Summer is a great time to increase booster club membership and community involvement. But creating and applying strategies that entice new volunteers can be tricky. Not to worry, AIM has tips to recruit volunteers for your fundraisers that will help you overcome these hurdles. These tips will help you attract fresh faces to your group over the summer and set your club up for a successful school year.
But to start, here’s an overview of matters around attraction and retention for volunteers.
Common Volunteer Attraction Issues
First, the good news. There is no shortage of parents wanting to volunteer. Not knowing how to recruit volunteers is why many booster clubs find it hard to attract new members. The reasons can be varied, but there are some common factors that can affect any group. Common barriers such as limited awareness and a lack of insight into what’s involved when signing up to be a volunteer.
Other common issues include not engaging newcomers so they stick around, and the absence of a volunteer value proposition. Your booster club need not suffer these correctable setbacks.
Volunteer Retention Issues
Getting new recruits on board is one thing; getting them to stay is something else. Several factors can cause prospective volunteers to wither on the vine. A common reason to stop volunteering is time restraints, but it’s not the only one. Parent volunteers may also quit due to a lack of appreciation, burnout, feeling like an outsider, and a lack of volunteer task variety. The problem is most volunteers don’t communicate their reason, or real reason, for leaving. And without their feedback on what went wrong it’s difficult to make impactful changes to your volunteer setup.
Below, AIM has collected five tips to boost your club’s membership to help you understand what it takes to attract and retain a healthy pool of volunteers for your booster club initiatives. They will help you identify what you’re doing right and areas that could use a new approach.
Before Summer Drive to Increase Booster Club Membership
Too many clubs lose recruits due to boredom, confusion, and a general lack of direction. So before you embark on a new volunteer recruitment initiative, review and retool your induction process. If you’re unsure of your organization’s image, consider sending out a questionnaire to existing members for feedback. Ask for input on the club’s strengths and weaknesses and what your members think would make it more appealing to prospective volunteers.
Because, a great first impression is a vital first step to help increase booster club membership.
5 Tips to Increase Booster Club Membership
Every booster club aims to have a diverse, dedicated membership base. A varied volunteer pool greatly impacts the supported school group, projects, and local community. The way to accomplish this is to improve your volunteer attraction strategy. So before you can increase booster club membership, you must know how and where to target the right people.
Our five practical tips to expand club membership over the summer are:
- Enhance your club’s visibility and outreach
- Provide clear volunteer opportunities
- Offer incentives and helper recognition
- Showcase the impact and benefits
- Host informative summer meet-ups
1. Enhance Your Club’s Visibility and Outreach
Use multiple communication channels to expand your club’s outreach. Social media posts with relevant, high-visibility hashtags are ideal for sharing information about your exciting goals, events, and activities to current members and prospects. School newsletters, bulletin boards, and community platforms can also help you reach a wider audience of prospective parents and community members. Consider working with high school administrators to include booster club info in welcome packets for new students and their families.
2. Clear Volunteer Opportunities Increase Booster Club Membership
Promote a variety of volunteer opportunities with a wide range of time commitments and duties. For example, summer fundraising, event planning, and marketing tasks. Some duties may take a large time commitment and others may only take a few minutes every week.
Give clear descriptions of each role and the commitment they require. That will help prospective parents see how they can contribute according to their schedule and increase overall volunteer involvement. This approach will lead to greater success and helper participation.
The table below gives an outline of common booster club volunteer roles and duties.
|Volunteer Role||Brief Description of Duties|
|Event Planning||Coordinate fundraisers, events, and outreach activities|
|Fundraising||Manage fundraising campaigns, sponsorships, and donation drives|
|Marketing & Promotion||Promote club activities through materials, social media accounts, and community engagement|
|Concessions & Merch||Support concession stands, sell merchandise, manage inventory, etc.|
|Volunteer Coordination||Recruit, train, and schedule volunteers for various club activities to ensure smooth club operations|
|Student Support||Assist students during performances, competitions, and events, including uniforms, transportation, and moral support|
|Communications||Oversee communication channels to keep members and the community informed about club activities|
|Budgeting & Finance||Help with financial planning, budgeting, and tracking expenses, to ensure responsible funds management|
|Grant Writing||Seek grants and funding to support the school through club projects and initiatives|
|Equipment & Facilities||Manage equipment and facilities upkeep to maintain optimal condition|
The roles and duties in this table are only examples. And the specific tasks of your organization, and the time commitment required, will vary based on your focus and activities. The point is to get everything written down to make it easier to review and tweak the current setup for your boosters.
Why Affordable Booster Club Property Insurance Makes Sense
Volunteers are vital in managing fundraising supplies and group property, but accidents and mishaps do happen. So how protected is your club’s property from potential risks like fire, theft, vandalism, etc.? Our affordable property insurance coverage extends AIM’s protective shield to your club’s personal property and assets. That includes popcorn machines, snow cone makers, school store supplies, emergency relief items, and much more.
3. Offer Incentives and Recognition
Incentives and recognition are powerful motivators to increase booster club membership. Consider offering new volunteers a small token of appreciation, such as club merchandise or exclusive perks.
Public acknowledgement and recognition of your volunteers’ contributions are vital to keeping new volunteers engaged and your club’s morale high. Share this recognition through general club meetings, newsletters, social media shout-outs, and appreciation events.
4. Showcase the Impact and Benefits
Highlight the benefits of joining your booster club. Sweet words are best for attracting new prospective members. Showcase your club’s improved extracurricular programs and how you give back to the community. The feeling that you are making a difference in the lives of students is a powerful motivator for prospective volunteers.
And always share your group’s success stories and positive feedback to demonstrate its influence and achievements. Do this, and you will inspire parents to come forward and contribute their time and skills to make a difference in their student’s education experience.
5. Host Informative Summer Meet-Ups
Consider organizing an informal summer meetup to connect with potential booster club members to pitch your group and why they should join. Encourage current members to invite their friends and families to these summer meetups as well.
Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment like this helps foster personal connections and encourages locals to get involved. Use the opportunity to showcase what your group accomplished over the past school year, your plans for the upcoming year, and why volunteers are crucial to making it the best year ever for students.
Also, try to predict parents’ questions so you can have answers ready for the interested parents and community members attending the meetup.
Think Who, What, Where, When, and How?
As simple as the suggestions above are, a strategic approach will serve you the best results for your efforts. Be purposeful in determining how you spend your group’s time and resources over the summer to find and recruit the best potential volunteers to your booster club.
For instance, who is best suited to recruit new members? And just as important, who should you target your efforts at and why? Another consideration is where and when you should try to recruit high-value parents. And finally, when and how should you follow up on those who have shown an interest in volunteering? Let’s review the answers.
Who Should Take the Lead in Recruiting?
Every booster club member can be an advocate to increase booster club membership. However, selecting an individual or team to lead your recruiting efforts is the best approach for kicking off a club membership drive. The ideal people to boost club enrollment have strong social skills and a passion for the organization’s mission and activities. It also helps if they are good at networking, sales, organization, and have some knowledge of marketing.
Target the Right Candidates
Your target group is primarily parents, family members (including grandparents), and guardians with students at your junior high, middle school, or high school. Seek out those who regularly attend events and display genuine interest in the programs you support. Especially, consider parents new to the school community and who expressed an interest in volunteering.
Focusing your efforts on targeting ideal volunteer prospects will provide the greatest return on your efforts and bring valuable new perspectives into your organization.
Other potential volunteers to consider joining your organization may include:
- School alumni
- Community members with a vested interest in your cause
- Professionals with skills relevant to your group’s activities
Tailor your approach to each group by highlighting how their involvement will contribute to the club’s success, and will provide the volunteer with personal fulfillment.
Reasons to Protect Your Booster Club and Its Officers
Accidental miscommunication sometimes occurs when sharing well-intentioned information with parents. When that happens, your club and its officers become vulnerable to lawsuits. AIM’s Directors and Officers Liability coverage offers defense against legal actions that stem from statements, decisions, or alleged wrongful/inappropriate actions performed by your group’s officers.
Locations & Timing for Recruiting High-Value Parents
It pays to be strategic about where and when you approach high-value parents. You will find plenty of potential new members by visiting the locations parents go to support their kids.
Some of the places to recruit volunteers and increase booster club membership include:
- Summer events
- Community events
- High school functions
- Parent-teacher conferences
- Summer extracurricular activities
- Online platforms engaged with school activities
Such locations create natural opportunities for your recruiters to discuss the benefits of volunteering. And you’ll always find plenty of activity at parent-teacher groups over the summer. Here, you will find people already in a positive and supportive mindset.
Effective Strategies to Persuade Parents to Volunteer
Asking parents outright if they would like to volunteer their time for a worthy cause is unlikely to be effective. Instead, develop a well-planned compelling strategy to get folks interested.
Use the six points below as a foundation to formulate your approach strategy.
- Clearly communicate purpose and impact
- Prepare to showcase benefits and rewards
- Tailor opportunities to their specific interests and skills
- Streamline the sign-up process
- Offer flexible time commitments
- Share your group’s success stories
Even with a perfect strategy, you still need people who can sell the idea to others. That’s why the best candidates for promoting recruitment drives have good interpersonal skills. They radiate positivity, enthusiasm, and genuineness.
Follow Up or Miss Out on Increasing Booster Club Membership
It’s vital to promptly follow up on potential volunteers to maintain interest and secure their commitment. There’s much to do before the start of the new school year, so the more help you have, the better. But suppose you don’t follow up or are slow to respond. In that case, you risk disengagement, negative perceptions, and missed opportunities. And that could negatively affect your club’s reputation and future recruiting efforts.
So, if all else fails, send a timely thank-you email expressing your appreciation for their interest. A quick response to interest from a prospect is essential to keeping them engaged. You may want to include some additional membership information for them to review in the meantime. And don’t forget to offer a scheduled meeting or call to the prospect to discuss further involvement.
Increase Booster Club Membership
To increase booster club membership this summer, focus on increasing visibility and outreach. Remember to target specific groups to save time and attract the right people. Be upfront about your volunteer opportunities and what each role entails. Offer incentives and highlight your club’s positive impact on students and the local community. Lastly, host summer meet-ups and attend various events to attract new volunteers. And always follow up with interested parties.