Curated from Simplycircle.com, by Elena Krasnoperova –
Everybody understands the importance of communication and organization, especially those parents involved in a band booster organization. With a demanding band camp schedule, practice and performance schedule (not to mention fundraisers, traveling, uniforms, and competitions), a parent really needs to be on top of it all so that their own child – and the entire band – can be successful. Here are 10 tips for the band booster organization on keeping everyone informed and organized.
1. Set up a safe and reliable communication tool for all of your band parents. If your email list is not up-to-date, or your emails are bouncing, some of your parents will never hear from you. Use a communication service like SimplyCircle, where you can see exactly who is in your circle, and where parents can update their own email address if it changes. This way, you’ll be sure to always reach everyone throughout the year.
2. Create a calendar of events at the beginning of the season. This will allow parents to be prepared for upcoming events. It will also allow them ample time to determine which events they can volunteer for.
3. Aside from welcoming everyone into the group, be sure to set the parental expectations right from the start. If each family is to reach a certain financial goal or a number of volunteer hours, be specific so that everyone knows the commitment going in.
4. In addition to setting the expectations, be sure to let everyone know the procedures for the group. Parents need to know who the group leaders and committee chairs are in addition to the “how-to’s” of where to turn in fundraising monies, how to report a problem or conflict, etc.
5. When requesting volunteers, be specific in the details of their duties. Spell out what the job description is for a chaperone, or a concession stand worker, or the person who collects and stores the uniforms and instruments for the trip home. It might be worthwhile to keep a notebook of the specific job responsibilities for each volunteer job. This way you are being consistent and can then update as needed.
6. Send regular communications to your parents. Let them know what is coming up, how the last event turned out, new procedures, etc. When parents are kept informed, they feel more connected to the group and are more likely to be more involved.
7. Give parents plenty of notice when asking for volunteer commitments. When given ample time, many parents are able to rearrange their schedules to volunteer.
8. Be sure to thank your volunteers personally (if possible) but also publically through your email communications. When someone feels that their time was valued and appreciated, they are, again, more connected to and invested in the group.
9. For some groups, a mentor program might be a worthwhile endeavor where senior parents mentor freshman parents. This establishes a personal connection from the start and is a great vehicle to answer questions, offer advice and support to the new parents in the group.
10. Recognize your group leaders, committee chairs and everyone who has taken on a leadership role. This not only acknowledges their contributions, but helps to ensure that they will continue in leadership roles.
Bonus Tip! 11. Use SimplyCircle – a free, private and secure platform – for all your band parent communications. SimplyCircle is an all-in-one system for you to send updates, organize events, ask for volunteers, share photos and documents. You can access it anywhere – on a computer, tablet, mobile phone, or via a free iOS or Android mobile app. Create your free account and set up a private “circle” for all of your band parents at www.SimplyCircle.com. You can then invite parents via email, or via a unique and secure code just for your circle. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com
We hope these tips are helpful to you, and we wish you a great year ahead!