Getting New Volunteers Engaged

No Image Description
Description
Getting help with your chapter's work is essential for success. This training highlights new ways of engaging (e.g. mining) your chapter roster to build a thriving local chapter filled with engaged volunteers focused on roles and tasks they love.
Breadcrumb
/topics/group-organizing-and-mentoring
TOC and Guide Section
 
Helpful Resources on CCL Community

Virtual Signup Sheet

It's simply an electronic version of a clipboard signup using a Google Form. CCL is piloting providing a link to the Virtual Signup Sheet Template on the Monthly Action Sheets page.

This is one way to help your volunteers select their personal CCL Monthly Actions.  CCL creates a template each month that aligns with our Monthly Action Sheet and you can modify this template.

You can use your modified virtual signup sheet in your monthly meetings, either in person or on zoom. You can email it to volunteers who miss the meetings. You can share with a QR code you create and/or with the link that Google creates for you. You can save the responses in a spreadsheet that you can use during the month to build your chapter teams, provide resources to your volunteers for their actions, and check up with folks later in the month.

Chapter Organizational Chart

You can use either the single or multiple chapter templates below to make a copy for your own Jamboard. The frames available are meant to provide a possible chapter structure, CCL does not expect your chapter to have volunteers filling every position to be successful. Use this to resource to conduct an inventory of your current chapter structure. Then use the inventory in a conversation with your chapter leadership team about how you want your chapter to grow.

Once you've clicked and made your own copy, you can modify the screen titles, chapter teams, and post-it notes to describe your chapter's teams and point people. In the upper right, click the triple dot button to update the name, share the link or download your Jamboard as a PDF.

Volunteer Opportunities Email Templates

Use these templates to recruit from your roster to fill specific roles in your chapter. We have a template for every possible position in your chapter. If any are missing for a position you have email elli@citizensclimate.org to get it added to the list.  So, if in doing your chapter organizational chart exercise, you identify a role you want to fill within your chapter, you can come to these email templates to find the Volunteer Opportunity Email Template that matches the role you are seeking to fill. Very few chapters will have all of these, groups can decide for themselves what works best and which positions are necessary for them.
Getting Help With The Work
  • As a Group Leader, when you have too much to do, chance are, you aren't asking others in your chapter to help you take on roles and tasks that can help your chapter thrive.
  • Consider that a reason that some people don’t succeed is that they aren’t engaged in the work enough.
  • Generic requests for help rarely work, but well thought out personal requests for help often do.
  • If you assume you are burdening people with your request they will agree and feel burdened.
  • If you include an acknowledgment or appreciation of their strengths as part of asking, they say yes more often.
  • When you match the person to the task well, they light up and thank you for asking them. (You have to know your people’s skills and interests.)
  • Delegating requires trusting people AND providing support for them to succeed.
  • When people agree to do something and you don’t see anything happening, you need to initiate contact, find out the problem and solve it.
  First Step: Assess

Assess how much the person already knows about a given task, project or role by asking a few direct questions:

  • “What is your level of comfort with this task or assignment?”
  • “What approach would you take to handle this role?”
  • “Are there particular steps you’re uncertain about?”

Step Two: Delegate and Coach

Then delegate based on your volunteer’s competence level.

  1. Do. If your volunteer lacks experience with a task and hasn’t developed the necessary skills for the job, show them how it is done. Do the work the first time while your volunteer shadows you to learn for the next time.
  2. Tell. If a volunteer recognizes that they do not know how to execute a task to get a desired result, encourage self-reflection. This can help them create a more meaningful learning pattern.
  3. Teach. If some steps of a task are known but your volunteer still struggles with other tasks, show them how to perform a task by clearly explaining why things are done a certain way. Call out individual steps to reveal the underlying structure of how to approach a task.
  4. Ask. If a volunteer knows how to complete a task but has to follow a “cheat sheet” rather than doing it automatically, further improve their grasp of the task by asking questions. “What is a key insight from this process that you can carry forward?” This will help build confidence by confirming they may know more than they thought.
  5. Support. Even if a volunteer is fully capable of handling a task, they shouldn’t be left without guidance. Schedules change and new priorities develop so let your volunteers know that you are available for support if needed.
Empowering Your Requesting
  When considering making a request for others in your chapter to help out:
  • Get into the other person’s world with respect and compassion.
  • Be clear and specific
  • Provide a timeframe.  
  • Ask for everything you want.  
  • Stop trying to predict someone’s response.
  • Let go of your interpretations or attachments to their response. In other words, allow or even encourage their full freedom to accept, decline, or counteroffer.
  • Allow or even encourage their full freedom to accept, decline, or counteroffer. Yes. No. Or No, but… or Yes, and.
Be Clear & Specific
  • First, get clear about what you seek and ask for 100% of it.  Sit down with yourself and really think about it.  What exactly do I need?  Make some notes.  
  • Be clear about the end you are seeking, the outcome ... and don’t get attached to the means.  For example, if you want a chapter co-leader, what you are really seeking is a way to share the activities of a chapter leader.  That can be done with a partial leader, a leader-in-training, a person who handles one lever, a steering committee or having someone do the part of those activities that they are drawn to.
Give Your Volunteers Freedom
  • Avoid the pitfall of thinking you know what they will say ... or that they are too busy / too short of resources / don’t have enough skill to say yes.  It disempowers you to limit yourself this way.  Ease up on those predictions.  You empower and honor people when you give them an effective request and then give them the space to freely choose how to respond.  Just ask!
  • Think of requests like a drive-in window at a fast food place.  There’s one world on one side of that window (the busy restaurant), and another world on the other side (in the car), and each party wants to have a satisfying and effective exchange at the window.  Think of requests as a boundary between two empowered people:  they can make their own choices inside their world ... and also you can make your request ... all without judgment.  In this model, you and the other person don’t need to give each other your reasons for accepting, declining or counter-offering their requests.  You can just make a good request and listen to their response.  It can be low drama.
  • A “good” request is not necessarily a request that someone says yes to.   A good request is one where you got into the other person’s world, asked for something clearly and specifically and gave them a timeframe ... and it’s a good request when the other person is fully satisfied with their choice to accept, decline or counteroffer.  
  • Take your request to the person who can do something about it.  It’s so easy to complain to your friends about how weary you are.
  • Provide the space for a genuine reply ... “no” is okay with you.  Declines are powerful:  they tell you where not to go - don’t waste your time on that path, at least for now.  Try elsewhere.
Easing into a full request

Here are some phrases that can be used to ease into the full request:  
  •    this is an opportunity to ...
  •    would you consider .... 
  •    would you be willing to ... 
  •    can you have it for me by [time]   
When you have some asks to make, it’s normal to experience discomfort or fear or resistance or procrastination.  These are normal.  Although it gets easier as you develop your capacity and mastery for asking, it is not unusual to have to push through something to make your ask.  That’s the time to bring courage to your asking.  Courage is feeling the negative feelings and taking the action anyway.  Just do it!  Just ask.
If you are asking in person or via phone calls, it can help to lower the negative feelings if you write up a script for yourself ahead of time. Pay special attention to the opening line. Not that you follow your script word for word, but writing a script helps you to formulate specifically what you want to ask for and some key phrases to use.  You can have the script in front of you and refer to it as needed.  
Length
Press play to start the video (33m 14s)
https://vimeo.com/showcase/9451216
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(0:00)

Virtual Signup Sheet (Action Sheet)
(2:41)

Chapter Organizational Chart
(11:44)

Volunteer Opportunities Emails
(17:46)

Empowering Your Requesting
(22:56)

Action Tracker - Recent Actions
(28:20)
Instructor(s)
  • Elli Sparks
Downloads
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (33:14)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(0:00)

Virtual Signup Sheet (Action Sheet)
(2:41)

Chapter Organizational Chart
(11:44)

Volunteer Opportunities Emails
(17:46)

Empowering Your Requesting
(22:56)

Action Tracker - Recent Actions
(28:20)
Instructor(s)
  • Elli Sparks
Have you completed this training?
Let us know if you've completed this training! Your progress will be logged in the Action Tracker so you can reference a list of trainings that you've completed.
Log your training
Go Deeper
Want to ask what other group leaders have done to find help? Ask in the Group Leader forum.
Discussion Topic
To Print
Category
Training
Topics
Chapter Organizing, Communicating with Others
Format
Report / Study