“Well, I’m not going to beg them to participate!”
If you haven’t in fact said this yourself, I’m sure you’ve heard it more than once. However, the reality is the personal invitation is an important part of marketing your 4-H program. How many times have you personally seen a promotion for something, found it slightly appealing, but weren’t quite sure it was appropriate for YOU? Why would our clients be any different?
The personal invitation requires recognizing interests and abilities in others before even they recognize them. Our job is not to “beg” but it is our responsibility to know our clientele enough to become adept at matching youth, parents, and volunteers to specific opportunities.
“Joey, you know there is no one participating in the horse demonstration category at county events right now. I know how much you love horses, and you are such a great public speaker, I really think you should enter.” Imagine at this point what you may have done for this young person’s self-esteem with a simple ask. Neva shared a great story from the camping world that illustrates this point beautifully, Helping Camp Counselors Understand the Power they Have .
Does it take longer to make a personal invitation then to send a blanket email or put an article in the newspaper? Sure it does. But it is that personal invitation that often makes the greatest individual impact. We can’t spend all day making ask after ask, but it does make sense then to seek out opportunities to match our clients to opportunities.
It takes less than five minutes…who are you going to ask today?