Listen to Opinions
Clint Brown Ministries
We give volunteers free tickets to the event for which they're volunteering, and a couple of passes for family or friends, depending on how much space is available.
We give them a shirt or hat to wear for the conference, and it doesn't necessarily say “,” so they can take it with them. We also try to do a small per diem for meals or provide some type of meal for them. And if we have any product — a CD or book — we either purchase it or work with those coming in to get them the product.
We know who likes to work with us, so we keep a master list and give them first shot at what they want to do.
Also, as a meeting planner, I sometimes get promotions or upgrades, and I try to pass those along to staff or volunteers, if I can do it fairly.
One more important factor: My volunteers' opinions count. So I try to always have a post-con meeting for them to “vent” and share what they liked and what we can do differently in the future. We normally make the meeting around a dinner provided for them. This way it gives them a voice, and many times they are more in tune with the attendees because they have more time to talk to them than I do. It is always a fun time of networking with my volunteers.
Gulf Latin American District
Assemblies of God
We reward volunteers in different ways. We make sure that they get a gift basket in their room, and if they have children, we put things in the basket for their children as well, such as coloring books, etc.
Also, depending on the volunteers and the schedules, we make time to take them to eat on a personal basis. Sometimes it is breakfast, sometimes lunch or dinner. We also invite them to one of the suites, and they may order dinner there.
They are also acknowledged in the program, and whatever we hand out we make sure that they receive the same gift, whether it be a coffee mug, pens, or something else.
Use Word of Mouth
Coordinator of Services
Yeshiva of Los Angeles and Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles
We're school-based, so word of mouth is our main recruitment tool. We don't really need to advertise. People are tuned in to what we're doing and want to be involved. Especially with vacation time, we mention it at the end of the school year, and kids volunteer. It's kids interacting with each other, doing mailings, making phone calls, developing support. Kids tend to want to be around on weekends in the summer; they gravitate toward wanting to help out. They can feel important.
They're students, so we reward them with food — ice cream socials, barbecues, maybe order a pizza lunch when they're stuffing envelopes.
Share the Vision
Executive Director of Adult Discipleship Ministry and Catalyst Ministry
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
We constantly communicate the purpose and vision for our ministry and use servant-leadership language. Our team members are excited about what they are able to do, because they know it is making a difference in the lives of others. The more excited our team members become, the more team members we get. Our team members are our best recruitment tool!
Our leadership team is intentional in the following ways: We send personal thank-you letters; we personally walk around the conference and thank our volunteers face to face, reminding them of the difference they are making; we provide them with detailed ministry descriptions so that they know what they are to do, and we follow up to see if they have questions prior to an event or their volunteer service; we provide great training; we have thank-you dinners; and we have occasionally given them a small gift like a gift certificate or bookmark.