Having recruited many volunteers over the years, I know the importance of immediate recruitment strategies. Yet, before I share these short-term strategies, I want to emphasize the importance of having a long-term recruitment strategy (see my blog on Ten Long-term Strategies for Recruiting Volunteers). The following immediate strategies work best when combined with the long-term strategies.
#1 Pray for God to raise up workers
We must never underestimate the power of prayer when it comes to recruiting volunteers. Prayer is both a long-term and short-term strategy for mobilizing people to serve.
#2 Approach former program participants
Who are the people who have served in your ministry in the past? They may have taken a break from volunteering in your ministry, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t come back if asked.
#3 Ask current volunteers to approach others
Ministry leaders sometimes think that they’re the only ones who should recruit people for their ministries. A better approach is to encourage everyone on the team to recruit within their networks.
#4 Look for people who have an affinity with your ministry
When I took on the Missions Committee Chair position at my church, I asked the former Chair and the church staff for a list of people in the church who had gone on missions trips. I knew some in this group would be excellent candidates for a missions-focused committee.
#5 Approach people in person
In most cases, a face-to-face invitation to participate in a ministry is much more effective than an impersonal public plea for help.
#6 Create short-term volunteer opportunities
Most people will not jump into a long-term volunteer position right away. They are much more likely to help with a one-time event or to participate occasionally. In fact, Helen Little in her book, Volunteers: How to Get Them; How to Keep Them, says that 75% of volunteers in a member organization like a church will be occasional volunteers.
#7 Expose people gradually to your ministry