How to Double Your Volunteer Team in One Year

How would you like to double your number of volunteers in one year?  It can happen, but you probably won't be able to do it by yourself.  No matter how good you are personally at enlisting new volunteers, you can only connect with so many people in one year.  Let's say you personally enlist one new volunteer a month.  After a year, you'll have 12 new volunteers.  That's good, but what if you enlisted some current volunteers to help you build the team?  It could look like this after a year.

3 people x 12 new volunteers each = 36 new volunteers in one year.
5 people x 12 new volunteers each = 60 new volunteers in one year.
10 people x 12 new volunteers each = 120 new volunteers in one year.

So how do you get your current volunteers to help you bring new volunteers on the team?

  • Talk about it - when you meet with your volunteers, talk with them about inviting other people to serve - what you emphasize to your volunteers is what becomes important to them
  • Promote it - have contests between different areas of your ministry and see who can enlist the most volunteers in one month / if you are multi-site, have a contest between campuses
  • Honor it - when a volunteer enlists a new volunteer for the team, honor him or her - what you celebrate also becomes important
The cool thing is many times volunteers are more effective at enlisting people to serve than staff are.  I remember a few years ago, we decided to have a push to enlist new volunteers.  We set up a table in one of the main hallways with the strategy of spending all weekend asking people if they would be interested in volunteering.  Instead of placing a staff member at the table, I decided to ask Lisa to be at the table.  Lisa was one of our key volunteers.  She loved serving and had a bubbly, contagious spirit.  She gladly agreed to be at the invite table all weekend.  My prayer was she would be able to enlist at least 5 or 6 new volunteers that weekend.  After the last service, I went to the table and asked Lisa if she had been able to enlist any new volunteers?  Her response blew me away!  She said, "Yes, I was able to sign up 85 new volunteers."  Yes, you read that correctly.  She signed up 85 new volunteers in one weekend.  

Think about it.  Who are the Lisa's in your ministry that you could ask to help enlist new volunteers?  What are some steps you can take to create a culture of volunteers inviting others to serve?  How can you honor volunteers who bring other people on the team?

You can get more great tips about building a volunteer team in my new book - "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teas."  You can get your copy today at this link.