Volunteers are an essential part of your parish. They assist when parish leaders are spread thin and have a way of inspiring other parishioners to join in the culture of service. On top of that – volunteers give 2X more to the parish than non-volunteers. But, recruiting people to donate their time can be a challenge.
In many cases, it’s not that parishioners don’t want to lend a helping hand, it’s how they’re approached that makes them shy away. And with Easter right around the corner, now is the ideal time to refine recruiting techniques to better prepare you for the attendance increase.
By following these 5 tips, you’ll not only encourage volunteers on Easter, but you’ll ignite a culture of service for parish events throughout the year!
1. Have a plan ready before recruiting volunteers
Before you begin asking your ministry to volunteer on Easter, have a plan ready. Expect those being asked to donate their time to have questions about the different roles that need to be filled. The more detailed information you have, the better your chances of encouraging sign ups! Here are a few elements to include in your plan:
- A clear list of responsibilities for each position
- Training information to better prepare them for the job
- A map showing where volunteer positions are located
- A calendar with important dates and times for the event
- A list of names and numbers for volunteers to call if they need help or more info
- Volunteer work hours and where they need to check in
- Dress codes and conduct codes for representing the church
Volunteers are more confident and encouraged to sign up when they know exactly how it fits into their schedule and what position they’ll be responsible for. By having an organized plan ahead of time, recruiting volunteers will be much easier!
2. Announce that you need volunteers
Once you have a plan, it’s time to announce that you’re welcoming Easter volunteers to sign up. Announce this on multiple platforms such as at mass on your parish’s website, and by having visible sign-up sheets on bulletin boards. Keep the process of signing up simple and convenient. Until all positions are filled, continue to remind your ministry that they are invited to join.
3. Individually ask those that would be good for the job
Beyond making announcements to your entire parish, reach out to people individually. If you have someone at mass that is naturally friendly and extroverted, personally invite them to be a greeter on Easter. Or, if you have a parishioner that is fantastically organized, ask him or her to volunteer to be on the planning committee.
Remember, that while you want to have plenty of volunteers, you also want to ensure people are in the roles that make sense for them. When volunteers are thoughtfully placed in their positions, not only will Easter run more smoothly, but they’ll have more fun!
4. Help volunteers understand the higher purpose of their role
Volunteering serves a purpose when it comes to giving back to the parish and heightening spirituality. Helping volunteers see the higher purpose of their role within the parish can encourage them to sign up. And it allows them to get the most out of this uplifting experience. Dedicate a mass, pamphlet, or find another way to share the importance of donating time and how to embrace it.
5. Show your appreciation by thanking everyone that helped
After Easter Sunday has passed, take the time to thank everyone that made the service a success. You can send out personalized thank you notes, plan a special luncheon, or honor volunteers by acknowledging them at Sunday mass. People are more likely to volunteer a second time when they feel appreciated!
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