My four best strategies for getting volunteers in early childhood
Fundraising is not a one-person job. It needs a core few volunteers that are committed to the big picture and others who can provide a little time here and there to support the cause. We’ve got some suggestions for how to get volunteers.
- Know Your Resource Pool
Talk to your childcare director about the enrolment form: could you include a survey asking for parent availability and skills? If they’re forthcoming, you’ll find out that John S has a minivan and can make deliveries, Barbara C is a bookkeeper and that a former Olympic swimmer has a child in the ‘possum’ group.
- Divide jobs into manageable micro-tasks
Volunteering becomes much more do-able particularly if someone can see that a task may only require one hour of time, tops. A volunteer sign-on board near the check-in desk is a great encourager. Chapter 9 of the Practical Fundraising Handbook talks about how this works.
- Spread the ‘ask’ around
Don’t rely on the same people every time. You risk causing fundraising fatigue …and they may start hiding behind signs and diving into the bushes when they see you.
- Value your helpers
Personally thank them afterwards. When the fundraiser’s over, orders have been dispatched, the money’s banked, and it’s all over, right? Not quite. But then, you know that: you’ve read the Practical Fundraising Handbook : )
People will do more, and volunteer again if they feel like their time and effort is noticed. We’ve got heaps of ideas for looking after your volunteers.
- Ask the teachers and carers to get the kids to decorate volunteer certificates. Then hold a ceremony in the last half hour of a day to have each child present their parent with the certificate.
- Hold a volunteer raffle. Every time someone volunteers in a month, their name goes into the draw to win a coffee, or a massage. Avoid spending any money by asking a local business to support you in exchange for a shout out on Facebook, or the newsletter.
- Ask for a ‘Thank You Sergeant’. If you, as a volunteer, or co-ordinator don’t have time to be thanking people, is there someone who can give time to organize a once-per-term Thank You morning tea?
Who knows? You might treat people so well, they’re recommend volunteering to other parents. How to get volunteers is always a tough problem, let us know if you’ve got any solutions that’ve worked for you – we’d love to hear from you : )
Head to our next article to make sure everyone knows about your fundraiser: Spread the Word.