What encouraging words would inspire parents to volunteer?

Reader question:

 I have to do a speech to parents very soon and those opportunities don’t come up very often and am looking for some inspiring words/speech to encourage my parents to volunteer and get involved with the school? Any ideas greatly appreciated!

Here are some encouraging words from our Facebook community that would inspire parents to volunteer:

  • Speak from the heart. The experiences you’ve had, the friendships you’ve grown. Be enthusiastic- it’s contagious. Every pair of hands counts.
  • Make it personal if you can, tell them a good news story to make them think it will be worthwhile and also fun to join your band of volunteers!
  • I did one recently and started by saying I’ve read all the blogs and posts about how P&C’s are run by crazy people. But assure them that you have an open door policy and it’s inclusive of everyone and ideas. Talk about what you’ve previously purchased with money raised. Often new families to the world of school don’t know that all the smart whiteboards and iPads and laptops aren’t government funded.
  • The president of a group I belong to always says volunteer for what you can – some people can give an hour or 2, whilst others can give a lot more which is fine as everyone’s situations are different.
  • You need to make it apparent what’s in it for them. For some it’s to help raise money for ‘X’, some it’s to show kids the importance, some its to be known as helping, others it’s the social aspect because they are new to the school. You kind of have to make them realise the ‘why’.
  • Research shows that people who volunteer on a longer-term basis often do so because of the personal growth/benefit from volunteering. So perhaps you can inspire them by sharing how you have changed/grown because of your volunteering. For example, meeting like-minded people and friendships, effects on your children etc – but speak from your heart. They will remember how they felt when they heard you speak for much longer than the details of what you said.
  • Tell them a story of an event or situation that was of incredible benefit to the school, to someone personally, or something that’s been achieved by parent volunteers. You need to connect with people if you want to inspire them.
  • I often say that people ask me ‘why do you do this?’ (spend so much time volunteering at their school) and my answer is that my children spend 6 hours each day at their school & that by volunteering there I feel this demonstrates to them that I value their school, their community and this is one of the best ways I can show them that.
  • Such an important point. We are role models for kids and what better way to demonstrate to them that life isn’t always about you, there is always time to help others and work towards a good cause. The success and achievement give you a warm fuzzy feeling.
  • If the group has bought some big obvious things for the school, ask the group how many have seen/heard of it, how many if their kids have used it – audience response forces interest.
  • How about talking about the values they would like to see in their children and how volunteering influences many amazing outcomes that can be used for life and make friends for life.
  • Mention that it’s not about helping at EVERY event & attending every meeting as sometimes that commitment puts people off. Let them know that if they can even help at 2-3 events per year it would be appreciated. Gets them in the door & they may soon realize they can help with more.
  •  A good way is to invite them along to see how things are run so it’s not so daunting. You would be surprised how anxious people become over things. I found once they saw what was going on they were more than happy to help. Sometimes things sound harder or more complicated than they are. I broke some of our events into smaller things like, stapling raffle books at home (especially if they have younger children) or wrapping up raffle prizes at school one morning things like that. Encourage bringing a friend; people like to work initially with people they know. I ended our session with a sheet of all the events and help we needed throughout the year and they could tick what suited them, then I just got in contact with them at the time which generally led to further helping on other occasions. 
  • Something I often refer to is that our children are our future police, teachers, business owners, parents etc. We have an opportunity to influence their future, to ensure they’re given the best possible chance to succeed. I then ask them “How will you influence these children’s futures?”
  • Another piece is to get them thinking about what sort of person their child will be when they graduate. Then ask them how they will help their child get there and what opportunities they expect the school to offer during that time.


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