Recruit and Enlist
You provide the inspiration. But using some sort of online registration system can be extremely beneficial. There are many sign-up systems available online. Be sure to collect information that will help you know where and when a volunteer can serve. You can even post your volunteer application document online to help streamline the approval process.
Background checks can be ordered and viewed online. Look into whether your online registration system can cross reference volunteers with a separate approval process. An online registration system that integrates all this into your church management system would be ideal.
Manage and Arrange
You need to organize your people and times of service. Assemble your teams, divide them into dates and times. Track who is supposed to come and who did not show up. Know when you are short and fill those gaps. There are a number of online Volunteer Management tools but even Google Docs can help you maintain a central place for this information so that your team can help keep it current. Being able to visualize all this on an interactive calendar is ideal.
Communicate and Remind
Change is constant. Communication is the key to managing this change. No doubt you will constantly have to adjust schedules, move volunteers around, find substitutes, and continue to recruit. Email is your friend. Something as simple as having a one-button reminder for upcoming commitments is huge. A system that can help you do all this with email and tally automatic responses makes life much easier. Automated emails to notify leadership when changes occur are ideal.
Entrust and Delegate
When leaders and volunteers are well trained, informed timely, and encouraged often, they are your most valuable assets. Give them the right tools and clear procedures to empower them. Keep them accountable by measuring results. Systems can help you do all of these well. If everything has to be done by one person, then the job is going to be a burden. Good tools and discipline make the job much easier and rewarding. Here’s an idea, let your volunteers know how valuable they are and that you trust them to make arrangements for their own replacement if they are unable to serve on an upcoming date. Give them the right tools and procedures, and delegate the responsibility to find a substitute to them. Making responsibilities clear and easy to accomplish is ideal.
Here at BVCMS, we have been working on a new Volunteer Management system for our two sponsoring churches: Bellevue Baptist Church and Redeemer Presbyterian Church. We have been thinking about how a system can help manage the volunteer process. Take a look at the following video for a 27-minute demonstration of an open beta of what we have come up with. Open Beta means that while it is still in development, it is published on our live production servers and available to all churches using BVCMS (152 and growing).
Click the square in the right hand corner of the video to watch it full screen.