6 Proven Ways to Win in Recruiting Volunteer Leaders

The end of the school year is near, and many booster clubs are recruiting leaders for next year. The goal is to fill all leadership roles – officers and committee chairs – before the new year begins. Thriving booster clubs know that the smooth transition of leadership is vital in sustaining the club’s success. Let’s take a look at a few best practices in recruiting volunteer leaders.

6 Proven Ways to Win in Recruiting Volunteer Leaders

Courtesy of shutterstock/Rido

To recruit the right people into the right roles, you must first recognize their passion and their strengths. Then, assign them to roles where their passion intersects their strengths. I call this recruiting in the zone.

Venn Diagram

Recognizing a person’s passion is not that difficult. Parents want the very best for their children, and are often passionate about their extracurricular programs. Recognizing a person’s strengths requires a little more work. You must build relationships with your parents and learn about their careers, skills, and interests. Once you have established these relationships, you can begin the recruiting process. You’ll be able to recruit the salesman to chair the Fundraising Committee, the seamstress to maintain the uniforms, and the web designer to oversee your website.

Here are six best practices that I have learned about recruiting leaders through the years:

  1. Always ask permission. Whether you are nominating a person for an elected position or selecting someone for an appointed role, always ask the person’s permission. This common courtesy will allow you to discuss the requirements of the role and answer questions they may have. Many people will consider it an honor to be asked to serve.
  2. NEVER pressure people into leadership roles. Don’t be a travel agent for guilt trips. Some people have trouble saying no to a hard sell. They may reluctantly accept the role, but later not follow through because their heart was never in it.
  3. Outline the time commitment. Whenever possible, offer a realistic assessment of the role’s time commitment. Some people are willing to accept a year-round role, while others prefer a short-term assignment. By clearly defining the role’s time commitment, you may alleviate potential volunteer burn out.
  4. As a rule of thumb, assign one person to only one leadership role. When you assign a volunteer to only one role, you set her up for success. She’ll be able to focus all of her energy in that one area. You’ll also benefit by having a broad number of volunteers engaged in the organization.
  5. Recruit prior trip chaperones. Most booster clubs sponsor their program’s travel. Trip chaperones make perfect recruits for future leadership roles. They fund their own travel, and in many cases use their vacation days for the trip. While traveling, they meet and interact with the students, and develop an affinity for the program.
  6. Fill all leadership roles before the annual kick-off meeting. Always start a new year with a full leadership staff. The beginning of the year is the perfect time for committee chairs to recruit volunteers. Do not miss the opportunity to engage new families and parents by failing to have committee leadership in place.

Leadership Essential #6: Recruit in the zone where a person’s passion intersects his or her strengths.

The Booster Leader

Now that you know the best practices for recruiting volunteer leaders, you need a resource to guide them along the way. My book, The Booster Leader, 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization, is just that resource. The Booster Leader consists of…

  • Thirty-five proven leadership essentials that are quick and easy to implement
  • Eighteen inspirational stories that bring the leadership essentials to life
  • A twenty-nine point checklist to help you identify risks that may jeopardize your organization if not properly addressed (and the answers to help you resolve every issue!)

Now is the time to start leading your own thriving booster organization. In The Booster Leader, I show you exactly how to do it!

Question: What has been effective for you in recruiting volunteer leaders? You can leave a comment by clicking here.