Last week, we saw how booster clubs can benefit from a best practice in the workplace: to engage parent volunteers by appealing to a higher sense of purpose. Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath found that “employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations.”
The very essence of a booster club is serve a higher sense of purpose – to make an impact on the rising generation. Booster clubs who communicate this well to their parent volunteers realize significant benefits, and set themselves up to achieve their objectives each year.
Now, let’s think about ways to demonstrate your organization’s higher sense of purpose to parent volunteers. While it’s important to show them our appreciation, we cannot stop there. Appreciation often ends with a pat on the back and a “thank you.” Appealing to a higher sense of purpose speaks to the “why” – the reason for their participation. It communicates the need within the organization that they are satisfying.
Here are eight ways you can demonstrate your higher sense of purpose to parent volunteers.
- Share progress toward a goal. If they’re working a fundraiser, let them know how much they are contributing to the bottom line.
- If they’re providing labor, show them how they directly impact the students’ personal growth and well-being. For example, if they’re serving Gatorade at practice, emphasize the impact to student safety. You may also reinforce that the student event would not be possible without them.
- Communicate student accomplishments. Share with them students’ awards, scholarships, college acceptance rates, and technical school acceptance.
- Encourage student testimonials. Invite students to booster meetings and ask them to share the benefits they receive by participating in the student program.
- Share alumni success stories. Among the Blackman Band graduates, we have a chemical engineer, state highway patrolman, small business owner, band director, and a soldier who guards the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington, D.C. Parents love to hear about alumni success. It is encouraging and gives them hope for their children’s futures.
- Emphasize that participating in extracurriculars allows students to create life long memories. Many of them will have fond memories of their own high school days.
- If parents participated in extracurriculars when they were students, have them reflect on their experience. Hopefully, it was a good experience. If not, ask them what went wrong, and take steps to prevent that in your program. Then, encourage them to help create a better experience for this generation of students.
- Always reiterate their opportunity to impact the next generation. Volunteering with a booster club is an investment that will pay dividends for many years to come. This is the chance for parents to be a part of the greater good.
When parent volunteers understand and buy in to your higher sense of purpose, your organization will thrive and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your objectives.
If you want to learn more about recruiting, engaging, and retaining enthusiastic parent volunteers, check out my book, The Booster Leader: 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization. The Booster Leader is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.
Question: How do you communicate your booster club’s higher sense of purpose? You can leave a comment by clicking here.