So you want to attract and engage more volunteers?
Of course you do, who wouldn’t?
We all want volunteers, but so many leaders struggle with recruiting, keeping, and leading volunteers.
Here are a few reasons that I have seen:
- Unclear expectations
- No team chemistry
- Lack of purpose
- Unclear on ramps
We all want more volunteers to serve with us, and I think answering the main questions that volunteers are asking will help you land volunteers as well as keep them for the long haul.
So, what questions do volunteers have? Here are the top four questions that all volunteers are asking:
1. What Is Expected Of Me?
Expectations are crucial.
The more that I speak with leaders, the more that I find leaders being frustrated with their volunteers because they are not meeting their expectations. As I dig in, I find that the expectations were never clearly communicated.
If you want to lose volunteers, don’t communicate clear expectations.
If you want to keep volunteers, find out what you expect and communicate that clearly to the volunteer.
Communicate clear arrival times, don’t assume they know.
Communicate exactly what the specific responsibility is for the position they are serving in.
Communicate how long you will need them and when they are free to go.
Communicate if you expect for them to attend a service and serve a service.
Communicate how often you will need them.
Communicate how you intend to schedule and communicate with them.
Don’t assume that they are “in the know” about the way you manage volunteers. This is new to them and unclear expectations will frustrate them to the point of them leaving your church.
2. How Long And How Often Do You Need Me?
Volunteers need clear on ramps and they need clear off ramps.
Long gone are the days of volunteers signing up to volunteer for life. It just doesn’t work that way.
I recommend asking them to volunteer for a semester or a year. Whatever your terms, communicate it with them up front.
Communicate if you need them every week. Be clear.
Communicate if you expect them to serve for the entire hour of your service or only part of the service.
3. Will I Meet People While Volunteering?
Most people are signing up to volunteer to meet new people. Some do it for the purpose and the mission of the church, but many are looking for community.
Create chemistry on your teams.
Create the culture that new people want to be a part of on your teams.
Welcome new people and work hard at assimilating them on to your team.
It will be very difficult to keep volunteers if they are not relationally connected to the team.
4. Will I Be Making A Difference?
The last main question that volunteers have is about the difference that they will be making.
Volunteers want to be making a difference.
Volunteers don’t want to be holding a door in your lobby if they do not understand why they are doing it or if it is making a difference in the mission of the church.
Volunteers want to see that they are making a difference in the mission of your church, and if they don’t feel that they are making a difference, you will likely lose them.
I truly believe that if you answer these four questions clearly, you will easily be on ramping new volunteers as well as keeping volunteers for the long haul.