5 Sure-Fire Tips for Recruiting and Keeping Volunteers

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9.12 FixedAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
unemployment was at 8.3 percent as of July 2012.  But the
Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) has
provided a silver lining: In 2010, volunteer program managers in
Minnesota reported that people hit by unemployment often turn to
volunteering to gain skills and references.  In their study,
“66 percent of those organizations experiencing increased inquiries
about volunteering indicated the increase was primarily driven by
unemployed people.”

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Getting and keeping volunteers can be hard, but there are people
out there who are looking for a place to serve. Here are tips for
finding and keeping new volunteers for your ministry.

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1. Younger volunteers. According to the MAVA,
two of the fastest growing volunteer groups are students looking or
about to start looking for jobs, as well as “millennials.” I fell
under both of those categories when I first started looking at a
church to work at, and I ended up staying there for six years. This
group is eager, energetic, and can provide positive role models for
your kids. If you live near a college, find out if it has any
Christian organizations, like a Baptist Campus Association, Wesley
Foundation, or a Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Contact their
leader and ask if you can put up flyers asking for volunteers.

2. Be specific. When asking for volunteers, be
specific with your needs. While we all love a volunteer who can be
a “wild card” and do anything we ask for, that person is not always
easy to find. To get people interested, you need to let them know
what they’ll be doing and how long they will be doing it.

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3. Get personal. I’m a huge fan of skits. I
love doing short, funny, attention-grabbing scenes that will let
people know what’s going on. That kind of marketing for volunteers
hits a lot of people, and you will have better luck if afterwards
you go and talk to people one-on-one. That personal connection goes
a long way in getting people to walk into your ministry. Here’s a
challenge: Ask each of your current volunteers to talk to two
people in the upcoming week. One should be someone they are friends
with and they think could be a good fit for your ministry. The
other should be someone they don’t get to see or sit by too often.
This helps build connections and contacts and will give your
volunteerism a boost.

4. Stay connected. Communication is key in any
relationship, and your volunteers are no different. They need to
hear from you and you need to hear from them. Have meetings, but
keep them at a reasonable length and try to schedule them when the
most can come (a midday meeting will miss anyone working business
hours). At your meetings, encourage your team. Let them know that
what they do really matters. Share your vision with them and get
them excited about it. And let them share their questions and
concerns.

5. Expert advice. If you haven’t checked out Group’s Church
Volunteer Central
, give it a look. They have all sorts of tools
and information to help you find, equip, and keep volunteers. With
Volunteer Central, you can get one-on-one consultations, online
training for your crew, and pre-made forms and templates to make
your leadership role a successful one. They also offer free samples
of some of their work, so you can see some of all the cool stuff
they have.

***

A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of
stories
on
safety
. So, as your team grows, make sure to take the time to
screen your volunteers, new and old, to keep your kids safe. Keep
recruiting and soon you will have a full staff of volunteers ready
to help you.

We want to hear what works for you! Tell us how you recruit new
volunteers. Share your tips and tricks in the comment section
below.

Share.

About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor.

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