PTO volunteers are often hard to find, and there is always more work to do than there are hands to do it. Therefore, PTO leaders often need to get creative when looking for new volunteers.
Host a volunteer drive party
You’ll be surprised how many folks would be interested in volunteering, but don’t know what opportunities are out there or how to get started. A great way to capitalize on that is to host a volunteer drive party.
Plan to set up a table or small both for each of the areas for which you are recruiting. Your current volunteers can act as hosts for each of those areas, sharing their own experiences with visitors and collecting info from those who are interested.
If you do this, you can plan it around a scheduled public PTO meeting, and commence the volunteerism event immediately after the meeting business is done.
Work your mailing list
Your PTO most likely has a mailing list for sharing periodic updates (and if not, you should – we’ll cover that in more detail in a later post). The mailing list is an opt-in list of those who are interested in PTO activities, and is the list of those who would likely be most interested in getting involved.
Use that list to your benefit when recruiting for PTO volunteers. It’s a target-rich environment, so make the most of it!
Invite other relatives: grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.
While most of your PTO volunteers will be parents of students, there’s no reason not to engage with other close relatives for volunteerism. Grandparents, especially retirees, can make excellent volunteers. The same can be said for other non-nuclear relatives, especially in blended families.
Reach out to your current volunteers and other PTO members about this. Remind them that other family members can be volunteers as well.
Check in with former volunteers
Sometimes, volunteers have to step away from their duties. Jobs change. Family situations evolve. Health issues come up. If you’ve had a volunteer who has participated in the past but is no longer active, reach out to them to see if they might again be interested in helping out.
When reaching out to former volunteers, you’ll need to use a good deal of discretion. Sometimes when people remove themselves from volunteering, there is an uncomfortable story behind it. First and foremost, make sure you’re not encroaching on the person’s privacy or other sensitive matters.
School staff members as volunteers
While most PTO volunteers are not school employees, most PTO rules allow for school employees to participate in PTO activities as well. School staff often make great volunteers!
Check with your school administration first to make sure there are no concerns about having a school staff member serving as a PTO volunteer.