Getting Volunteers to be More Consistent and Communicate Better

Having more consistent, better communicating volunteers is probably near the top of your Kidsmin wishlist.

You’ve probably experienced the Saturday night text or email from a volunteer letting you know they won’t be there the next day.

Or they simply don’t show up at their scheduled service, argh!

And while we still experience those 2 scenarios at the church where I serve, it has become increasingly rare.

It only requires a few small changes.

Some of these you may already do, but we’ve found together, they form a really strong strategy.

Change #1: Send Schedules Weekly

We send schedules for the coming weekend every Tuesday to each volunteer.

Even if you do a monthly or quarterly schedule, send a more detailed rundown the week of because people are busy and they forget.

Change #2: Include Volunteers Names in the Schedule

When someone sees their name on the schedule, it becomes a lot harder to think of themselves as dispensable.

They know where they fit in and what they’re doing, so they show up.

Change #3: Email and Text the Schedules

We email the schedules to each volunteer (we use Planning Center).

We text each volunteer the schedule.

For texting, I use an app called SMS scheduler (Android only), which allows you to create groups, pre-schedule messages, and create pre-written templates.

I also use a free service called Cloudup to create a clickable link for the schedule docs.

Here’s an example of a clickable link and also the schedule we send: https://cloudup.com/ctguaLu96Zl.

Note: Make sure you upload a pdf version of the schedule, so it formats correctly on any device.

Change #4: Be Gracious When a Volunteer Can’t Make It

When a volunteer lets you know they can’t make it after you text the schedule, always be gracious.

Let them know it’s okay.

And as long as it’s not super last minute, find a replacement instead of making them do find a replacement (you may disagree with this, and that’s okay; it’s just my personal stance).

When you don’t guilt trip your volunteers for not being able to make it, or force them to do the work of finding replacements, you’ll find that almost always it increases their commitment and loyalty to you.

Since we’ve been doing these 4 things, our volunteers have communicated much better and been more consistent.

Sure we still get the occasional last minute cancellation, but it’s for a sickness or an emergency because we’ve taken the forgetfulness or “It doesn’t really matter if I come” excuses away.

What ways have you found to get better communication and more consistency from volunteers? Leave a comment.

And if this was helpful to you, please pass it along by sharing on Facebook!

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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