Now you have created your Booster Club, the next step you need to focus on is recruiting and how to manage booster club volunteers. Your booster club volunteers are one of the most important factors in the success of your booster club! Your volunteers help your organization reach out to different communities, find donors, help with events, and provide guidance to students in the booster club activity. Your booster club volunteers are your biggest fans – so much so that they are willing to dedicate their personal time to help the cause.
The Important Role That Booster Clubs Play
Booster clubs are all-volunteer organizations, typically supported and run by the parents of students at the school the booster club is associated with. Booster organizations play a critical role in helping to raise funds to fill monetary gaps and support school activities in numerous non-monetary ways as well. The combination of financial support and volunteering time and expertise allows schools to maintain critical extra-curricular activities that help round out students’ educational experience.
Manage Booster Club Volunteers Through Motivation
Booster club volunteers come from many areas of the community. Don’t be fooled into thinking that only parents of students volunteer. In many cases you will have local community members that support an activity (sport, arts, music) that want to ensure students have the opportunity to be exposed to a particular activity. In other cases you may have school alumni that want to give back to their alma-mater and look at volunteering for a booster club as a way to do that. Keeping in mind the wide ranging backgrounds of potential booster club volunteers, we put together Five tips for managing booster club volunteers to help your club be successful!
Tip One: Make Sure Your Booster Club Mission is Clear
One of the most basic ways to attract, motivate and manage booster club volunteers, is having a clear mission for the organization. Your booster club mission should be simple and easily understood so that everyone that is dedicating time and donating money understands exactly why the club exists and what it is trying to achieve at the top level. The mission might be as simple as:
“To support the (activity name) at (school name) through monetary support and donated time.”
While a statement like the example does not get into specifics, it keeps the focus of the organization and its volunteers on efforts that work towards the mission’s end goal.
When you are developing your booster club mission statement, it should be precise, (2-3 lines maximum) and with a specific, unobstructed statement. The simpler the language used, the better. If more detail is required, you might want to adopt a step-by-step process outlining how the mission will be achieved. Once your mission statement is written and approved, it will be much easier to add realistic achievable goals for volunteers – no matter the task!
Tip Two: The Importance of Engaging Your Booster Club Volunteers
As you are attracting volunteers to support your booster club, it is important for you to schedule regular club meetings. These meetings should be designed to allow time for discussion and brainstorming. No matter the experience of a volunteer, they should feel as if they have the opportunity to contribute ideas and perspective to discussions involving the club and it’s efforts. Motivation and more importantly a lack of motivation can happen at any point that someone does not feel as if they are being heard or being allowed to contribute. Keep in mind that just because someone gets involved in a discussion or presents an idea, does not mean the club needs to agree or enact it. Simply by letting someone contribute to the discussion can usually be enough for them to stay motivated. Conversely, if you ignore a volunteer or always dismiss their contributions – it will be harder to manage booster club volunteers and keep them motivated to support the club. It is always harder to attract a new volunteer to your booster club than it is to maintain the motivation of a volunteer you already have.
Tip Three: Do Not Be Too Demanding Of Your Booster Club Volunteers
Always keep in mind as you manage your booster club volunteers that they are volunteers! They are there to help the club meet its goals, but are not paid employees. Because of this, you need to be careful regarding the expectations you place on your volunteers. It is more important and goes much further if you are able to be flexible with tasks and timelines. Of course there are always deadlines, but try to be clear as you manage booster club volunteers around deadlines and exactly what needs to happen for a task to be successful.
The best suggestion we have to help mitigate the potential of burning out your volunteers is to try and over-recruit the number of volunteers your booster club has. If you think you can get by with 5 volunteers, shoot to recruit 15. With extra volunteers, you can now divide tasks between multiple people and in turn lower the amount of time and effort that each individual volunteer needs to put in.
In the event that you are having a hard time over-recruiting volunteers, you might need to instead try and scale back your booster club to do list. Instead of running a fundraiser every week, shift it to once per month or shift to one major fundraiser that might cover all your needs. In the end there is always a balance to how much time and effort your booster club can realistically receive from each volunteer. To keep your booster club volunteers motivated, you need to be keenly aware of this fine line.
Tip Four: Assign Member Roles Based on Skillset and Club Needs
When it comes to assigning duties to each volunteer, you should keep the interests, backgrounds and abilities of each volunteer in mind. For instance a volunteer that is a banker or CPA might make the most sense as Treasurer, while someone with a background in construction might be helpful to oversee projects require construction of some sort. It is easier to manage booster club volunteers when your volunteers are doing tasks they are interested in. To figure out which volunteer would be best for which task, simply ask first.
During your initial meetings with your volunteers, you should have a list of roles that are open as well as projects and associated project roles that will need to be filled. Set out sheets with each role and have your volunteers sign up for different roles that they would be interested in. If you have enough volunteers you should have one or more people interested in open roles which in turn gives your booster club at least a couple of volunteer options to fill said role. In the event that there is a role that no one signs up for, you can address that in your next meeting with volunteers and see if you can find a volunteer at that point.
Tip Five: Manage Booster Club Volunteers Through Rewards & Recognition
Volunteering, like work can become tedious over time. That is why, just like a job, it is important that your volunteers get some sort of recognition every so often. Sometimes all that is needed is a pat on the back and a “Great job!”. Other times it might be putting together a thank you dinner for all of the volunteers. How and when you reward your booster club volunteers is up to you and your management team. Understand that, when it comes to motivation, recognition and rewards go an incredibly long way to keeping people focused and interested.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit, booster clubs included. Keeping them motivated will not only alleviate headaches, but will maintain a strong core of supporters to ensure the success of your booster club. Just like the difficulty of hiring a new employee to fill a job, it is easier to retain a volunteer by maintaining their motivation, than it is to find a replacement to fill an open role created by a volunteer leaving.