How do you train your volunteers? Monthly club leader meetings? Quarterly volunteer training? Sometime else?
Formal training is just one piece of the puzzle. There is an old marketing adage that says people need to hear something SEVEN TIMES before it sticks. Are your volunteers getting the same message seven times?
Your assignment this week… what are your big goals for your county 4-H program this year? How do you want to grow/improve? Plan your volunteer educational program to reflect this,
We have a multitude of ways to reach volunteers with educational programming beyond the traditional in-person training. The trick is to blanket the 4-H volunteer experience with education received through a variety of methods.
Newsletter/Blog/Social Media: If you are like most, chances are you are sharing event and activity information with your volunteers through a newsletter, blog, social media, or some other means. Do you use this same platform to share educational information?
Mentors: When a new volunteer begins their 4-H journey with your program do you match them up with one (or more) mentors? This need not be formal, but the simple act of requesting that a prospective club leader go visit a few other clubs before starting their own can be very helpful.
Conferences/Training: The 4-H Volunteer Conference of Southern States is an excellent learning and networking opportunity for 4-H volunteers (as well as faculty and staff). If you have funds you can offer volunteers to support their attendance- it’s well worth it.
Videos: The Florida 4-H Volunteer Orientation videos are particularly useful for onboarding new volunteers.
Factsheets: The Volunteer Training Series provides a wealth of information for volunteers to read at their leisure.
What is your one BIG THING you want volunteers to know/do this year? How will you plan to tell them seven times?