Sep 25, 2012

What NOT to Do When You Are Desperate for Volunteers

I know.  You need more volunteers.  So do I.  And we always will.  Building a volunteer team is a never-ending process.  Especially if you are growing.

Do things ever to the point where you are desperate for volunteers?  You wonder if you'll be able to open all the classrooms when the weekend rolls around?  You're not alone....we've all been there.

When you are desperate the natural bent is to resort to desperate measures.  But when you take desperate measures, you only make things worse.

Here are 5 things NOT to do when you are desperate for volunteers.  They may seem like quick fixes, but they will only hurt your team building efforts in the long run.

Don't use the words "need" or "help."  You may be desperate...but don't appear desperate.  People are not drawn to desperation.  They are drawn to vision.

Do not rely on bulletin ads.  Bulletin ads rarely bring the people you need and again make you appear desperate.

Do not ask the Pastor to make a tearful plea from the pulpit.  It's your job to build your volunteer team.  Do not put your Pastor in this awkward position.

Do not require parents to serve.  People should serve because they are called not because they are required.

Do not place people where they are not gifted.  Do not throw people into rooms just because you need a warm body in the room.  If you don't take the time to place people in their sweet spot, they will burn out and quit.

Bottom line.  The proven way to build a volunteer team is 1-1 asks.  I know you were hoping for a quick miracle fix...but there isn't one.  It takes hard work.  Personally asking people week in and week out to join your team.

In the last 4 years, we have added over 1,200 volunteers to our team.  They didn't come through desperate measures...though we have sometimes been desperate.  They came through 1-1 asks.  Try it.  It works.