One of the greatest challenges you will face leading your booster club is motivating volunteers. Unlike the workplace, you cannot exert position power over your people. And let’s face it, no one wants to be bossed around. Even in the workplace, that’s just not effective. You must find other ways to influence your volunteers.
I have found that recognition and gratitude are two of the greatest motivators for volunteers. Likewise, the absence of recognition and gratitude is one of the greatest demotivators in an organization.
Booster club officers and committee chairs must strive to create a culture of recognition and gratitude. Here are three types of recognition that are essential to a thriving booster organization:
Occasionally, you’ll have an exceptional athlete, musician, or performing artist come through your extracurricular program. But rarely do you have a student whose accomplishments are truly remarkable.
Photo by John A. Gillis, Daily News Journal
Michael Stanaland played percussion in the Blackman High School band, and his twin sister played brass. His mom and dad served in various roles within the booster club. Like many families, the Stanalands have been active in their school and community.
When you accept a leadership role in a booster club, you may feel an obligation to be involved in all of the club’s events and activities. You may feel the need to be there and make sure things are done right, or to simply set a good example for others.
And, while you should set a good example for others to follow, you must balance your time and allow others to serve.
When my son crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, we visited several troops to find the right fit for him. On one of our troop visits, the Scoutmaster was away. There was no one in his absence who could fully answer our questions.
There. I said it. Leading a booster club is hard! It’s the elephant in the room that all enthusiastic booster officers, coaches, and teachers want to ignore. But it’s true.
Today’s parents face more distractions and demands for their time than parents of any recent generation. These distractions pose significant challenges for those of us who volunteer to lead booster clubs.
My three year tenure as booster club president was both challenging and rewarding. However, the rewards always outweighed the challenges. Based on my experience, here are three of the greatest challenges a booster leader will face.