Ideas for Efficient Engagement

Claire S. called with a question,

I oversee an organization that seeks volunteers and offers a variety of programming.  In order to recruit for both, I often meet in a networking capacity with several people each week. What is the best way to encourage people I meet with to take quick action without me having to follow up constantly?

Being quite involved with a number of similar organizations myself, Claire, I can relate to your challenge. I think we both recognize that some follow up is both necessary and important; to your point, though, there are certainly ways to drive efficiency that are beneficial for all parties. Here are a few places to start:

  1. An informational brochure. Assuming there are some pretty standard ways for your audience to engage, why not create a simple brochure or flyer outlining that information? It can be an attractive piece with the basics along with your contact information, the website, upcoming events and the like. In your discussion with the individual, point out on the flyer exactly which bits of information are relevant for him/her based on his/her interests. In the absence of a brochure, even a well-designed business card with some of that same information can be extremely useful.
  2. Create a distribution list. Ask permission from your new contact to add his/her email address to your distribution list. Then, as you’re probably already doing, be sure to send out periodic invitations and information about upcoming events and other ways to get involved.
  3. Connect people together. If your organization is anything like mine, volunteers are constantly asking for ways they can help. One great activity that benefits them, the organization and your prospective members is for volunteers to serve as ambassadors and reach out to the new members. It’s a great way to get to know others and your ambassadors can invite the new members to programs, explain ways to participate and make the new recruits feel welcomed.

Do you have other suggestions for efficiently and effectively engaging others in your professional or community activities? What’s worked for you? Please take a moment to share your ideas at

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