Boosting support: Volunteers
A fair requires a lot of manpower, and every pair
of hands counts - from the person seeking out
raffle donations, to the people manning the BBQ, or those
tidying up at the end! Encouraging volunteers
is something PTAs often struggle with, so how can you
increase your team?
Make it easy
Volunteering should be as easy as possible. Ensure all of your
promotional material offers a clear, consistent way for people to
offer their help, making contact details explicit.
Break it down
Don't put potential volunteers off by letting them think they'll
be organising the whole event! Break jobs down so that people know
exactly what they're signing up for. If childcare is an issue, can
one parent come along before the fair to help set up?
Seek out skills
If you need specific skills to help with the event - face
painters for example - advertise this. Let potential volunteers
know how important each role is.
Advertise your cause
If you have a specific project that the money raised will go
towards, let people know. Otherwise, advertise what the PTA has
funded in the past. If parents can see how the PTA has benefitted
their children so far, or how it will in the future, it might
encourage them to volunteer.
Embrace a captive audience
Does the PTA or school have any events scheduled in the run up
the fair? If so, take advantage of the captive audience to give a speech. This is hard to ignore -
especially if the request comes from the Headteacher!
Not all parents will be able to help on the day, but that
doesn't mean they can't still do their bit. Provide a list of
things that can be done in advance, whether it's wrapping lucky dip
presents or making a prop for a stall.
Add an incentive
How about running a volunteer raffle as an incentive, where all
volunteers' names are entered into a prize draw.
The final push
Create a rota of stalls and time slots and identify gaps to
advertise in your final recruitment drive. Print this off and fix
it to a board that can be placed on the playground, at assemblies,
sports day, etc, and encourage friends to add their names - ideally
Before volunteers arrive on the day, have your core organising
team get the bulk of stall stock out and ready to go - with a sign
indicating which stock is for which stall. Draw up a map of where
each stall is to be set up.
On the day, appoint someone whose sole purpose is to coordinate
your volunteers as they arrive to help and have a list of jobs
ready to be done.
Value your volunteers
Show that you appreciate everyone's efforts by offering some
'perks', i.e. could their children have exclusive access to the
bouncy castle before or after the fair?
More tips and advice
Take advantage of our handy downloadable resources to encourage
Return to our boosting support page for more
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