As a volunteer coordinator, you are more than acquainted with the struggle to get volunteers to your event. A great way to get more people is including positions that work well for families. It is a great activity for them to spend time together while giving back to the community. How can you get families to your events? We have a few tips that we think might help.
What positions are appropriate for teenagers?
Most events will have teen-appropriate jobs. Green team volunteers, set-up or tear-down, ticketing or even working with children. It’s a bonus if the job is one that can help them practice skills to benefit them in their professional development, like money-handling or on-site logistics. Jobs that require working with attendees (or greeting them as they enter) will give teens important communication and interpersonal skills.
Some families will want to spend the day together, are there positions like that?
Any position that has multiple spots within a shift could be a good choice for families to work together. Check-in is a great spot for families like this, they can have time to chat and parents can teach their kids some new skills. While it is tempting to fill the oft-understaffed clean up or tear down crews with families, remember that parents (and especially grandparents) may not be able to lift and carry as much as their children. You can always create sub-responsibilities within these roles that are age-appropriate for everyone in the family. (Bonus for you, those parents can keep the kids in line!)
What events are family friendly?
Almost any event can be family friendly – yes, even the local folk festival that serves alcohol. If you are just starting out the go to events would be charity races, information booths, neighborhood events, decorating, visiting nursing homes, park clean ups are all great examples. But don’t feel limited, if you are coordinating volunteers for an event you can make it family-friendly.
What positions let me and my family work together?
Working together is a great way to spend family time together. Volunteering for an event where you build something is a great way to work together, but even working shift at a charity race to pass out water can be a bonding experience. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or food bank is a good way for families to give back to other families that are not as fortunate.
What about little-little ones, are they able join the family fun?
Certain sites aren’t the best place to have kids under the age of about 7 or 8, but don’t despair, as the volunteer coordinator you can create positions that are necessary for the function of your event and sounds like you need a few volunteers to help with daycare.
What if the event really isn’t family friendly?
Not all events fit the family mold. Maybe the majority of your volunteers need to check IDs or serve a glass of wine or beer. Can’t really have a high schooler handling that job. Depending on the laws in your state there could still roles for older kids, like wiping down table and cleaning up. But if there isn’t something you can do to make it fun for the whole family – it could be a great date night! Maybe the parents need a Saturday night and they can spend it volunteering for their favorite charity.
For almost any kind of event you can make sure you have roles for a range of ages and multiple people in each shift. Those a the two easiest ways to accommodate families of any size. If you don’t have an event that lends its self to a family affair you can get creative with having a child watch area or make it a couples or best friend day out experience!