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Every chapter goes through periods where fewer people come out to meetings, energy levels drop, and not as much gets accomplished. If that's the situation you're facing, this section give will give you the tips you need to reinvigorate your group.
If there are fewer people around the table month after month, make a friendly phone call to missing members to discover the reasons. It's OK if volunteers need to take a break to recharge, or work and family commitments take priority. But are there other barriers that you can address?
Perhaps you could reschedule your meetings for a time that is more convenient for more members, or you could find a location that's more central for everyone. Would some members come if you arranged a ride?
A phone or email reminder a day or two before the meeting can get people out. Don't forget to mention the purpose of getting together! "We're going to be planning our annual Walk-a-Thon tomorrow night and we need everyone's ideas to make it a success" will attract more people than simply giving the date and time of the meeting.
And don't forget there are lots of ways for people to help without coming to meetings.
National Office Reintroduction
Invite a guest speaker from the National Office to present at an information evening, and/or help the chapter to create a strategic plan to reinvigorate the chapter.
Focus Your Meetings
• Long, dull meetings are no way to fire up your volunteers. Use the tips in the Meetings section to keep things on track.
• Starting the meeting on a positive note will set the tone for the evening. Welcome everyone, and review what's been accomplished since the last time you got together.
• During the meeting, try drawing out your quieter members so everyone gets involved.
• Summarize discussions, write down decisions, and make sure everyone is clear on what the next steps are and who has agreed to do what. Having specific tasks to accomplish will help keep your volunteers motivated between meetings.
• Wrap up on a positive note by thanking everyone for coming out. Set a date and location for your next meeting, so everyone can plan to be there.
• Sending out a copy of the minutes to all your members the following week will help keep everyone on track and provide proof of how productive your meeting was - they may even inspire more people to show up the next time!
Set Tangible Goals
Nothing gets people more motivated than a clear, specific goal - and a reason to reach it. So don't just plan a fundraiser - decide how much money you're going to raise at the event, and remind people how that money will help the Huntington's cause. Don't be afraid to set stretch goals. If you raised $1000 at a dinner last year, why not aim to raise $1500 this year?
If your members are getting tired of putting on the same old fundraising events year after year, try something fresh! Give National Office a call for suggestions or ideas.
Find the Perfect Match
Some of your volunteers may be stuck in roles that don't suit them. That's a recipe for discouragement! The Volunteers section will give you tips on matching volunteers with roles so they can shine.
Attract New Members
If your members are feeling a little burnt out, attracting some new blood can remove some of the burden and invigorate your group with fresh ideas and talent. Check the Volunteers section for recruitment suggestions.
Success is inspiring, so take time to congratulate yourselves on each accomplishment. Everyone will remember that warm, fuzzy feeling when you're working on the next project.
Make a point of praising individuals for specific achievements. If you do it in front of the whole chapter, you'll help to inspire everyone - and give your volunteers the recognition they deserve.
And every so often, remind your chapter about your past achievements. Stick a big piece of paper on the wall and list everything your chapter has done over the past year. You may surprise yourselves!
All work and no play leads to burnout, so incorporate some fun into your fundraisers and your meetings.
You should never feel that your chapter is struggling alone. There are many great resources available to help your group, starting with this section. Make sure that every member of your chapter has a good look at its contents.
The HSC Conference has informative workshops on fundraising and communications to keep your members motivated, and connecting with other chapters is tremendously energizing.
HSC also offers a variety of opportunities to bring chapter volunteers together through Town Hall meetings, the national conference, and chapter development days.
Most importantly, don't be afraid to ask National Office for help. Your HSC contact person has lots of experience to share. Whether you're having some problems you'd like to discuss or you're just looking for a few tips, give us a call.