In normal, every day churches, volunteers are often in and out of our lives when it comes to their service. Understandably, they have other things going on to fill up their schedule. It’s normal. The biggest negative to the ministry is that managing volunteers can be challenging to track. Knowing what volunteers have been trained to do and when they’re available can be hard to keep up with.
Naturally, we turn to databases, spreadsheets or, even worse, spiral notebooks with volunteer data.
Keeping a database of your volunteers with information on what ministries, classes or events your volunteers have helped with before, what they’re good at, or where their passion lies is a must.
There are easier ways to manage volunteer data than spiral notebooks.
Make sure volunteers are in your church management software. Furthermore, make sure that their contact information is current and correct. If needed, add custom fields to keep track of what types of activities they prefer. Perhaps there are certain people who really love to work with children. Others may thrive working with events like Vacation Bible School or Family Nights of Worship, youth camps or mission trips.
This information is important to know so you’re able to take full advantage of their passions, preferences, past experiences and skill sets. It also helps recruit past volunteers for future events based on how people have served in the past.
Keep a roster of attendance. You want to be able to thank and praise volunteers that go above and beyond by consistently volunteering their time and talents. Keeping a roster is also a great way to track volunteers who are the most reliable for important and more coveted volunteering opportunities that serve your organization.
Have a sign-up page. Whether its on your website or on a sheet outside of a ministry area, make sure people know there is a need for volunteers. Are you promoting your volunteer opportunities to the right groups? Use your ChMS to send emails to those interested in the topic or type of opportunity you’re looking for help in. Save your members from endless emails, while also reaching the right people who would be great additions to your team.
Once people know there is a real need, chances are they will express some interest, if it’s in a space they are passionate.
Use a volunteer scheduling tool. This is a great way to know exactly how many people are available, what your needs are and where their strengths lie. Start developing the database now, and use it later to send out reminders about the events, along with instructions on the event, when to show up, and what their roles and responsibilities will be.
Volunteers are meant to be a huge help to you and your ministry, but if you don’t have a way of managing them, it can easily create more confusion and work for you.
Take the time on the front end to make sure volunteers are set up and managed properly, it will alleviate a lot of the headaches on the back end.
You’ll be happy you did.
How do you effectively manage your volunteers?