We hear it over and over: Finding volunteers is one of the toughest things about being a VBS director. But what if you could take the stress out of finding VBS volunteers by keeping volunteers year after year?
One of the secrets to bringing VBS volunteers back is realizing that they get as much, if not more, from VBS as kids do. Here’s how to create an unparalleled volunteer experience that will have them signing up again and again:
- Set up volunteers for success.
Place them in roles that fit their gifts. For example, if someone is shy and uncomfortable with public speaking, place that person in a role that doesn’t require leading large groups of people.
- Enhance relationship-building opportunities with small, multi-age crews.
The emphasis here is on small. It’s much easier for crew leaders to create relationships and give attention to each child when there are only five kids in a crew.
- Support, encourage, and build community.
One VBS director told me recently that the fastest way to lose a volunteer is to sign the person up and then not provide him or her with guidance. This doesn’t have to fall on you as the director; designate team leaders in specific areas who can lead the charge and create a fun team dynamic. Make volunteers feel like they’re part of a special group through team-building events that get them excited for VBS. Finally, during VBS week, send out a “highlight reel” email with pictures, God Sightings, and reminders for the next day.
- Set up a VIP room at VBS.
Designate an area where volunteers can gather before or after VBS. Make sure it has some comfy places to relax, and stock it with fun themed treats. Need ideas? Check out pinterest!
- Show your gratitude.
Make sure volunteers feel valued and acknowledged. Ask their opinions at the end of the week, and act on any ideas or suggestions that are relevant. Recognize them at a Sunday service. Give them a unique thank-you gift. Share examples of how they helped change kids’ lives.
VBS would be impossible without the hard work of volunteers. With just a little effort on your part, you’ll have them signing up for next year before this year is even over!