Whenever your church hosts an event, you know you're going to need volunteers to make it successful. From the parking lot to greeters to childcare, recruiting is key. There are plenty of volunteer roles to fill. So, how do you make sure you'll have enough volunteers for your next event AND get them to come back for future events? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Tip #1: Ask For Church Volunteers Early
For your event, try not tot wait until a week or two before the event to start asking people to serve. They've got kids to shuttle to soccer practice, late nights at the office, and other commitments to manage. Give potential volunteers a chance to work this event into their schedule by asking them at least one month before the event.
Tip #2: Set Clear Expectations and Vision
Before you start sending out emails or stopping people in the hallways at church, know exactly what volunteer roles you need to fill and what you expect from each. If you need volunteers to setup the day before the event, that's a different skillset and schedule than a volunteer hosting the day of the event. Know exactly what you're asking each person to do and be able to communicate that to them when you ask.
This means you need to create volunteer job descriptions for each role you'll need at the event. A brief paragraph with a few bullet points should work just fine. The point is to have a document you can send to a volunteer or simply refer to as you start asking people to serve. This way you're communicating a consistent message to each volunteer.
Tip #3: Provide Training
Don't assume your volunteers know exactly what you expect from them. Provide them with a brief training session the week before or day of the event. Also, give them a cheat sheet handout of instructions to remind them of what you need them to do. Include a list of frequently asked questions you expect to get from attendees in that cheat sheet. That will equip your volunteers with information they can use to help attendees and prevent those questions from coming to you all day.
Tip #4: Provide Food and Drinks at Your Facility
If you have volunteers helping at an all-day event, you need to provide them with something to eat. Even if you have people working in shifts, they'll appreciate it if you have something to drink and a few snacks available. This simple gesture of caring for their welfare will leave a great impression on your volunteers.
Tip #5: Show Your Volunteers Appreciation
Throughout the event, let volunteers know you appreciate their help as you walk around and interact with them. Make sure they know you see their hard work and value their contribution to the event. Afterwards, send out thank you notes to volunteers and recognize them on social media and/or during service.
Also, share testimonies of lives impacted at the event. People are more likely to sign up again to serve when they know their efforts made a difference and are valued by church leadership.
Implementing these tips for your next church event can make a positive impact on how your volunteers experience the event and how well they do in their volunteer roles. That makes it much easier for them to say "yes" the next time you ask them to serve.