4 Ways to Find (and Keep) Good Volunteers

Friday, October 19th, 2018

If you work or volunteer at a large organization where volunteers are lining up at the door to serve, congratulations, and this article is probably not for you. But if you are like most churches and faith-based organizations, you know that volunteers can be hard to come by. Coupled with that, it can be extremely difficult to keep good volunteers.

Here are some ways to find and retain those good volunteers:

  1. Give them opportunities for self-care and worship. If your volunteers serve during your worship services and you don’t have multiple services, for example, they miss out on their opportunity to attend service. Not everyone is satisfied just through their love of service, and this can lead to volunteers who fall off of your schedule. Having a strong substitute list is one way volunteers can attend a study or service for themselves and also keep volunteering.
  2. Tell them thank you on a regular basis. Most organizations don’t have room in the budget to recognize volunteers with anything more than a small token of appreciation at some point in the year. In general, volunteers don’t expect something in return, but they do want to be recognized and know that they are an important part of the work you are doing. Let them know how much they are appreciated. You can never say thank you enough!
  3. Recruit young people. They can’t lead a volunteer team, but teens, including early teens, can begin their love of service at an early age. Use them where you can, with adult supervision of course, and let them grow along with you. And don’t forget to give them some type of training, too. Set boundaries and standards for your classroom and area, and stick to them. Often, youth have service hour requirements for school, so church service can be a good opportunity to help fulfill those hours.
  4. Make it the right fit. When the call for volunteers goes out, you may recruit people to volunteer in places they are not particularly interested in. That area may not be their passion. They may get placed in the nursery, while kitchen service is what they really like to do. If you don’t find the right fit, you may lose the volunteer. Surveys are a great way to get people in the right spots—and keep them there.