Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Get People to Help, Part 2

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Then communicate some more.

In the last post, we revealed the value of connecting with your members, so that relationships are solidly formed and everyone feels needed and cared for. This will result in more contented and involved members.

The second part of how to get people to help is to communicate clearly.

A leader must communicate vision and purpose continually. You cannot get the purpose in front of the people enough. Remember that.

Whether you are casting the vision for your group's existence or sharing the purpose of an individual event, you cannot overdo communication.

Let's say your group is hosting a parent planning meeting to decide events and activities for the upcoming school year. Several months ahead, begin to let people know it's coming up. Mention it at every monthly meeting, in your newsletter, on your web site or Yahoo group calendar. A crafty graphics person in your group could design a flyer for members to share with their friends and neighbors who might be interested in homeschooling. Encourage them to invite.

Build excitement for the event by communicating details of interest. Will there be any door prizes? Any discounts offered to those who come? Do you need a volunteer for a specific table? Will there be arrangements for the children? Do you want dads there, too? FORSEE any questions your members may have and ANSWER them. You will have much more involvement if you communicate clearly the value of the event to the members and what you need from them.

Getting people to help is fun and easy when you concentrate your energy on connecting with each member in a personal way and making very clear the benefits of the events you all choose to do together.

Talk it Up!


For more on motivating volunteers, check this out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Get People to Help

As homeschool group leaders, we all face it at one time or another. The temptation to fuss about how much is on us and how no one is helping.

I've fallen into that trap. Here's the way out.

Connect and communicate

This post will deal with the first of these two: connect. The truth is that, as leaders, we are in a servant position. We must remember that the group members are not there to serve us, we are there to serve them. Now, before you faint from the thought of all that could put on you, let me offer you a way through. . . connect with your members and they will be much more likely to serve alongside you.

How many times has a friend called on you for help and you ran to their aid? Now, how many times has that happened with a total stranger. The reality is that we help people we know more often than people we don't. The lesson for leaders is this: know your members.

Are you crazy, you say? Yes! Crazy about caring.

You may not be able to personally know each person in your group, but someone else can. Touches are simple--as simple as a welcome at the beginning of each gathering.

"Welcome to all our first time guests! We are so glad you are here. We hope you
find a home with us."
Then have a designated person or two who greets each visitor, and discovers two cool things about their family and introduces them to at least one other person. Your designated person reports to you what they found so you stay in the loop and you plan a second "touch." Maybe a very short personal invitation to your next group event. I've done this before. It works very well.

Connecting with your members is really very simple and there are lots of creative ways to do it. But the effort of knowing your members will really pay off in the long run in making everyone feel at home, including you!