Thanks to everyone who participated in our Live Q&A session on Facebook last night. Our topic was elections and transitions, and we had a great discussion that covered everything from how to get a parent to take a board position to how to help new board members learn the ropes.

Here are the highlights:

If you are looking for parents to fill an officer’s role, ask the teachers for candidates. They typically know of some parents who have what it takes! 

Reach out to kindergarten parents. They are often more motivated and enthusiastic than parents who are wrapping up their time at the elementary school.

If possible, set up a meeting now so current board members can talk with those just elected. You don’t want everyone escaping for the summer and leaving the new board on its own.

Sometimes, outgoing board members won’t be or can’t be helpful, so try thinking about transition throughout the year. One community member says her group set up a Dropbox account where it loads copies of flyers and other documentation about events as they occur. That way, new volunteers have access to information when they take over.

See whether there’s a way to bring on a copresident or president-in-training. Some groups have a formal process for this. You can try it in a more casual way, as well, enabling a board member to shadow the president from time to time so he can learn the job before he takes over.

If you can’t fill all board positions, seek out parents who can help runs certain projects. As one community member said, break things into smaller chunks so responsibilities seem less overwhelming. 

Seek out parents who seem really outgoing and friendly. Ask those parents to ask their networks of parents whether anyone is interested in an officer or committee chair position. 

Target those volunteers who are always helping at events and reach out to them directly. Try a sincere, one-on-one conversation and let them know why you think they would be a great asset to your group.