribute. How often do your members and volunteers have tasks that don’t necessarily have to be done at the school? If you organize tasks that can be done at home, offsite parents have the opportunity to sign up for those tasks specifically. Demonstrating to all possible parent volunteers understanding and appreciation for any amount of time volunteered, from anywhere it can be given.
Remember, the process doesn’t stop at volunteer recruitment; new volunteers need training and support. Everyone volunteering wants your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club to succeed, however, they may not know how to contribute right away. The most surefire way for tasks to be completed quickly and successfully is with proper training. When you have new volunteers it’s helpful if someone more experienced can guide them at first. This allows for better integration into your Parent Teacher Group and helps new parent volunteers complete tasks more efficiently.
Taking time to create a “Volunteer Procedures Book” is another way to assist new volunteers. A binder with everything a new parent volunteer would need; from resources, tools, and step-by-step instructions, to tips on how to use the printer in the teacher’s lounge. Don’t forget to add a list of up-to-date contact information in case your volunteers need further assistance.
Protecting Your Members and Parent Volunteers
It’s no secret that volunteering, no matter how small the task, takes time and energy. Being respectful and showing gratitude for all volunteer efforts, gives parents confidence. Hopefully, this will help with volunteer recruitment and lead to parents becoming members or even committee chairs someday.
In addition to these tips, one of the best ways your group can prepare for new volunteers is with insurance. AIM Insurance won’t let anything stop you from bettering your school and community. We have coverages that protect you from the everyday mishaps that your Parent Teacher Group might come across.
- Event Insurance: if someone is hurt at your event and decides to take legal action against you AIM can help protect you
- Directors and Officers Liability: if someone sues the officers of your organization this coverage would pay to defend you
- Embezzlement insurance: if someone runs off with your money, AIM will replace the missing funds
- Property Insurance: if fire, theft, vandalism, or other unforeseen acts, damage your property, AIM will pay to replace the items
AIM is here to help your organization succeed. Check out our other blogs for fundraising inspiration, tips, PTA, PTO, or Booster Club guidance, and more!