Volunteer Recruitment Archive

  • 16 Volunteer Recruitment Strategies for PTOs and PTAs

    Get and keep more volunteers for your organization with these approaches.
  • 9 Ways To Make Volunteering Easier

    Simple but effective ways to help more parents get involved with your group.
  • Why Parents Don’t Volunteer (and What You Can Do About It)

    No-nonsense advice on why people stay away from your parent group—and how you can get them to be part of it.
  • Volunteers: Use Them or Lose Them

    The way you follow up with interested parents can make or break your volunteer recruitment efforts.
  • Rethink Your School Volunteer Recruitment

    When your appeals for help aren’t getting results, it’s time to try something—or someone—new.
  • 27 Easy Jobs for School Volunteers

    Offering volunteers a range of tasks that can be done fairly simply (and many at their convenience) increases your chances of getting them on board.
  • 8 Hilarious Reactions When You Ask Parents To Volunteer

  • Volunteer Recruitment Ideas To Kick Off the School Year

    We had a lively Facebook discussion yesterday on volunteer recruitment and we want to thank all the folks who joined us!  There’s no question that many groups struggle with recruiting volunteers. The good news is there are so many strong ideas out there in our community, and when you combine those with all the PTO Today resources, there really is a wealth of information to tackle the recruitment challenge. And we intend to keep sharing both!  Some of you wondered how to even start a volunteer recruitment effort, especially in a diverse school community. Our suggestion is to focus first on welcoming all families. Then work at building a sense of community by hosting low-cost family events, like a family picnic, potluck supper, or one of our School Family Nights.  Once families start to connect, you will find it easier to reach out and ask for help.  Here’s a roundup of some of the best tips from yesterday’s discussion:  Gather helpful info. Do a parent survey to get a good idea of what parents’ interests are and how they can pitch in.  Follow up with every parent who’s interested in helping.  Reach out to kids in older grades. When struggling to recruit parents of older elementary students, try some of our middle school tips. For example, get the kids more involved in generating ideas for events. Chances are, parents may get more interested if the kids are invested, too. If you are still coming up short, try this idea from community member Jill B.: Borrow parents from the younger grades (sometimes you can have a surplus!) to pitch in with the older grades.  Promote at-home volunteer jobs. Let parents know there are many jobs that can be done at home, from overseeing the group’s Facebook page to heading up Box Tops for Education collections.  Tell parents why volunteering is important. Send information out early in the year that lets parents know what your group is all about and why it’s important to volunteer. You don’t have to be too serious—that can be off-putting, so keep the tone light. For example, community member Becki B. says she added our PTO Mythbusters printout to her group’s welcome folder this year.  Work with what you have. Try not to be too discouraged if you have only a handful of volunteers. We’ve seen small PTOs do pretty amazing things! One community member shares that she had only five fellow officers, so they decided to focus on a few important events and do what they could without burning themselves out.  Ask volunteers to give just two hours. We have a 2 Hour Power Volunteer Pledge Program that we frequently promote to leaders.  When you can ask parents to sign up for just that small chunk of time, you’ll find they are much more responsive. (They won’t feel you are going to suck them in to do endless tasks!) Tracy B., a community member, says her group always ask for just a small amount of time. So, for a two-hour event, the most they would ask of a parent is a half-hour commitment. Plus, her group allows parents to bring their kids along. Nice bonus!  Fine-tune the message. Instead of asking parents to help out at an event, be specific about what jobs are available and the time slots in which you’ll need help. Another idea comes from community member Elizabeth P., who says she sent out information about her group’s programs and categorized requests for help by “most urgent” to “ongoing” so parents would have more of a sense of what was needed.  Still in a pinch for help? Contact your local high school. Many students need to fulfill community service hours and they can assist at your events.  For more information on volunteer recruitment, check out these articles:  7 Things Volunteers Love  7 Things Volunteers Hate  How To Cultivate Long-Term Volunteers A Culture of Volunteer Appreciation  25 Ways To Catch and Keep Volunteers Also, visit our File Exchange to get printable volunteer recruitment documents, such as flyers, surveys, notes and more. 
  • Why Don't People Volunteer?

  • Why Parents Volunteer

  • Want New Recruits For Your PTO or PTA Board? Open Up.

  • Things Volunteers Hate

  • Go Easy on Volunteer Recruitment in Summer Months

  • Top 7 White Lies You Have Told To Recruit Volunteers

    Looking for some new recruits? Maybe you just need a new line.
  • How To Fix Volunteer Recruitment Roadblocks

    The most common challenges to engaging new parents are actually fairly easy to fix.
  • 9 Steps for Better School Volunteer Recruitment

    Building your volunteer base starts with creating relationships. Follow these steps to success.
  • Proposal would mandate parent volunteering

    In a Charleston, S.C. community, a proposal is before the school board that would require parents to put in eight hours of volunteering each school year.
  • A Low-Key Family Event = Way to Recruit Volunteers

    Word is that families love the low-key aspect of Family Movie Nights. A table set up with volunteer sign-up sheets near the snacks inspires parents to contribute to future events. Parents are much more likely to sign up for a shift when they feel like part of the school community and after they had a good time a school family event.Leaders also told me that finding a volunteer to run a Family Movie Night is easier than most because you can hand them a kit with:
  • Top 6 People in Your Town To Recruit for the PTO

    Put these talents to work for you.
  • 6 Volunteer Recruitment Tips for Volunteer Coordinators