Appreciating Volunteers – 33 Actionable Ideas
Volunteers are the life blood of your church. In fact … your church literally wouldn’t exist without them! Often it’s small actions that show your true feelings about your volunteer teams. Why not pick a few of these things off this list and try them this weekend at your church? The first step towards building healthy volunteer teams is making sure that your existing team members feel appreciated!
- At the beginning of every “shift” make sure team leaders cast vision for “why” their service is critical to the vision of the church.
- Visit every service area that you are “responsible” for this Sunday and say “thank you.”
- Send birthday cards.
- Every time a volunteer serves send a “what to expect” email three or four days before.
- Assign some people to spend time with new volunteers on the first weekend they serve with you.
- Take time out during the message to brag about how amazing your volunteers are.
- Get to know what’s happening in your volunteers personal lives.
- Make sure there is a enough work for volunteers to do when they arrive … don’t waste their time!
- Food … always have a meal available before or after they serve.
- Make it easy for your team leaders to send regular thank you notes to their team members.
- At the end of every “shift” take time to hear what the volunteers think could be improved on for the future.
- Open up leadership development opportunities for volunteers to advance in the church.
- Don’t impose new policy’s and procedures without at least talking them through with your team.
- Throw parties regularly.
- Write letters of reference for students volunteering with you.
- Read “impact emails” that you get about how great your church is to your team.
- Easy off ramps … don’t lock your team into perpetual service!
- Send out a press release to your community paper celebrating your team when they do something “above and beyond”.
- Make sure your volunteers are “first to know” about exciting things happening in the future of your church.
- Give them a team t-shirt.
- Make sure everyone has a name tag on.
- Use quotes from your team members in your “annual report” … or other donor targeted communications.
- Calculate how many hours your volunteers have served in that last year and celebrate that!
- Reinforce regularly with paid staff that our #1 role is to support our volunteers.
- Take pictures of your volunteers serving and post them on various Social Media channels.
- Make sure your volunteers have the best equipment you can afford for them to work with.
- Create easy channels for your volunteers to communicate with the church leadership.
- Insist that the church reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses.
- Send ‘em a hand signed Christmas card.
- Have good coffee and a few snacks available when they arrive.
- Allow some volunteers to gain more influence & take on more responsibility.
- Take at least one volunteer a week out every week to thank them and get to know them better.
- Buy 10 books that have impacted you and give them to 10 volunteers who have gone “above and beyond” recently.
Read more from Rich here.
Tags: Church Volunteers, Serve, Volunteer Appreciation, Volunteer Culture