The Honest Truth About Recruiting Volunteer Leaders

Last week, I shared six proven ways to win in recruiting volunteer leaders. While these methods have proven to be incredibly effective, I’ve got to be fully transparent: there is no guarantee of success when recruiting volunteers. Occasionally, even the most intentional recruiting will not predict a person’s success in a leadership role.

35 - The Honest Truth About Recruiting Volunteer Leaders

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Once, when filling a critical leadership role, I applied all the best practices of recruiting, but it just didn’t work out. Here’s what happened.

One of the Blaze Band Boosters most profitable fundraisers was working concessions for a local university during football season. In selecting a chair for this important committee, I looked first to the most active volunteers from the prior year. Erik was experienced in running the concession stand, from food preparation to customer service.

Erik and I spoke at length about the time commitment and the fundraiser’s importance to our booster organization. After a week’s consideration he replied, “I realize the time commitment is long, but I also realize how important this fundraiser is to the booster organization. I will arrange my schedule so that I can chair this committee.”

Wow, I thought, he has really made an informed and thoughtful decision. I was confident that the committee was in good hands, but it didn’t take long for that to change!

Erik emailed me after the university’s first football game. He explained that he had underestimated the role’s requirements, and that he would not be able to chair the committee for the remainder of the season. So I went back to the drawing board, and was fortunate to identify a competent and dedicated replacement.

Even after taking the necessary steps to place the right people in the right leadership roles, there is still an element of risk when working with volunteers. Don’t be discouraged, though. In my three-year tenure as booster president, I filled more than sixty roles. Erik was only one of two recruits who pulled out and did not fulfill his commitment.

Fortunately, this was an exception to the best practices of recruiting. In my post, “What Are Your Committee Chairs Accomplishing?,” I introduce you to Steve, who set the standard for effective committee leadership.

The Booster Leader

As a booster club leader, you need a resource to guide you 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 lessons have you learned when recruiting volunteer leaders? You can leave a comment by clicking here.