People will support something they see value in. They want to know that they are making a difference.
According to volunteeringinamerica.org, Schools or other youth service organizations are the most popular places for parents to volunteer. More than 40 percent (43.1%) of parents volunteered at one of these places. http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/assets/resources/FactSheetFinal.pdf) Are your volunteer rates this high? If not, have you ever wondered why? People are looking for a place to make a difference. Are people leaving as fast as
they're volunteering? Consider why people may be leaving......
1. Lack of a defined vision. Without vision the people perish, right? When a person does not see how they fit into the bigger picture, they don't feel needed. In order to know that they are personally making a difference, a person has to know what role they play in the overall vision of your ministry. Without this, they will leave. People will support something they see value in. They want to know that they are making a difference.
2. Lack of appreciation. This one is perhaps, of all the reasons a volunteer might leave, the easiest to remedy. Make sure that you thank volunteers 1) publicly 2) privately and 3) often. Your ministry is nothing without these volunteers. Remember that and celebrate them often. People want to be a part of a team. Create this team mentality in all that you do. Work and play with your volunteers. Get in the trenches and do life with them. Know them personally.
3. Square peg/round hole Issues. Make sure that you know the personal giftedness of each of your volunteers. To place someone with the gift of administration in front of a large group would be a mistake. Along the same lines, using someone with the gift of hospitality to stuff envelopes would not benefit anyone. Teach people to know how to determine what their spritiual gifts are. This will benefit your entire church.
In an ideal world, people would be paired with a position in ministry that was suited to the way they were wired, would be appreciated often, and would know the value they bring to the team. Ministry gets crazy and this doesn't always happen. What can you do to improve in this area?
How about your ministry? Have you noticed a reason why people tend to leave over time? Or, what are your secrets to keeping them around?