Tag Archives: Volunteers

Are Your Events Energizing Your Members and Volunteers?

Having a problem energizing your members and volunteers in your organization?

Are you taking full advantage of your events is to use them as a re-activation tool for inactive members and volunteers?

Here is an action list for making sure you have a re-activation plan for your events:

  • Make re-activation of people you haven’t seen in a while a priority goal.
  • Assign leadership roles for ensuring this undertaking is successfully implemented.
  • Have specific measurable results for your goal.
  • Identify a target list of names you want to reach out to.
  • Identify your active participants who may have a personal connection to those on your target list and get them involved with re-activation efforts.
  • Make personal contact and don’t make a big deal about previous lack of participation. My experience has been that doing so may push people further away.
  • Develop a list of tasks that can be done by those you are attempting to re-activate and ask what they would like to do. If the task list doesn’t appear to appeal to them, then ask what role they would be willing to play.
  • Involvement doesn’t have to be a major responsibility. In fact, too big a task may discourage them. The objective is to get them to participate in any way possible.
  • Get a  definite answer to your ask. Don’t settle for a noncommittal response like, “I’ll try to show up.” Get commitment for specific      involvement.
  • If the response is no, make sure reaction is positive. Asking if it’s ok to contact them about future activity opens the door for involvement later on. Follow up your visit with a note thanking for them their time.
  • Don’t delegate and forget. Provide any necessary information and instructions. Conduct supervisory follow-up as needed. Help people feel good about their participation by making sure they are successful.
  • thank you after the event will have added significance and will encourage a continued active presence.

Moving someone from inactive to involved takes effort. For desired re-activation results, persistence is critical. You get what you follow up on!

More about Hardy Smith:
With decades of experience working in the high-speed corporate world of NASCAR racing and advocating for nonprofits and associations across the country, Hardy can provide expert advice and develop effective strategies to help solve business challenges and drive the operational change needed to bring your organization to the next level. Hardy’s offerings include keynote addresses, seminars, workshops, leadership retreats and strategic planning sessions, such as, “Why Don’t Board Members Do What They’re Supposed to Do?”  To have Hardy at your next event, call today at 888-766-3155 or contact us at:   Hire Hardy Smith

 

Golden Rule for Nonprofit Leaders!

As a nonprofit leader, you are faced with a tremendous challenge.

In addition to being tasked with providing leadership during a time of major change, you are also confronted with the demands of delivering results in a difficult economy.

These two circumstances can cause a lot of frustration. Why? Because you are feeling the weight of providing help for the people you want to assist or the cause you want to make a difference for.

This type of stressful situation can be emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. When these negative influences are triggered, your professional performance and ability to provide positive leadership can be compromised.

Many nonprofits have respite programs to offer relief to overloaded caregivers providing care for a single beneficiary. You have the same need as a compassionate caregiver, only yours is multiplied many times over.

So how do you deal with the proliferation of personal and professional pressures created by change and challenging times?

My suggestion is to apply Hardy’s Golden Rule for Nonprofit Leaders: Do for yourself what you do for others.

You need to benefit from the same commitment to compassion and caring that you give to your priority cause.

It’s not about being selfish. If you aren’t performing at your best, your organization’s all-important mission won’t be achieved.

Just working harder isn’t always the answer.

Here are four action steps that can provide relief to the stress that could be impacting your performance.

  1. Ask for help. Often we are our own worst enemy when faced with a difficult problem. Letting ego and pride get in the way of asking for help is counterproductive. For example, members of the National Speakers Association are encouraged to participate in master mind groups of colleagues that offer problem solving, performance accountability, and professional support. Likewise, you should identify peers whom you can turn to for advice, mutual support, and collaborative effort to develop needed solutions.
  2. Benefit from life balance. For maximizing your personal productivity, there are essential basics you must commit to: such as, exercise, good diet, and actually taking time away. Allowing for personal rejuvenation is a stress buster and stimulates creativity in a time when innovation is critical. Consider possible nonproductive habits you need to eliminate, and good habits you need to capitalize on better.
  3. Utilize a team strategy. Share the load, and benefit from the strength of individuals working together. Take advantage of the experience of others in your organization and their diverse ideas: solicit input and recognize contributions members of your team are making. Help your team help you by eliminating barriers that restrict productivity, and instead, cultivating creative thought from them. Practice effective communication techniques to keep everyone informed and focused on responding to the challenge at hand.
  4. Take a small-actions approach. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch, write that sometimes a problem seems so overwhelming that the solution may be paralyzing. They advocate taking small incremental actions that ultimately produce a cumulative effect. The Heaths also encourage celebrating small successes – your own and others’. It generates personal motivation to do more.

Apply Hardy’s Golden Rule for Nonprofit Leaders: Do for yourself what you do for others. You will be much better equipped to effectively respond to the pressures of change and challenging times that are now affecting nonprofit professionals.

Speaker Hardy Smith is your Go-to Resource who works with NonProfits and Associations that want an Ongoing Culture of Performance.  To learn more about Hardy and have him speak at your next event click here:  More About Hardy Smith


It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

meetingsIt’s Motivation Monday and a time for celebrating the life and legacy of a transformational leader-Dr. Martin Luther King. How are you celebrating today? Thanks for joining us as Kelly shares all about meetings!

Meetings Are Killing Motivation and Participation

I have this “friend” (I’ll call her Beth) who stepped up to serve in a local community organization that will remain nameless. She agreed to serve despite her already filled schedule, because of their desperate plea for volunteers. Apparently they had already burned out the other volunteers and were desperate for new meat.

Beth knew that they held one event a month, and while it would be tough, she would make it happen. What they didn’t tell her was that for every activity they planned, they would have at least five meetings to accompany it. Not even three months later and Beth is rocking back and forth, considering a restraining order, and wondering how hard it would be to fake her own death. It wasn’t the work that killed her, it was the meetings.

The number one complaint I hear from businesses, companies, groups, committees, associations,  and volunteer organizations that I have been involved with, is how hard it is to get people to step up and help, even when it involves their career and volunteer spirit. They complain about how a small group does all the work and they are burned out.

I think there are many reasons like a lack luster vision that is poorly communicated, people who are given tasks instead of made to feel empowered by their own ideas, a strong desire to accomplish items on a list even though they are outdated and completely irrelevant to today’s society, the belief that more is better, and political struggles for power.

But one main reason is the MEETINGS. People are stressed and they are busy, and they most certainly do not like their time wasted. And taking them away from their families and other work obligations for a “tiny little meeting” is a big deal, even if you do promise them dinner. And most people walk away from these meetings wondering why they even met when all of this could have been covered in one email with a little advance planning.

As much as we might hate to admit it, technology has changed the way we function in our world. And while it is important to maintain that face-to-face, it doesn’t mean you have to schedule endless meetings that could have been accomplished in an email. The world will not end if you don’t meet over chicken wings. And no matter how important you think that meeting is, requiring your people to show up once a week or more, is something that will drain their energy and enthusiasm and cause them to leave or perform poorly.

Just ask Beth.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.