Since these lead volunteers will be important ambassadors for your organization, they need to know as much about its mission and services as possible. This information could be reviewed as a part of the initial planning meeting of the task force and backed up with written materials, particularly for those with limited background with your agency. Other training topics for this group may cover such things as:
- meeting management
- communication avenues
- approaches for donations
- design of activity pert charts
- volunteer recruitment, interviewing, supervision and recognition.
If the event has been held before, the prior year's reports will be helpful. Videotaping an event provides a particularly helpful medium for orienting new folks. And for those who have participated in the event before, the video is fun to watch and gives them renewed energy for the event. If there are people who are new to the event, you may want to cover the essentials of good event planning by providing summaries of good articles and books on the topic or through training videos. My favorite is a videotape on Special Events by Kim Klein, available from The Headwaters Fund (see resources).
A new method I recommend to provide the steering committee with guidance is using an event coach. This person does not put on the event for the organization but is an experienced event planner available to the steering committee for a certain number of hours to consult on planning and staging the event. This is an excellent way to train internal talent while keeping costs down. If people know they will have a coach available to them, they are more apt to agree to become volunteer leaders. Too often, event volunteers are not adequately supported by the organization and all are disappointed in the result.
From How to Produce Fabulous Fundraising Events, by Betty Stallings & Donna McMillion, Building Better Skills, 1999, pp. 49-51. Permission is granted to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must include all citations and the statement: "Found in the Energize online library at http://www.energizeinc.com/store."
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