Taking The Lead As A Volunteer Event Chair
I love working with volunteers. It fascinates me the different levels of passion, commitment and knowledge they bring to events. I love that men and women have such a strong connection to an organization that they are wiling to give of their time and resources to head up an event. They are willing to put their name on an event and influence others to support the event as well.
Through the years we have worked with some outstanding event chairs, some fairly mediocre ones and a few that I would’ve liked to charge more, because we had to work with them. So, what makes the best event chairs. I think it is the following 7 qualities.
- Passion. I believe the best event chairs have a passion for the cause, for the organization and for the people. They are willing to lead strong in raising money, developing awareness and creating an event worth remembering.
- Research. I always appreciate the chairs who have researched past chairs. They have done their homework on the event. They have learned about events of similar size and financial goals. They are stepping into their role with “eyes wide open.”
- Respect. I love the chairs who respect their organizations staff and paid leadership. Sometimes, a chair thinks the value they bring is event knowledge. Sometimes they think they can make big changes. I really appreciate the ones who have a respect for the staff leaders and look to them for history of the event, best practices, guidance and standards.
- Resources. The chairs who see themselves as bringing a lot to the table in regards to resources are the best. Now I am not just referring to financial resources, but those who offer the assistance of their staff or family or friends. They are “all in” with offering their Christmas Card list as a mailing list or using their home for a patron party.
- Preferences. I appreciate those event chairs who freely share their preferences while also recognizing that they are preferences. Many times an event chair can give great insight into guest experiences and can relate to a donor demographic that can be extremely helpful in the planning process.
- Personality. The event chair can easily sway the personality of the event. The balanced chair draws out the strengths but is aware of their own weaknesses. Even when the chair is leading upfront, they need to be self-aware of what qualities they excel in and where they can use assistance.
- Preparation. The best event chairs are those who are committed to preparation, carry through with what they say they are going to do and take the time to get everything ready for the big night.