Succession Planning

Succession Planning for Formal/Large Club

Overseeing a club and its many and varied goals, activities, and members can be a big job. Having a team of leaders to tackle all of the “to-dos” helps make this a manageable endeavor, but finding and keeping those leaders—especially when they are volunteers with busy schedules, families, and jobs—can be the most challenging task of all.

Recruiting volunteers and planning for succession can become an effortless process if club leaders are proactive about maintaining relationships with active and engaged club members.

  • Soon after the slate for the coming year has been filled, a new nominating committee should be in place and working on the next year’s slate. The committee’s sole work should be finding possible candidates to fill open positions. The nominating committee could be a 2–3 member committee.
  • Frequently include a “volunteer sign up” sentence in electronic or print communications.
  • Review past event attendee lists to identify frequent attendees to cultivate for future volunteer opportunities.
  • Maintain relationships with club members who attend multiple events—get to know them and invite them to attend a board meeting or volunteer at an event.
  • Request a volunteer list for your region from the Alumnae Association. Alumnae who have volunteered in the past may want to volunteer again.
  • Present volunteer positions as an opportunity to gain skills, meet new people, and support the College and the Alumnae Association.
  • Take advantage of the Alumnae Association’s address change report sent to you. It lists newcomers to the area. Welcome them to the club/group with an email and invitation to upcoming events. Alums new to the area and recent graduates can breathe fresh life into a club, bringing new ideas and energy. Host an event to meet new people and encourage them to volunteer for a small project.
  • Provide clear job descriptions to potential leaders—be sure they know the time commitment and skills involved with the position they are being asked to fill.
  • Publicly recognize those who helped make an event or club activity a success—use your newsletter, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. If it’s appropriate at the event, give a shout-out to your volunteers.
  • Ask the director of regional engagement for email samples that clubs may have used to enlist new leadership and/or volunteers.
  • Have a board-turnover meeting so that records are transferred and positions are discussed.

Succession Planning for Informal Clubs

While formal/large clubs have a more structured leadership succession process, informal clubs need to be on the lookout on an ongoing basis for potential new volunteers to help with events and activities and to identify future leadership. Planning for succession can become an effortless process if club leaders are proactive about maintaining relationships with active and engaged club members.

  • Frequently include a “volunteer sign up” sentence in electronic or print communications.
  • Review past event attendee lists to identify frequent attendees to cultivate for future volunteer opportunities.
  • Request a volunteer list for your region from the Alumnae Association. Alumnae who have volunteered in the past may want to volunteer again.
  • Present volunteer positions as an opportunity to gain skills, meet new people, and support the College and the Alumnae Association.
  • Take advantage of the Alumnae Association’s address change report sent to you. It lists newcomers to the area. Welcome them to the club/group with an email and invitation to upcoming events. Alums new to the area and recent graduates can breathe fresh life into a club, bringing new ideas and energy. Host an event to meet new people and encourage them to volunteer for a small project.
  • Provide clear job descriptions to potential leaders—be sure they know the time commitment and skills involved with the position they are being asked to fill.
  • Publicly recognize those who helped make an event or club activity a success—use your newsletter, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. If it’s appropriate at the event, give a shout-out to your volunteers.
  • Ask the director of regional engagement for email samples that clubs may have used to enlist new leadership and/or volunteers.