Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The R.S.V.P. - how to get your volunteers to a volunteer appreciation event
I ran across this post -Disappointed with turnout and had some thoughts...
First off, I realize this post is a few months old so I am not directly responding to this post but rather, the sentiment. You'll see what I mean.
In the post, the discussion surrounds getting volunteers to a volunteer appreciation event and the diffulty there. Here is an exploration of that idea.
About the R.S.V.P.
The R.S.V.P. has changed in recent years IMO. I don't believe people want to respond and I know they don't respond in a timely manner. There is an intrensic resisitance to anything that adds a decision/work to our lives.
R.S.V.P. and the volunteer
When a volunteer gets the R.S.V.P., unless they are completely obligated or super-excited, it's best to keep their options open and wait until the last minute to R.S.V.P. If something better comes up, they don't want to be double booked.
But this causes problems. Not only do event organizers feel strange not knowing how to plan for an event that may have 5 to 500 people at it, but the invited folk keep the invite in their inbox looking at it over and over without committing. This back and forth decision process creates some subconscious tension.
For an event such as this, where volunteers are going to be recognized, you have to reach out more personally and have a conversation - a personal invitation over the phone or in person. I think volunteers have a bit of a problem with appreciation coming their way and they don't want a generic attempt - they want an authentic personal invitation.
Most donors/volunteers seem to have the mentality that they have done what they have done for their own reasons and do not expect or want a reward that could be construed as selfish. This translates into not wanting to be appreciated. So, tread lightly and invite people personally.
Ok, until next time!
Jay Moneta is the Vice President of Believe Kids www.BelieveKids.com and can be found here at http://believejay.blogspot.com and on twitter
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Elementary school fundraising ideas