Volunteer meetings are an exciting way to get your whole society together to discuss ideas and plan new fundraising activities. They’re a weekly opportunity for both committee members and volunteers to connect and decide how you want to shape what your society is working on.
However, if you’re a committee that’s lucky enough to have heaps of volunteers, it can be difficult to run meetings with a large group of people attending. Here are our top tips for making sure that your volunteer meetings are productive and useful for everyone.
Have a clear topic
Whenever you call a volunteer meeting, you should know what topic you want the meeting to be about. Perhaps you have a raid coming up and you want to discuss marketing ideas for getting new volunteers to join the raid? Maybe you want all of your volunteers to learn a new skill and you’ve invited someone to come and train them? Whatever the meeting’s purpose, be clear about it and you’ll avoid the dreaded scenario where you’re having meetings for the sake of meetings! Make sure to advertise the meeting topic to all attendees beforehand so they know what to expect.
Start on time
Waiting on a couple of stragglers to turn up before you start a meeting isn’t fair to all of the dedicated volunteers who turned up at the time you asked them to. Be clear to everyone when and where the meeting is going to take place, then start at the time you said you would. You’ve probably got a lot to get through and you don’t want the meeting to overrun! This is especially important if you have a guest from a charity or business visiting your meeting – you don’t want to waste their time.
Value volunteer input
Your volunteers will be full of great ideas and suggestions about how to get things done. Make sure that you allow discussion time in each meeting to hear from your volunteers. Your meetings should have a good balance of presentations and discussion; you don’t just want the committee to be talking at volunteers for an hour. At least once a month, bring along some pens and pads of paper to have a brainstorming session with all of your volunteers and bounce ideas off each other.
Volunteer meetings are the perfect space to boost team spirit and congratulate your volunteers on their amazing work. Take the opportunity to give a running update of your fundraising total at each meeting. You could even choose a ‘volunteer of the week’ or ask everyone to feedback on something they’re proud of that’s happened with the society recently.
Order some brain food
It’s a well known fact that what you eat has a massive effect on your productivity levels. It’s also thought that people bond better while they’re eating. We think that’s enough of an excuse to provide food at your volunteer meetings! Did you know that many local businesses will happily provide food for your team meetings? Take advantage of this and get some snacks for your volunteers to munch on. Full volunteers are usually happy ones!
Leave some time to have fun in each meeting! Schedule your meetings for the same night as a Students’ Union event and head there afterwards for some team bonding. If you have a designated Social Rep on your committee, this is something they could take responsibility for organising.
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