How to Keep PTO Volunteers Coming Back

how to keep PTO volunteers coming back

Getting people to first come to your PTO meetings or events, takes one set of strategies.

But getting these same parents to come back to volunteers and be part of the PTO time and again, well, that takes an entirely different set of strategies altogether.

This post is going to walk you through some of the very best ideas for keeping volunteers active and engaged with your PTO!

Make them part of your tribe

One of the most excellent ways to keep volunteers with your PTO is to make them feel like they’re part of the tribe or team!

Work to dissolve any cliques that from and make everyone feel welcome and appreciated.

And at the same time, make sure each volunteers feels like they’re appreciated.

Offer a t-shirt

pto shirts
Mill Street Parent Club in Orland, CA showing off their PTO shirts!

A quick and easy solution for helping someone feel like they’re a part of the team is to literally put a shirt on their backs that identifies them as part of the team.

And how you do this is up to you.

Whether you give one with membership or offer them for sale at cost to make them affordable for all members to buy.

A matching t-shirt for all PTO members and volunteers is just the ticket to making this work!

And as for the details of what sort of shirt it should be, check out this post on the funny PTO shirts as well as this post about PTO board shirts.

In any case, make sure there is a volunteer shirt option available for everyone who wants one!

Pin it

Another way to make volunteer part of the team is to give them some smaller PTO swag like a button.

If you have a button maker, you can whip up a batch that say PTO volunteer.

Just make sure to let your female volunteers to place pins at or above their heart and no lower, or it’ll look like a headlight ornament if you get my drift!

Make Them Happy

If you’re putting on an event, offer some nice amenities like giving every volunteer a bottle of water or a snack during the event.

Or set up a hydration station so volunteers can snag a drink and recharge before finishing up the event.

Even something small will be appreciated.

By taking the time to pay attention to this detail, volunteers will feel that you appreciate their efforts.

Communicate Clearly

I can’t think of a better way to let volunteers know that they’re appreciated than to communicate clearly with them before, during and after the event.

Let them know what to expect before they come to help out all that is involved.

Make sure volunteers know the deal and aren’t showing up left to figure things out on their own.

If this does happen, you’ll find they won’t come back again to help!

Start and Stop on Time

But make no mistake, honoring volunteers’ time by sticking to the to their time commitment is also crucial!

Be sure to relieve the volunteer at the end of their shift.

Don’t just assume they’re ok to stay for a bit to help you out.

If you exceed the time they committed to, they’re sure to leave with a bad taste in their mouth and will be less likely to return to help again.

Be Thankful

One last thing to keep in mind…

It’s also really important to show that you’re appreciative of the volunteers!

Tag all volunteers in a social media post after the event to show your PTO’s appreciation for the volunteers helping to make the event happen.

If you need a little help with Click the link above to snag a set of pre-made appreciation graphics!

Another thoughtful way to reach out to volunteers individually by sending handwritten thank you notes.

This allows you to personalize your gratitude to thank the volunteer for their contribution, no matter how small.

Or give shout outs in PTO newsletter to everyone who helped!

More ideas for giving thanks are in this post.

Watch this!

Here’s a Facebook Live video from a while back on this very same topic, but the information is still relevant and good!

Over to you!

I know you have a great tip for keeping PTO volunteers engaged and feeling appreciated.

Share with us in the comments and let’s chat!

Here’s a Plan to Follow…

If you’re tired of trying various membership and parent engagement strategies that never seem to pan out,

If your PTO is having trouble attracting or retaining members and volunteers, then this guide is what you need to turn things around this year before it’s too late.

And by too late, I’m talking about having to cancel events for lack of help.

Or even worse, you’ll be talking about shutting down the PTO at the end of the year because no one will step up to fill outgoing officers’ roles!

No good can come from other of those options, so avoid it entirely with some guidance on the path to a fleshed out membership roster and very long volunteer list!

The Membership Master Plan comes with, as the name suggest, a master plan to follow along with 9 form/flyer templates to help you along the way.

Click the button below to buy now, or the link above for more details.


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Posted in Volunteers + Parent Involvement.

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