Day-Long Training Focuses on Advocacy, Fundraising

By Shanna Lisberg

Close to 100 first-year members of The Junior League descended upon the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Jan. 25, for an all-day training. The day started out early and, as members gathered to check in, more than one lady arrived bearing a large cup of coffee. By 9 a.m. the training was under way and members had broken out into their first training sessions of the day.

Members attended four training sessions – two in the morning and two sessions in the afternoon. By attending and completing the all-day training, provisional members were able to satisfy their League training requirement for the year.

Provisionals had the option to choose from six training topics:

  • Advocacy 101

  • Parliamentary Procedures

  • How to Run Effective Meetings

  • Fundraising – How to Make the Ask

  • Your Junior League Career Path

  • How to be an Effective Volunteer

The Advocacy Committee’s Chair and Vice-Chair presented Advocacy 101. We learned that advocacy boils down to picking an issue and talking about it, and that one of the best ways to get involved is to know your legislators and to call or write them a letter. Additionally, advocacy can be for all sorts of issues, not just political issues.

Parliamentary Procedures discussed the purposes and rules of parliamentary procedure and the steps of going through motions and discussions. Topics included how to make a motion, when to table a motion, and tips for debating and voting on motions.

Issues discussed in the How to Run Effective Meetings training included the different types of meetings and how to be a facilitator of a meeting. Some of the tips for running a successful meeting included: Stick to the agenda, make sure there is a clear reason for the meeting, and always end a meeting on a good note.

Fundraising – How to Make the Ask discussed how to reach out and make the first step in asking for donations and contributions. We learned that it’s important to identify the key players and to know what you want to procure. Most significantly, anyone can make the ask, you just have to advocate for what you love.

There are many different career paths within the Junior League. Your Junior League Career Path aimed to explain how members can advance in the Junior League. We learned that the main key is to know your interests and to recognize what position(s) you want to attain.

Tara, the volunteer coordinator for Mary’s Place, spoke about How to be an Effective Volunteer. Some of the tips given by Tara included learning about the background of the organization you want to volunteer with, figure out what the staff expects from its volunteers, and have a commitment to how you want to help.

The all-day training was a terrific experience and a great opportunity to interact with other provisional members. All the presenters were engaging and incredibly knowledgeable in their area. At the end of the day, we all learned something new and hopefully we can implement these skills in our future roles in the Junior League.

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