Get More Volunteers without begging: Lesson 2.1 - Send a powerful positive message

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About this FREE class

All class topics - For a complete list of lessons in this class, click here.

Each lesson in the Get More Volunteers Without Begging training class is a short, animated video that explains steps in a clear, entertaining way. If you haven’t downloaded the class guide that goes with it, you can now.

  • Done-for-you notes - The downloadable PDF Class Guide includes a detailed summary of each lesson, so you can just relax and absorb the video.

  • Ready-to-use recruiting tools - Get access to one-of-a-kind volunteer recruiting videos and time-saving marketing templates and resources so you can start getting more parent volunteers right away.

Lesson 2.1 video transcript

When you ask everyone to do something and truly appreciate all help, you will grow your base of volunteer. I’ll show you how to do that. I’ll also give you some creative, time-saving tools to help you get more volunteers as quickly as possible.

The best way to motivate someone to help is to make a clear, positive connection between volunteering and helping their family and themselves.

That doesn’t mean parents are selfish. Especially when you consider that one of the main reasons we volunteer is because helping others makes US feel good. It just means we’re very busy. And the more strongly we connect volunteering with our top priorities, the more likely we are to make time for it.

The key is to show families what your school group does, how they benefit, and why you need their help to produce those benefits. Then reinforce that message throughout the year in an upbeat way.

Start with everyone’s top priority: helping kids achieve more. That’s the main goal of all the work your group does, and that’s what you need to drive home for parents.

Make it clear that the volunteers and money you raise help provide valuable learning resources, experiences, and staff support beyond what the school’s budget can provide.

All so kids can dream bigger and do more -- and just feel good about being in school!

Make it clear that: Together, you do a lot of good. And how much good you can do during the year, depends on how much help you get.

Make it clear that: Volunteering is a win win win

  • First, it’s good for the kids.

Volunteering is a great way to be involved in their child’s education. And research shows that when parents are involved, kids do better in school.

  • Second, volunteering is good for the school.

Educators feel supported and appreciated and can focus their time and energy on teaching. And the school has more opportunities and resources to help kids achieve more.

  • Third, volunteering is good for parents.

Volunteering helps them be in the know and make their voice heard. They can feel good about sharing their talents -- and developing new ones! -- for a great cause. They can have fun teaming up with old friends and new ones to help the kids.

Make it clear that everyone is welcome to volunteer and enjoy the benefits. Moms AND Dads, guardians and relatives, new helpers AND experienced helpers, busy people AND busy people.

Because you know that everyone’s busy and that they care. That’s why you offer a variety of volunteer opportunities that can be done at school or outside of school to fit any schedule.

Make it clear that every bit of help – every hour, every task – adds up to good things for the kids. And is always appreciated!

Keeping positive messages flowing throughout the year is vital to growing your volunteer base.

Use every communication channel you have to let parents know the good things your group is doing and what help you need to keep the benefits coming. Broadcasting channels, like email, social media, and backpacks, make it easy to reach the most parents at one time. They’re good for filling many of the smaller volunteer opportunities and some of the bigger leadership jobs your group has.

Personal contacts, at meetings, or just around the school, or even by phone or personal email, offer the highest success rate for filling all types of volunteer roles, and especially leadership roles. But you can’t easily reach all families through personal contacts, so you’ll get the best results by covering all your bases.

Of course, making it into a parent’s crowded inbox or news feed, or pile of backpack papers is only half the battle. You have to grab their attention.

I’ve created some fun, eye-catching animated videos to help you do just that. They can be shared on social media or by email or played on a device during a back to school event or meeting.

I’ve also provided some sample marketing copy that communicates all the benefits of volunteering that we’ve covered so far in a compelling, upbeat way. You can use all or parts of this copy to create a web page, email announcement, social media posts, and more.

You’ll find links to these resources beneath this video in the lesson area. You’ll also find these links, plus helpful lesson notes, in the Class Guide.

Do you have questions or comments about this class? I would love to hear from you -- and help! Please email me using the Contact link below or in the Guide.

See you in the next lesson!

Lesson 2.1 - Send a powerful positive message  from  Get More Volunteers Without Begging.  Free video training for PTO leaders created by Jen B. Cosgrove,