Keeping Communities Engaged Through the Holidays

December 18, 2017 at 10:50 AM Amy Newell

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. Parent and volunteer organizations are tasked with planning holiday parties and luncheons, while also juggling their personal holiday to-do lists. While we all need a little downtime to recharge, small organizations tend to struggle with keeping constituents engaged during the holidays. So, how can your organization keep parents, volunteers and other community members engaged through the new year? We asked our amazing Membership Toolkit team – comprised of PTA leaders, HOA board members, booster club volunteers, fundraising chairs and more – just like you. Here are our very own best tips:

Worst Practices

o Sending emails during Christmas Break.

Even though you want people to remain engaged during the holiday season, there’s no need to overflow their inbox with unnecessary emails. Be considerate of others’ downtime by waiting until after the new year to reach out. And if it’s really that important, just give the person a quick call.

o Asking for donations too soon after Christmas.

We all know that donations are a crucial component to a successful fundraising organization, however, asking for monetary contributions too soon after Christmas will turn off many potential donors. Give people at least a week and a half to two weeks to recuperate from the financial burden the holidays can bring and tailor your emails to instead include a warm ‘welcome back’, volunteer opportunities and upcoming events instead.

o Waiting until school starts back up to plan events.

While we’ve all had to plan events at the last minute, it’s not an ideal way to run an organization. The last thing you want to do is come back from holiday break and scramble to plan and find volunteers for upcoming events in the new year. If your school is hosting a spring fundraiser, auction or festival, get ahead by starting the planning process early.

Best Practices

o Tailor emails to focus on community events rather than your organization.

If you’re going to send out a holiday newsletter, you should focus on free, family-friendly events or free, helpful resources in the community. This is a fun way to engage with parents, members and volunteers and be a resource over the break without being pushy or needy.

o Update your website throughout the holiday break.

While many think website updates can wait until after the holiday break, volunteers, members and parents will be referencing and using your website even during the break. Make sure your website serves as a resource they can visit all season long, including upcoming events and volunteer opportunities and reminders so you aren’t scrambling once start of the New Year rolls around.

o Be respectful of everyone’s time and priorities.

Even if you personally don’t plan to slow down during the holiday break, be mindful of everyone else by respecting their space. We all deserve to step away and enjoy the holidays with family and friends without our inboxes overflowing. Communicate clearly and prepare for deadlines and events in advance!

At Membership Toolkit, our all-in-one software will help you take back control of the holiday lull. We make it a breeze to customize your website, communicate with volunteers, members and parents, and track donations. We’re here to take the busy work out of your holiday break so you can spend time with loved ones.

Have 15 minutes? That’s all it takes to start the conversation to see how Membership Toolkit can help your organization thrive! Visit us online now to schedule a demo when it’s most convenient for you!

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season, from the Membership Toolkit family to yours!