Volunteer Engagement

Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.

I can vividly recall my American Heart Association fundraising and volunteer engagement training in the late 1980's. Teams of AHA staff were in small groups discussing the important steps to success. The assigned "reporter" from one of the groups used an entire flip chart page to write "Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!" and he used a red marker to add emphasis. The primary point: As one engages donors, sponsors, and volunteers, follow up will be an absolute necessity. I learned this to be true during my American Heart Association career and beyond.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Are you raising money, engaging others in your community, or recruiting volunteers? If so, it's critical to create a sense of urgency around their positive response to help. The following steps will make all the difference in engaging others, whether you are recruiting for a one-time event or promoting an important cause:

Continue to Ask

In 2005, Project Partners was assisting an independent school district foundation. The goals were to improve their community profile and raise more money. Then Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast. In their wake, the board volunteers, foundation and ISD staff hesitated to run a school district employee contributions campaign because the district staff had already responded very generously to both a call for help for hurricane victims and the annual United Way campaign.