How to Say Thank You to Your Volunteers

Remember what your parents taught you about being polite? Things like, “Where are your manners?” and, “Don’t forget to say please and thank you.” Well if you’re a recreation professional who relies on volunteers in any way, it’s time to dust off those age-old teachings. Saying thank you to your volunteers is crucial for many reasons. Here’s how to thank your volunteers effectively while gathering the right information and improving retention rates:

Continue reading

The Secrets Google Is Keeping About Your Members

Here’s a scenario to think about today: You offer tons of programs over four seasons of the year, so you have a good idea of what classes, times, and parts of the year are popular with your customers. You know when people register. But do you know when your customers get motivated to register?

To find the answer to that question (as is the case with many questions these days), just Google it. Actually, “Google Trends” it. Google Trends is a tool that shows how search volumes change over time. YMCAs, for example, can put in different search terms to see the peaks and valleys of the term through Google. That way, you know when your customers want to kick off a new journey of exercise and can market to them in a timely way. Continue reading

3 Questions to Ask Before Building a Mobile App or Website


Mobile phones have come a long way from clunky sci-fi devices to sleek pocket computers. If you have a smart phone, you’re most likely attached to it because it can do just about everything. And even if you don’t have one, you probably hear everyone talking about how mobile is the next frontier. That’s because by 2015 the number of mobile application downloads will reach 98 billion, according to Berg Insight. For the web, mobile devices already account for 10% of total global internet traffic (KPCB).

But at the same time, organizations need to pump the breaks on their mobile strategy. One major mistake is to take the “because everyone else has an app” approach. To guard against that and to see where your organization stands on the mobile front, ask yourself these three simple questions before jumping head first into the mobile game: Continue reading

8 Adult Programs to Add to Your Offerings


It’s NRPA Congress week in Anaheim and the creative juices are flowing. There are speaking sessions that cover recreation programming ideas like Murder Mystery Dinners (see left),  Aquatic Pizzazz and Using Recreation to Address PTSD. People who attended these sessions will surely come away with some great programming ideas to implement.But for those who couldn’t make it, here are some other ideas you could implement. These programs are being run across North America at different recreation agencies and classes range from beginner to advanced:  Continue reading

NRPA Congress & Exposition Starts Tomorrow in Anaheim!

Image credit: @parks_and_recAs we speak, thousands of park and recreation professionals are descending upon Anaheim, CA. It’s NRPA’s (National Recreation and Park Association) annual Congress & Exposition! From October 16 – 18, participants will attend receptions, speaking sessions, workshops, meetings, a trade show, 5K Fun Run/Walk, and more. ACTIVE Network will be there as well!

Whether you can or cannot make it this year, here’s what you need to know:  Continue reading

10 Examples of Social Media Updates You Need to Make


Coming up with social media posts for your organization is like buying clothes for a growing baby. After a few uses, you need new material. And on Facebook, if you find one type of post that resonates with your audience, it probably loses its luster after a few uses. That’s why having an endless supply of social media examples is critical for maintaining an engaged audience.

Here are ten examples of social media posts from recreation agencies that you can add to your repertoire today:  Continue reading

Top 5 Places to Find Volunteers

What if this guy turns out to be your new star volunteer? It looks like he’s working hard, but you can do better. That’s why you need to find volunteers in the right places. Whether you need them for events, camps, or back office tasks, finding good volunteers can be crucial to your organization’s success.

Here are five places where you can find volunteers around your community:  Continue reading

How to Make Membership Management Easier

Source: imdb.comThe average Joe may not think much about managing members: you get someone to sign up…what’s the big deal? Even the gym, Average Joe’s from Dodgeball, may not consider it too hard: a signup sheet, a handshake and some cash – we’re good!

But let’s look at it from the perspective of the real-life YMCA. YMCAs and gyms that offer memberships have a number of tasks to do to collect just one member. From information and money collection to enforcement, membership management can be a time-consuming task. If you’re behind the desk, you know what goes into it.  Continue reading

12 Reasons Your Online Registrations Are Low


If you offer online registration for your activities, you know how valuable it is for your staff and customers. You also know that the higher that percentage is of your total registrations, the easier life is for parks and recreation staff. But maybe you can’t seem to get more people online. For some reason, they keep calling in and lining up at peak registration periods to sign up for activities.

The problem may be you, not your customers. If you are doing any of these 12 things, your customers may feel likes the guy above:   Continue reading