Let’s Talk about using technology to increase volunteer recruitment. One of the tasks I was recently given was to create a unified system for recruiting volunteers. We do an OK job of recruiting new volunteers, but as Greenwood has grown the need for volunteers has outpaced volunteer recruitment.

The Need for an Increase in Volunteer Recruitment

Our church has been growing at a consistent pace for several years now. Consistent growth in attendance has created a consistent need for more volunteers in ministry areas. It became apparent that our smaller church method of talk to Mrs. so-and-so about volunteering in the children’s area was not meeting our needs anymore.

The Plan for an Increase in Volunteer Recruitment

The idea that we’ve envisioned is a system to connect people who are interested in serving or volunteering, with areas of need and their leaders. For some of you, the system may really be saying something like “If you would like to find out how you can serve at our church, talk to ______ in the foyer after the service, hey ________ raise your hand so they know who you are.” Honestly, that extremely efficiently in smaller contexts. But if you are in a mid-sized church context that is growing larger, then that particular system will not work.

The system we envisioned is a single place on our website for people to see areas of need, and then sign up to help. I got the idea from Newspring Church’s serving page.

volunteer recruitment

volunteer recruitment

Aesthetics aside, the page functions as a place that anyone can go to quickly connect to a volunteer opportunity. The web page sends a person to who wants to “sign up” to a web form where they fill in some basic information. That form directs the information to the appropriate ministry leader. So in a matter of a few minutes a person can sign up to serve, and that information is sent to a ministry leader. The result is the same as if they were in a small church and had a talk in the hallway.

Advantages of Web Based Volunteer Recruitment

There are a few advantages (and disadvantages) to a system that is web based like what Newspring uses. 1) A web based system is available 24/7. 2) A web-based system has nearly infinite bandwidth. A human person can only have one recruitment conversation at a time, but a web-page can handle multiple requests at a time. 3) The web page doesn’t forget. Once the instructions are programmed into the web-page, the instructions will be carried out over and over again without fail. So the rate of failure is very low as compared to a human person relaying information.

One main disadvantage of a web based system is that it loses the personal touch. Again, in a small church or organizational setting the personal touch is a huge advantage. In a large church or organizational setting, it may be acceptable to trade personal touch for efficiency.

Nuts and Bolts of our Web Based Volunteer Recruitment System

We use a wordpress site just like this blog. So, on the wordpress site we set up a static page that has the address https://greenwood.church/serve. On the page there are buttons that link to our form that has been created with Ninja Forms. The process is pretty simple and there are numerous tutorials available by a simple web search so I won’t repeat them here. I have Ninja Forms send the completed form to a church gmail account (its the one that our NPO google ads use). I set up the email so that the area of interest is actually the subject line (for example it might say “Student Ministry.” I configured the gmail account so that any message received with the subject line of “Student Ministry” is automatically forwarded to our student minister’s email address.

There are tons of other possible ways to do what I’ve done, but I already use those pieces of technology so that is how I chose to set it up. Your mileage may vary.

Conclusion about Using Technology to Increase Volunteer Recruitment

Your volunteer recruitment is only as good as your system. Whether your system is a person or a website, it plays a huge part in the growth of your church or organization. Our website is hosted at Bluehost, and they’ve been very reliable for me. You can use my affiliate link here and check them out. You won’t be charged anything extra, you’ll just be ensuring that a portion of your purchase funds this blog, and my kids future.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy “How to Use Google Forms to Book Time Slots” or “SurveyMonkey in a Local Church.”

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