January 5, 2009

By: Amy Batten, NASC Volunteer Staff Executive Director


An important responsibility of a leader is to motivate other individuals and groups. With the school year half way over, it can be a challenge to keep members of your organizations motivated.  Here are some tips in keeping members of you councils and organizations motivated during second semester.


  • Make every effort to recognize individual and group accomplishments.  Whether it is a formal award or a simple thank you note, show members you appreciate what they do.
  • Model motivation.  If you expect to motivate others, you need to show through your words and actions that you are motivated to do your best. 
  • Get members involved in committee work that build off of their strengths or interests.  People are more motivated to complete a task if they enjoy what they are doing.
  • Revisit your group’s goals and purpose.  Sometimes being reminded of what you are there to do can help refocus and motivate a group to move forward.
  • Identify and build the leadership skill sets in group members.  Delegate specific tasks to group members (especially new or younger members).  Make sure you check in with them to offer assistance or advice.  Once the task has been completed, thank them and ask for their help again in the future.


Remember that improving motivation is a process.  It’s not going to happen over night, but if you incorporate some of these tips and stay patient, it is well worth the wait.



With these tips in mind, what are some ways you motivate your councils or groups?  What have you found to be most successful?  Post your comments below.

Student Council 2.0

November 17, 2008

How to use the Web to improve your school.
By: Charlie Stephan, NASC Volunteer Staff Workshop Director

If you’re a junior high or high school student, consider yourself lucky. You’re the first generation that will enter college and the work force with a complete knowledge and mastery of the internet revolution – not just of web browsers and e-mail, but of new web services and concepts launched over the past several years. Trust me. I’m 24 and I wish I had all this stuff at my disposal when I was a student.

You can find anything on Google. You can learn more about it on Wikipedia. You can connect with anyone on Facebook, Myspace or other social networking sites. You can keep everyone updated on your life with Flickr and Twitter. You can blog on Blogger. You can Broadcast Yourself on YouTube.

But instead of just doing these things for yourself, think about how you can use these tools for your leadership organizations. Big companies spend big bucks to figure out how to use all this stuff to sell more of whatever it is they’re selling. And you can get in on the action, too. Here are just a few suggestions (I’ll write these for Student Councils, but you could use these ideas for lots of organization):

  • Create a Flickr or Picasa account for your council. When you have a big event – a fundraiser, a dance, a pep rally – get pictures from the Yearbook and Newspaper staffs, and have someone on Student Council take a few, too. Then make sure your student body knows where to find them by giving out the web address of your photo site. Similarly, post videos of events to your council’s very own YouTube channel.
  • Start a blog for your student council. Blogger and WordPress are great free blogging sites, and they’re really easy to use. If you can update your Facebook page, you can manage a blog. Assign a couple people in your council to write articles for it (they can write about upcoming events, ask for ideas and suggestions or keep the student body updated on what you’re doing).
  • Put your council on Facebook. If you don’t already have a group page, get one! Lots and lots of your fellow students, as you know, are on Facebook, so use it to communicate with them! What better way to tell students that the dance has moved from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. than with a mass Facebook message? Think about how often you’re on this site (or others like it). Your classmates probably are, too. So use it to your student council’s advantage.

Your Turn
I’ve given a few examples of how to use the Web for your student council. But you’ve probably got ideas, too, and things you’re already doing to use the internet to your council’s advantage. Post them in the comments below, and keep checking back to see what ideas others are doing.