The coordination, follow ups, phone calls, and updates are not easy to do so be prepared to ask for help.
Volunteers make up an integral part of the reunion planning team and you should be prepared to provide them specific direction on what needs to be done.
Selecting volunteers can be a task in and of itself. Be prepared to send out an email to all family reunion members asking for volunteers.
In the email, try to be specific about your needs (Task plus the time involved in getting it done) and ask that potential volunteers select their top three tasks. Write that while you will try to accommodate all requests, you cannot guarantee anyone that they will be assigned their chosen tasks.
Here are some key points to remember when selecting volunteers and assigning tasks.
Get Yourself Organized First
Before you even assign tasks, list them on several pieces of paper and then separate the tasks according to how critical each is to the reunion planning effort. Reserve the most critical ones for people that you know best as you can keep tabs on them with relative ease. The rest can be assigned with relative ease based on personalities, strengths, and likes/dislikes
Personality Match Just Like The Dating Sites
Before asking volunteers to do a certain job, make sure you try to match the person to the job. By aligning tasks with people’s strengths, you will not only increase the chance that they will do it but you will also make it so they complete is successfully.
Well Defined Assignments Will Lead To Specific Goals
Be very clear about the assignments with specific details about each task so it is easy to understand. This is not the time to be vague. For example, you can say
“I need you to call every family member personally in the next 14 days and get their current email, and mailing address. The family member needs to be made aware that we are organizing a family reunion and we need this information so we can keep them in the loop. I need you to maintain a spreadsheet with the names on the left followed by an email address in the second column and the mailing address in the third column. Please submit the completed spreadsheet to me in 14 days. Should you find that you are not able to complete this in the next week, please let me know so I can provide additional help. We cannot afford to fall behind.”
No Completion Dates Will lead To Backed Up Tasks
Be realistic about the time you give to each assigned task. While you may think that something should take less than an hour, the actual amount of time required depends more on the abilities, and talents of the volunteer.
Be specific about the completion date rather than the exact amount of time it should take to complete. Something like “Please have this 1-3 hour assignment done by Sept. 21”.
Get It In Writing
Once someone agrees to volunteer for something, make sure to email them the details of the assignment and your expectations. Have them reply that they understand the scope of the assignment so that you have a written record of what was agreed upon. Read this article to read about individual Tasks To Assign A Family Reunion Volunteers.
The last thing you want is volunteers doing the wrong tasks or claiming they did not know what was expected of them. Documenting who was assigned what will also help you in keeping track of who is doing what.
You Will Get Turned Down
If you are turned down by a volunteer (due to the task being too difficult or too much responsibility), thank them for being honest and offer them a less intense (or less time consuming) task for the family reunion.
Recognize Family Reunion Volunteers At The Reunion
Make sure you recognize the volunteers during the reunion itself. If there are not too many, then make sure to recognize them individually, and if not, then group them according to tasks. Having a small gift bag for their efforts would also go a long way towards repaying them for their time, energy and enthusiasm.
What should you read next?
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