1. Meet with committee chairpeople for an overview of events for the school year and to get a sense of their volunteer needs.

2. If your group did a parent interest survey, follow up! Match people to jobs that will let them use their talents and interests. Photography buffs can take pictures at events; a sound engineer can make sure everyone is heard during the school play.

3. Before your volunteers dive in, explain what specific tasks they’ll be doing (and why it’s important). Let them know what to expect, whether they’re copying flyers in the office or soliciting raffle donations.

4. Keep the time commitment short and manageable – and above all, don’t hold your helpers longer than advertised. This will help avoid the black hole of endless time commitment that so many potential volunteers fear.

5. After someone has volunteered, reach out personally, by phone or email, to offer a sincere thank-you. Ask each of your volunteers how it went and whether they felt well-prepared for the job they did.

6. Share the results: the pounds of pasta served at the spaghetti dinner, the classroom activities teachers were able to do, the funds raised at the gala auction. People will volunteer again if they know their efforts made a difference.

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Posted on 09 September 2010

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