Developing Volunteers

Developing Volunteers


Effective leadership requires a strong team. Build your PTA by recruiting volunteers and helping them grow into the leaders who will carry the torch when your term ends.

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Maintaining a good relationship with your volunteers—both regular and one-time—is critical to your PTA's success. The following will help your PTA maintain a steady stream of volunteers and potential leaders:

  • Contact every person who offers to volunteer, even if you have more people than you need for any given event. The fastest way to lose a volunteer is to ignore their offer of time.
  • Reconnect with volunteers throughout the year. Those who couldn't help at the beginning of the year may be available the next time you call.
  • Match volunteers to potential jobs based on their skills and available time.
  • Arrange for an orientation for all volunteers, including introducing them to school policies, people, programs and the school building itself. Ensure that training and mentoring are available for those who need support.
  • Provide a variety of meaningful and manageable opportunities for volunteers, including assignments that can be done in small blocks of time and those that can be done outside of school hours.
  • Seek feedback. Did your volunteer feel they were prepared, helpful and valued?
  • Recognize volunteers and thank them for their efforts regularly!

Remember: Some of your PTA's hardest-working volunteers serve together on your board. Show that you value each other's efforts!

Developing Future Leaders

Ensuring the future viability of your PTA is one of your board's primary responsibilities. PTA boards play a vital role in developing the PTA's next group of leaders. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current board members and talk with them about how they think their skills are best matched with long-term growth.

Although officers cannot "name" their successors, they can ensure there are many qualified candidates ready for consideration by the Nominating Committee. For example:

  • Ask emerging leaders to join you in a meeting with teachers, the principal or the superintendent. Request they attend a meeting on your PTA's behalf.
  • Give them an opportunity to take the lead on building a relationship with a new community partner or sponsor.
  • Encourage them to attend state or council leadership conferences and training opportunities.
  • Encourage them to take National PTA eLearning courses to develop and reinforce skills.
  • Include them as part of your PTA's delegation to the state or National PTA convention.
  • Nominate them to chair a special committee.