Recruiting & Keeping Volunteers

10 March 2009 — 1 Comment

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Connect with people
    Meet one-to-one and get to know your team to build trust and openness.
  3. 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 
  4. 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
  5. 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?


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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

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  1. Ways To Help Volunteers Plug In | - 6 December 2010

    […] RSS feed for my regular updates on youth work related topics. Following on from my last post about recruiting and keeping volunteers, Chris over at A New Kind of Youth Ministry has posted a thoughtful “13 Ways To Help Your New […]

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