Introducing School Committee Members
Sadly, many school and club committees have the unfortunate reputation of being ‘cliquey’. As volunteers and members of these committees, we know that this reputation is unfounded (in most cases). So, how do we break these stereotypes and show our community that we would love to welcome them with open arms? Start by introducing school committee members.
As families come and go throughout the years some committees can change each year with new members stepping up steer the ship. It’s a great idea to introduce your committee members by putting a profile or a bio on them together so that your community can get to know them a bit better. Putting a face to a name can be a good first step to breaking the ice, especially for families that are new to your school or club.
We’ve come up with a few ways to introduce school committee members and we would suggest using most if not all of these ideas (if possible) to reach your maximum audience.
Put a photo and a short profile or bio on each member or just the executive if you have a lot of members). Make sure your photo board is in a prominent place like outside the office to get the greatest exposure.
If you have a Facebook page for your school or club, post your committee profiles on there, although not all at once. Space them out with perhaps one each week or couple of weeks.
Include your committee profiles in your school newsletter. This could be done after your AGM all in one go or you can space them out over a few newsletters.
If some or all of your committee members are able to make it to a school assembly, it’s a great opportunity for them to introduce themselves and talk about upcoming fundraisers as well as past achievements. This can help to make volunteering look less ‘scary’. It’s a good idea to get your committee members along to the Prep Orientation to introduce them to the new parents too.
Make a short video
Get creative and make a short video about your committee members but also about your goals for the coming year and past achievements. Make it fun, light-hearted and engaging. If committee members can’t make it to assembly (as per number 4), have the video played there instead and also post it on your school or clubs Facebook page.
Meet and greet at the school gate
Don’t make this a highly organised thing with P & C or P & F written all over it or people will avoid you like the plague thinking that you are wanting them to sacrifice their first born or something. Keep it casual and just talk to people. Maybe alternate the person that does the meeting and greeting to work in with schedules. Introduce yourself, talk about your kids and what the committee is doing to improve the future of the school for the kids and see where the conversation leads.
Throughout the year
Don’t be strangers throughout the year either. In the event that parents have missed your previous efforts introducing school committee members, make sure that your committee makes an effort to attend school events like the sports carnival and school social events. It’s a less confronting way to get to know other parents at the school.
A committee that can laugh at themselves is always less threatening too. One of our team members’ P&F Executive team put together a JibJab christmas card for their school community last year (if you haven’t seen these, they are hilarious. Check this out! – Here’s a sample video we put together featuring the Fundraising Directory team) and they got involved in a hobby horse fundraiser at their school fete (even the hopelessly unfit ones). They were also in the mix in the welcome back BBQ ‘Minute to Win It’ games. It’s just the kind of thing they do. It’s fantastic for community building as well.
Attending meetings can seem less daunting and not as scary as the rumours would have them believe (particularly to ‘newbies’) when there is a little familiarity (and hilarity) established. And the best thing? You could end up with some welcome new members. Make sure you introduce them too!