The Power of 3 – Part 3

introductions_10909This is the third of three articles on Unit Adult Leadership for your popcorn sale.

What 3 things should you not do when recruiting volunteers.

Let’s see if this sounds familiar.  You know popcorn is the biggest fundraiser for your Unit.  However, no one is willing to step up and be in charge.  You have talked with other people in your Unit and think you know who would be the best person but you do not want to make a mistake because it is too important.  Here are three things you should not do when recruiting volunteers.

1.  Assume they will say ‘No”

Never answer for someone else.  You never know what someone will say.  Especially if you feel this is the right person for the job, it is your obligation to ask them if they want the job.  In addition, if they have said no in the past, do not think the same thing will happen this year.  I had a mentor which stated, “No does not mean “No, Never”, it means “No. Not at this time.”  Things change in people’s lives and this year might be the year they say “Yes”.

2.  Avoid the BITS

So what is BITS?  It is the infamous “Butt in the Seat”.  We see this all the time in Scouts.  There is an open position and it is more important to have a name to fill out the form than to have an individual which participates.  As a matter of fact, it can be more detrimental to the Unit to have BITS than a brand new person which has no clue what she is doing but is willing to learn.  In Wood Badge and National Youth Leadership Development, Situational Leadership is discussed.  In Situational Leadership, the BITS is a person that has low motivation and low competence. This person requires significantly more ‘Coaching’ and can be more time consuming than the person that has low competence and high motivation which can be ‘Directed’.

3.  Recruit for Life

The biggest challenge in the not-for-profit world is leaders often ‘recruit for life’.  In other words, it is far easier to recruit someone when there is a beginning and an end to the role for which they are recruited.  One reason I loved working for Trail’s End Popcorn versus working for the Boy Scouts is because there is a beginning and end of the popcorn season.  With Scouting it seems there is never an end to certain campaigns.  As a matter of fact, there is a reason Scouts have a FOS Kickoff and a FOS Celebration.  It gives a beginning and end to an event which is really a year-round activity.  Make sure to state when the popcorn sale is over so the person knows when their responsibility ends.

I hope these items help you in trying to recruit volunteers for your Unit.  I wish you luck in starting out your popcorn season on the right note.


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