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5 Reasons People Don’t Volunteer and How You Can Fix It

Volunteering is a vital component of our churches and our nation. In fact, one in four adults volunteer. People volunteer for a number of reasons from aligning with their personal values, convictions, and beliefs to the idea that it’s better to give than to receive. If so many people are primed for serving others, why does it seem like recruiting volunteers is so challenging? The good news is, once you understand the reasons people don’t volunteer, it’s fairly simple to implement changes that lead to more productive recruiting.

Here are the 5 reasons people don’t volunteer…and how you can fix it!

1. Not a good match

Fix: Instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole, help people discover how God has gifted them and which ministry opportunities match that gifting.

Tip: Use a tool like Group’s Spiritual Gifts Discovery to help people discover their own spiritual gifts.

2. Unclear expectations

Fix: Create written descriptions for all the volunteer roles clearly outlining their responsibilities, who they report to, length of service, and any training or other resources provided.


Tip: We have observed that ministry leaders have a fear of asking people for too much, worried they won’t serve. But the outcome is volunteers who are less committed. By clearly setting expectations, you communicate how important the person is which creates a spirit of commitment.

3. Lack of appreciation and recognition

Fix: People don’t volunteer to be praised, but often they drop out because they feel unappreciated or unnecessary. Be sure to thank and recognize your team for what they do and who they are.

Tip: No grand gestures are required. Volunteers told us that a simple thank you will do!

4. No training provided

Fix: Before a volunteer begins in their ministry role, be sure to provide basic orientation as well as training in the specific skills they’ll need to thrive in the role.

Tip: Ask your team if there’s any specific training they’d like to receive in addition to what you already provide. And then be sure to follow through.

5. Never asked/invited

Fix: Most people in your church aren’t serving because no one has asked them to. So the simple fix is to just ask (or as we prefer to say—invite)!

Tip: The more personal the invite, the better. Remember, you’re not just looking for warm bodies. You’re looking for someone that’s a good match for the role—someone gifted for the position you need to fill. So when you ask, take the time to point out why you think they would be good fit for the role! Observe first. Invite second.

Fill out the form below to access your FREE Ministry Job Descriptions!

**These tips are brought to you by Group U’s course titled L.I.F.E. Strategy for Recruiting & Equipping Volunteers.

 

Need more recruiting tips? Check out these articles:

7 Tips for Recruiting Volunteers We Can Learn From Jesus

Tips for Effective Volunteer Recruiting

Creative Ways to Find Volunteers

Check out this post with a FREE Volunteer Recruiting Package

 


3 thoughts on “5 Reasons People Don’t Volunteer and How You Can Fix It

  1. Karen S. Sturgis

    I would like to know, how I get GROUP Emails, Buy Group products, use ONLY GROUP VBS PROGRAMS< but when I go to get a download of a PDF file for Job Descriptions, you won't let me access it. I AM USING THE ONLY EMAIL AND PASSWORD I HAVE EVER USED WITH GROUP !!!

    This is highly frustrating and I am sick of entering my email every time just so you can build a data base.

  2. Karen S. Sturgis

    I am also NOT GETTING A BOX ACCOUNT !! Now that is one way to push people into not going for anything that might be useful in their ministries.

    Whats the point in publishing or offering sample job descriptions, but then I am not part of the group organization and I am NOT purchasing a BOX Account. If it is something you want to share, you SHARE WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. OR YOU BUY THE SUBSCRIPTION FOR US. There are Many Churches and Many Ministry Leaders that CANNOT OR DO NOT HAVE THE BUDGETS TO PURCHASE THESE ITEMS>

    Plus if you are like me, you don’t like being tracked, so you limit usage of such google products as much as possible.

    • Sierra Archuleta

      Hi Karen,
      We sincerely apologize for your experience trying to get our job descriptions download. On Friday we had set-up the access form incorrectly which is why it was requiring you to sign into BOX to see the download. This error has since been fixed, I just tested it with my email and it downloads straight to my computer no login required, so you should be able to download the PDF with no problem now. I also understand your frustration with already being a member of our Children’s Newsletter and still having to come and add your email again to get the download. I have shared your concerns with one of our business leaders.

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