Grow Your Group
Every group needs a robust and diverse membership so it can meet the needs of the community and fulfill its mission. One way is to take the time to create an Action Plan to build membership or develop partnerships. Groups can also attract new members through a brochure, social media or activities. Start growing your group today!
Invite and Welcome All Families
Make sure your group membership reflects the community your serve. Your outreach materials need to help potential members understand what your group is about and need to be in the language they speak!
Your group may want to create:
- Membership flyers
- Social media posts
- A brochure or contact card
What are ways you can share information about your group, its mission and activities?
- Provide new members, whenever appropriate, with a “Welcome Packet” that includes introductory information, including a list of good resources.
- Partner with the community (library, other organizations, schools) to organize a “coffee” to meet new potential members and provide them with information about your group.
- Establish subcommittees of your group, when appropriate, to encourage members to address specific concerns they’ve identified as priorities. This not only could increase efficiency, but could also help attract new members who are interested in the focus area.
Identifying Needs and Setting Priorities
How can your group structure itself to respond to the needs of your members? Identifying needs and setting priorities are two of the most important functions of a group. They guide both the agendas and the focus of the work for the year.
- Ways for identifying needs can include:
| Develop a survey about needs
| Review data from various sources
| Hold a planning session to brainstorm needs/ideas
| Consider a public comment session during meetings
| Organize and publish a feedback email address
- Establishing annual priorities helps a group direct its efforts and not take on too many projects that overwhelm its membership.
- Identifying one to three critical issues on which to focus during the year provides the opportunity to consider and make informed recommendations. It also leaves time to address other issues that arise during the course of doing business.
Create an Action Plan
Volunteers play an important role in groups; volunteers can help carry out your work and bring their passion for your mission. When recruiting volunteers, ask them what they are interested in doing, not what jobs are available. Create a list of things that need to be done (break down tasks into manageable size) and ask attendees at meetings if they can help out. Often the most important thing a volunteer can do is keep the group abreast of issues going on in the community.
- Create a Volunteer Interest Form, have an online option.
- Define any requirements to volunteer including waivers
- Document volunteer contributions, especially with pictures and share on social media.
- Host a volunteer celebration event.
The issues facing our communities are many and complex. By working together, involving many stakeholders and opinions, a group can respond to community needs and bring better information to decision-making bodies.
Groups should partner with:
- with other organizations
- other parent groups
- with school districts
- with community groups
- local government
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African proverb)