Community fatherhood events are a great way to support and encourage fathers while raising awareness that fathers play a unique and irreplaceable role in their children’s lives.
Here are some tips to consider as you plan your next one...
1) Identify clear and achievable goals for your fatherhood event.
This is a critical first step since it will guide everything that follows. Is your goal to educate fathers on how important they are to their families? Is it to provide tangible support on critical issues fathers face? Is it to connect them with other programs and services? Is it to raise awareness on programs your organization offers? Or is it a combination of one or all of these goals? How will you measure the success of your event?
2) Consider the timing of your event.
Are there certain times of the year that can increase excitement for your event (e.g. Father’s Day)? Your community may have other scheduled events when you can include yours (e.g. community days, sporting events, and other events for parents).
3) Survey fathers in your community to find out their wants and needs.
This tip will enable you to provide support in areas that will motivate dads to attend (e.g. child support experts to answer questions and the opportunity to have driver’s licenses restored).
4) Engage other community stakeholders in the planning and execution of the event.
Put a planning team together with people who represent different community sectors (e.g. social service, business, health, government, and faith-based). This tip will help you reach fathers from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and bring more resources to your event.
5) Find keynote speakers and workshop presenters who are dynamic, passionate, and can connect with dads.
An ideal speaker can be a prominent businessperson, celebrity, athlete, or someone who has overcome great odds with a compelling story to tell about fatherhood.
6) Reinforce the message that fathers have a unique and irreplaceable role in the lives of their children.
Weave this theme into every aspect of your event, from the presenters’ messages to the visual images. You can provide brochures or tip cards for dads so they have material to read long after the event is over.
The key to a successful fatherhood event is proper planning. You can use these tips as the framework to help you do just that.
If you have held a successful fatherhood event, what have been the keys to your success?
If your community doesn’t offer a fatherhood event, what can you do to make one a reality?
Are you a dad looking for help or interested in volunteering? Please visit our Fatherhood Program Locator™ and enter your city and state on the map to find programs and resources in your community.