I recently went to a session run by Sarah Wynter of youthwork magazine on recruiting and keeping volunteers (in a church-based context). Without wanting to duplicate the whole session, her main points were:
- Define what you are asking people to do
Articulate what is expected of volunteers. At ACC, we have a generic Volunteer Role Description which we use for all our clubs.
- Connect with people
Meet one-to-one and get to know your team to build trust and openness.
- Give real leadership and responsibility
“If you don’t give people an opportunity to really be engaged, they won’t stay” Howard Schultz – Lessons from the Top: The Search for America’s Best Business Leaders
- The law of magnetism
“Who you get is not determined by what you want but by who you are.” John Maxwell – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
- Provide ongoing support
Be available to talk and catch-up. Arrange regular meetings with the team
Although much of this we already try and implement in our groups, it was useful to take time out and reflect on it. As a consequence, I really want to look at how well we are doing across the church. I have a suspicion that the one we really need to tighten up on is about providing ongoing support!
How about you? Are you good at recruiting and keeping volunteers?