Get More Volunteers Without Begging: Lesson 3.2 - Work “smarter” to save volunteer hours and stress

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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 3.2 video transcript

We often hear that we should “work smarter, not harder.” Which is good, because many volunteers are doing so much to help the kids, that working harder is clearly not an option.

So, let’s look at the ways that PTOs can “work smarter” to save volunteer hours and stress. The Class Guide also includes links to specific tools that I’ve used or that have been recommended by other school leaders.

Good organization and processes will help your group get things done without wasting precious volunteer hours.

  • Document responsibilities and processes - If they’re not already written down, have Board members, committee chairs, coordinators and other leaders describe what they do, how they do it, and key dates. These should be kept up to date.

    If you have bylaws, Board member responsibilities will be spelled out in those rules. But a simplified list is also helpful. Having this documentation makes doing the work and training new volunteers much easier for everyone involved.

  • Save and reuse resources - Save all your flyers, donation letters, etc., so you can reuse them whenever possible to save time.

  • Store and share files online – Storing all your group’s files in a central place online, like Google Drive or Dropbox, makes it much easier to train people, help one another, and ensure that important information is safely backed up and always at your fingertips.

    Some people prefer paper planners and binders, which are not as convenient for collaborating and sharing, but are still very valuable for volunteer training and reference if kept up to date. Planners that offer the best of both worlds are the kinds with fillable PDF pages that can be saved online and printed too. (The ready-to-use PTA / PTO planners and resources created by long-time leader and professional organizer, Christina Hidek from PTO Answers, will help you feel in control and organized. Highly recommend!).

  • Time-saving software tools - There are a lot software tools that will help you work even more efficiently and effectively. Basically, anything you need to run a business or organization is available for free or at reasonable cost, including software for:

    • Banking, accounting and credit card payments

    • Calendars and meeting scheduling

    • Communication – Web, email, social media, messaging, video conferencing, etc.

    • Graphic design

    • Event registration and management

    • Volunteer signup and management and more

  • Good training and support will help your volunteers get up to speed quickly and be more likely to have a positive experience. Your group will benefit from having:

    • Good documentation of job responsibilities and processes and volunteers they can contact with questions

    • Volunteer orientation and transition or “hand off” meetings with predecessors when that applies

  • Put a Volunteer Chair or Coordinator in charge of matching candidates to jobs and coordinating volunteer training and appreciation. Even if this is a new position for your group to fill, having a point person will help you work more efficiently and is also reassuring to new volunteers and the leaders who need them.

Check out the links in the lesson area and in the Class Guide for valuable tools that will help your group save volunteer hours and hassles by working “smarter.”

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 3.2 - Work “smarter” to save volunteer hours and stress  from  Get More Volunteers Without Begging.  Free video training for PTO leaders created by Jen B. Cosgrove, SchoolVolunteersShare.com