Recognizing Your Volunteers

Volunteers are not paid to do work for organizations and getting them to stay and appreciate their contribution does not require monetary resources as well. It is essential to develop a continuous process to thank and recognize the efforts of your volunteers to help them stay fulfilled and committed to the organization’s cause.

Why do people volunteer?

To be able to fully understand how to devise a good program on how to motivate volunteers, it is imperative to know the reasons why people volunteer.

These are the general reasons why people volunteer:

  • To contribute to the community
  • To utilize their skills and experiences
  • To advocate for the organization’s cause
  • To uncover one’s strengths
  • To meet other people
  • To join their peers
  • To improve their job profiles
  • To meet religious duties or cultural beliefs


Each organization is different and recognition programs should be designed based on the organization’s core culture but there are general ways that can be applied in order to shape a good recognition program.


Make recognition a priority and research for ways to continuously improve it. Assign someone in your organization to monitor and implement this.


Try to do it as often as you can in an informal manner to sincerely show your appreciation click reference. Scheduling times to let volunteers know can be helpful to ensure we don’t forget in the busyness of things.


Do appreciate people in different ways either verbal or written. Sometimes a nice note can make all the difference.


Appreciate your volunteers in ways that appeals to them. Understand that each individual is different and so recognizing them should be based on their personality as well.

5 Tips to Effectively Chair a Meeting

What is a chairperson?

A leader is essential in any group, project or organization. This is to ensure that everyone stays on track in achieving the groups target or goals. The same is true with meetings, there is a leader as well to guide the flow of the agenda. In a meeting, this person is referred to as the “chairperson” or simply the “chair”.

Here are the main responsibilities of a chairperson:

  • Ensures the meeting flow sticks to the agenda
  • Members respect each other
  • The rules of the meeting are observed
  • Encourages decision making
  • Supervise or prepare notices, agenda, reports, meetings and follow ups


Every group, team or organization is unique. Each may require a different approach in terms of chairing meetings. But we have outlined basic ways on how to effectively chair meetings to ensure that the best positive outcome is achieved.

1. Set goals

Before the meeting starts it is important to determine what the goal of the meeting is. Specifically, what outcome or decisions should be agreed upon during the meeting? This can be used as metrics to measure the effectivity and efficiency of the meeting as well.

2. Notices

It is important to release advance notices about relevant meeting information to members. The notice should include the following:

  • Agenda
  • Project/Agenda item head
  • Time of the meeting
  • Place of the meeting
  • Relevant documents
  • Minutes of the preceding meeting if applicable

3. Time Management

During the meeting, one good way to ensure that everyone stays on track is to set a time frame per agenda item. The role of the chair is to make sure that time frame is observed. If possible, put the timer on a screen for everyone to see.

4. Encourage and Manage Participants

If the floor is open for discussion, observe who are talking too much and those who are not. Manage those who talk too much by interrupting them politely and encourage those are remaining quiet for their input. If there is a conflict among members, step in by reminding them of the goal of the meeting and negotiate among members in order to arrive at a decision.

5. Evaluate

Once the meeting is done, you may evaluation sheet to gather the opinions and suggestions of the members in terms of facilitating the next meeting. Improve on areas that makes the meeting effective and avoid those that slows the progress of the meeting.

Principals View On P&Cs

Qld Principals Survey Results P&C Day 2016


Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Do you see the situation improving? Do School Councils make the roles more confusing?


Process PA is a cloud software tool built by a volunteer P&C Secretary to support volunteers with on-the-job guidance and training, without the manuals, and automation to decrease the workload. Increase participation with faster, effective meetings and a well governed organization. Try it out now for your P&C or School Council or <a href="mailto:matthew@processpa this Process PA”>email us to book a demo.

Volunteers week and P&C Day

Volunteer Week

Australia celebrates national volunteer week from Monday 9-15 May 2016. The theme is Give Happy, Live Happy.
The Volunteering Australia web site contains resources and events that are on this year. Check out
Did you know in 2006, volunteers contributed 713 million hours of voluntary work, up from 704.1 million hours in 2000 and 511.7 million hours in 1995.

P&C Day

P&C Day is held each year to celebrate the important work undertaken in our state schools by our parents and citizens associations. This year it is this Friday 13th May. More information can be found out on the Queensland Government site

2016 Queensland P&C Constitution changes

Our March AGMs this year we have yet another constitution to adopt. You can find it on the Education Queensland web site or directly download it here.

On the P&Cs Qld Web Site they state the main differences are:
The main change to the 2016 version of the Constitution is to the agenda for the Annual General Meeting – Section 17.3.9 re acceptance of memberships to the P&C, adoption of the new Constitution (if any) and acceptance of Life Memberships (if any). In the past, DET has provided a comparison document and if they do so again, we’ll be sure to share it.
<br data-reactid=".42.1:3:1:$comment676028992502691_676104859161771:0.0.$right.0.$left.0.0.1.$comment-body.0.3.0 buy generic cialis.$end:0:$3:0″ />The Model Constitution is a DET directive and any updates are to bring it in line with current legislation.

In lieu of DET providing the comparison, I’ve put the details of those changes here.
In Red is the 2015 version, in Green is the 2016 version.

-11.3.1 A register of members of the Association must be maintained and must contain the following information:

+11.3.1 A register of members of the Association (Schedule 1) must be maintained and must contain the following information:


17.3.9 The order of business to be conducted at an annual general meeting of the Association must be undertaken in the following order:
a) welcome to members and introduction of any special visitors
b) apologies
c) confirmation of minutes of the previous annual general meeting
d) business arising out of the minutes of the previous annual general meeting
e) receipt and adoption of the Association’s audited annual financial statement and Treasurer’s report (to include all relevant subcommittees’ audited financial statements) [should the audit not be available the meeting cannot proceed and must be adjourned until such time as the audit is available for consideration by the members]
f) receipt and adoption of the President’s annual report
– g) motion to consider all applications to renew existing membership
– h) motion to accept applications to renew existing membership
– i) motion to consider all new applications for membership
– j) motion to accept new applications for membership
– k) election of Officers/Executive Committee
– l) motion to change bank signatories to the newly elected Officers
– m) confirmation of continuing subcommittees of the Association (including appointment of members of subcommittees)
– n) appointment of the Association’s Auditor
– o) adoption of the Student Protection Risk Management Strategy
– p) general business.

+ g) receive applications for membership (to include renewal of existing membership and new membership)
+ h) election of Officers/Executive Committee
+ i) motion to change bank signatories to the newly elected Officers
+ j) confirmation of continuing subcommittees of the Association (including appointment of members of subcommittees)
+ k) appointment of the Association’s Auditor
+ l) adoption of the Student Protection Risk Management Strategy
+ m) adoption of new model constitution (if any)
+ n) honorary life membership awards (if any)
+ o) general business.

To adopt the new constitution follow the steps from P&Cs Qld here.


Check out the tool I’ve built to help guide and automated these processes. Try it out now.

Are you ready to take a break?

November is almost upon us and many P&Cs are having their last meeting for the year next month. Have you considered if anyone in your executive is finishing up this year? There are a number of reasons people won’t be continuing. Without getting into the why, let’s be prepared for what needs to be done.

Firstly, identify your vacant roles. Ensuring you fill the Executive, Officers of the Association, is the first priority, President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer. In the QLD P&C Constitution there are a few conditions around who is eligible to take position in clause 12.1. Briefly, a President or Secretary cannot also hold the office of the Treasurer; the Principal may not hold a position as an Officer; the ratio of school staff must not be more than 1/3 of the executive; and no employees of the association. P&Cs must have 2 executive positions filled to be viable. Without 2 executive officers the Principal will place the P&C into care-taker mode until there are at least 2 officers elected. Consider also key roles for area’s like fundraising committee or swimming club.

Secondly, find candidates. If you don’t have members in the current committee wanting to take on an officer role you need to be engaging parents in the school to get them to come along in November’s meeting. Being clear about what the role entails will go a long way to reducing the anxiety someone may have about taking on the responsibility. Use resources from P&Cs Qld like the P&C Executive and their Responsibilities guide.

Thirdly, prepare for handover. Make sure your house is in order. Go through the checklists for each role. Use the P&Cs Qld resources again for P&C Executive  Handover Checklist. Another guide says to allow for a transition period of up to a month cheap generic cialis. In a job this would be acceptable as you would have daily repetitive tasks, but for an association that meets once a month, that makes it hard to get up to speed. Starting now, for handover at the AGM in March will help ensure your hard work is built on and not lost.

For me I found when I took up the role as Secretary these things were not done. It would have made the process much easier and maintained better continuity for the association. As a result, I have now built a cloud based solution that will take care the handover, guide new office bearers through processes, and have one place for all the documents. Check it out at

End the year on a high note. Reflect on all the achievements of the P&C for the year. Market those successes to the school to help promote involvement in the P&C by showing it does make a difference. Build a legacy for the community and leave the association better than you found it.

Any tips for a smooth handover, or stories of horror ones? Leave your comments below!

5 Ways to Run a Better Meeting

With Term 4 now in full swing we only have a few more meetings to finish out the year. Now is a good time to have a refresher to keep going strong and have effective meetings. So here they are, 5 ways to run a better meeting.

1. Have a Clear Agenda

A well planned meeting is a well-run meeting. Make sure the Agenda is sent out with plenty of time for attendees to be across all that is going to happen. You want people’s input so make sure they have everything the need to contribute before the meeting. For example, if you want to pass a motion to purchase something, make sure all attachments, like quotes are sent out.

2. Stay Focused

You have an agenda. Stick to it. Have an idea of the time each agenda item should take and gently keep the meeting moving and on track. To ensure people do feel include, make sure you have given opportunity for attendees to add items to the agenda well before the meeting.

3. Make Sure Everyone Gets Their Say

Everyone wants to be heard. The chair of the meeting is to ensure they balance personalities. Often it just involves checking in with the introverts. Make sure you hear feedback. Do your meetings go too long or even too short? Do people feel they are able to make a contribution? If you have someone who interrupts lots give them a stopwatch to keep everyone on track Smile.

4. Take Action and Follow up

The best meetings are where decisions are made. To be able to do that action items need to be done between of the meeting. Make sure any actions are clearly assigned with due date and are followed up at the next meeting.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

We get some great experience while volunteering in a P&C. Over time you will get better at all of the above. Be patient with yourself and others. Remember the greater purpose of why you are running the meetings. It is a tough but very important service you are providing. Hang in there!

Do you have any other tips? Please share them in the comments below!

Spring is here – Adopt a Farmer

Earlier this year at the P&Cs Qld Metropolitan East training day we had wholesale mlb jerseys an absolutely delightful and inspiring talk by Ann Boon from Seven Hills State School in Brisbane. Her story of bringing  a garden into the school was featured on Gardening Australia in a segment you can watch here: The Barefoot Farmer.

Gardening Australia : The barefoot farmer

Ann detailed the journey she had. Some of the points I noted were:

  • Any program needs a champion to make it succeed. A parent can do this, but it is much more effective if you have a teacher take it up.
  • Engage the community. They had a Office Perma-blitz (Permaculture backyard blitz) one Saturday, had help from a permaculture design firm, and Stephanie Alexander gardening program.
  • Engage the kids in different ways than just the program. They had a scarecrow competition at the fair.

This got me thinking of other things that could wholesale nfl jerseys be done to engage the kids and involve the community. My Granddad kept bees at his suburban house and this year I finally got a Season hive myself. You don’t need to be on a big property or in the bush. In fact bees in urban area’s have been thriving. I’m sure there would be local bee keepers happy to put hives on school grounds away from where kids are all the time. Bee’s are only active at the front of Jerseys the hive and otherwise you cheap nba jerseys don’t really notice an increase of bees around.

Now I Feedback understand this may have concerns with kids who are allergic to bee stings so I don’t know if it is something that could be done. But I will be investigating. My kids have loved the experiences of seeing inside the bee hive. Watching the bees work. Extracting the honey. Eating fresh honey and honeycomb. Giving honey to friends and family. And come spring we are gearing up for full production so they can learn some business skills and sell some honey. In a school the kids could sell the honey and raise money for a community specific project they are interested in.

My BeesWatching the honey flow

To hear more about the plight of the bees and how important they are watch this TEDx talk, Every City Needs Healthy Honey Bees.


Is there any program like this your school runs? What else do you think we could do?

Find the volunteer talent within your school community

From the discussion on the survey results many people where asking for Volunteer form template that helps gauge how the broad school community can help. A big thank you to Janet wholesale nfl jerseys from Highland Reserve State School who raised the idea and has shared the form they have used.

You can download it here: 2015 – Active Parent Helper Form – Highland Reserve SS P&C

Including a form like this in the wholesale mlb jerseys Prep package that goes out to all parents of new preppy’s will likely get more responses and help new parents integrate with the P&C and school community. Another suggestion given at the P&Cs Qld Met East Area Feelings Meeting was to include on the form their just one thing to prioritize what they will do so wholesale nba jerseys the same people are not called on for everything.

Our P&C had taken on the same initiative. Wondall Heights SS P&C President Mark wrote this one you can download here.

2015 – Skills Assessment Form – Wondall Heights SS P&C

Ours only went out to parents at the cheap nba jerseys start last week, so we are yet to see the effectiveness of our survey. It would be great if P&Cs who use these templates or modified ones report back here on how much response they get. Bank This way we can optimize the form as a community to be more engaging and have better outcomes.

If your P&C has a Yeah! form of their own you would like to share it please contact me on the About page and I can link it in this post or Как add a link in the comments. If you have ideas on cheap mlb jerseys how to improve the questionnaire, please share in the comments below.

Feedback and Feelings

April 2015. After the AGM. wholesale nba jerseys I felt blindsided by the work I needed to do, football tracking February everything down to Tha History get prepared for the wholesale mlb jerseys meeting. I thought my wholesale mlb jerseys volunteering job was supposed to be easy. Send out an agenda and take minutes at cheap jerseys meetings. That’s what I was told. That was my handover. I can help out the school and be involved with staff and parents to improve the outcomes for our children. So cheap NBA jerseys why was I up at 11pm tracking down paperwork for the AGM.

I decided to reach out and find a better way to get this done. So I emailed other P&Cs to wholesale jerseys get their opinions. I Uk have been overwhelmed with the feedback. wholesale nba jerseys The insights I have received in a cheap jerseys month are much more than the previous year I was Secretary and year as member before that. Two years on a Kindergarten P&C also. cheap nfl jerseys The information you all have shared with wholesale jerseys me has helped me run things far more effectively. There is still much more work to do, but I see a path.

Below are the results I have tried to compile in a meaningful way. I’ve put them here so people have a place to continue the discussion that was started. If you wholesale jerseys have As With any questions Pap please comment below or contact me on the About page.

(Click on the images to get a large version)






75% indicated Jersey they want to discuss more. This is fantastic and understandable from a group of such community-minded, giving people. P&Cs Qld provides many resources to read on your own. Getting to networking events can be difficult when we have families and other priorities to balance. What I am providing here is a place to discuss with others, who are in the trenches, in a place that is hopefully convenient to many.

It goes without saying, but must be said. Any Jesus advice found <a href="http://www is there a generic for”>2013 wholesale MLB jerseys here does not constitute proper legal advice. It is just a community discussion. Get ideas and hear others NEED experiences, but before implementing anything in your P&C please ensure you solicit professional advice.