Non-Profit Challenge: Jump-Starting Member Involvement
Prospect High School, located in Mount Prospect, Illinois has a nationally-recognized band program. The band has marched in parades from coast (Macy’s in 1989 and 2002) to coast (Rose Parade® in 1985 and 2006) with a stop in-between at the Fiesta Bowl Parade (where they won the Fiesta Bowl National Pageant of Bands). They have also performed for the president of the United States on three separate occasions and marched in the Lord Mayor of Winchester Parade in London. When not marching, it is the concert season where students are organized into two levels of bands, the Symphonic Band and the Concert Band.
The band has a booster program. Parents join the boosters to raise money for the band, as well as to help with other tasks as needed to defray outside costs. There are lots of positions and many activities for parents to help with. Boosters are introduced to the band program at the most hectic part of the band year, the marching season. How to introduce members to the band boosters faster than you would through any of the normal volunteer channels: hearsay, osmosis or telepathy?
I produced a reference for parents that was fun and informative called PMK 101: Just About Everything You Need to Know When Your Student Becomes a Prospect Marching Knight. It assumed parents were completely new to band programs but never talked down to them. It also also worked to set the expectations when required -- some of the volunteer positions are pretty demanding.
PMK 101 contained such information as the positions within the band boosters’ executive board and the general booster organization, the major fund raising activities and details on competitions and trips.
To make sure this was not a "one year wonder," I built it using a format that was accessible enough that future volunteers could keep the material updated.