3 Keys for Recruiting and Assigning Volunteers

iStock_000016475829SmallCongratulations! You’ve decided what your ideal volunteer team looks like, identified what motivates them, and considered why folks may want to serve in your church (in case you missed it, here’s my previous post).

The next step is to start recruiting and then connecting new volunteers to roles that combine their interests and energy with your church’s needs.


Here are a few things to keep in mind:

#1: Communicate the need

Whether you call it recruiting or inviting, let your congregation know that they’re needed.  Develop short descriptions of each volunteer role including the time commitment expected and skills required.  Highlight 1-2 areas per month and communicate the need via announcements, website and social media posts, pre-service slides, and bulletin notes.  Create a video with testimonials from current volunteers telling how much they enjoy serving and how they’ve benefitted from the experience.  Help each individual see themselves serving in one of those areas.

#2: Make it easy to signup

Potential volunteers aren’t likely to jump through hoops to get on the team.  Make this process easy!  This includes having a signup form on your website (that’s also mobile-device friendly), a card in the bulletin, and maybe even an iPad-type kiosk at the information booth.  Also, don’t list every single possible role they could fill.  That’s too overwhelming, so keep the list to no more than 5-7 options (this means you’ll probably list departments or ministry areas; not every role within each area).

#3: Follow-up immediately

Call and/or email each person within one business day.  Ask a few questions to determine the best fit for each person.  For those interested in working with children, send them the background check form to complete and return before proceeding further.  For everyone else, have them come to the next service and meet with you or your designated volunteer leader to get on-the-job training before the next official training session.  I recommend having a training session scheduled at least once a month to ensure that each volunteer receives the same set of instructions and expectations.  You’ve captured their attention, now get them plugged in before its gone.

Next up, I’m going to address how your current volunteers can become your best recruiters!

In the meantime, what have you found to be the most effective way to recruit volunteers?  


The Kindle version of my book, The Volunteer Management Toolkit (Church Edition), is FREE for a limited time on Amazon.com.  Click here to download your free copy today!

Also, if you’d love to implement these ideas but just don’t have the time – I can help! Check out my Volunteer Management Assessment & Coaching Program and contact me to get started today.