Church communicators are busy. We have important messages to share, a list of tasks that repeat weekly, and countless projects in our backlog. It’s a blessing when talented and committed volunteers join our team, but it can be difficult to recruit and keep them engaged.
I’ve found success with recruitment and engagement through borrowing a principle from the business world. Thought leaders urge companies to become more “remote-friendly” or to establish a “remote-first” mindset. Employees can work from home or a coffee shop for some or all of their schedules.
As I considered the trend, I realized its relevance to volunteering. I started exploring ways volunteers could serve from home and quickly discovered that many marketing and communications tasks can be completed outside the church environment. I’ll share some of those examples in a subsequent, but first, let’s look at why virtual volunteering can be a win-win for you and your crew of volunteers.
10 Reasons to Offer Virtual Volunteering
- Technology – With advances in technology, volunteers can stay connected with each other throughout the week. Project management, video conferencing, online chats, and cloud storage can all be used to collaborate remotely.
- Church online – Increased live stream audiences make is essential to offer a well-rounded online church experience, which includes ways to serve from a distance.
- Flexible schedule – Volunteers are able to complete tasks at the times that work best for them.
- Balance – Virtual volunteering helps communicators and volunteers to balance family time and commitments including work and volunteerism.
- Limit absences – Schedule conflicts for on-site volunteers can mean last minute no-shows or cancellations. With virtual volunteers, if a conflict arises they retain the autonomy to complete their tasks at another time. Overall, virtual volunteers are less likely to miss volunteer time.
- Increased productivity – Some self-employed individuals and remote employees report higher levels of productivity when working from home.
- Fewer interruptions – When volunteers work from home, you see fewer interruptions to your tasks.
- Save money – Remote volunteers typically use their own equipment and supplies, which lessens operating expenses for utilities and lighting.
- More volunteers – Your pool of potential volunteers broadens because they aren’t limited to specific time periods and geography.
- Happier volunteers – Virtual volunteers enjoy the flexibility and experience less stress, resulting in reduced burnout and decreased turnover.
Ready to try virtual volunteering at your church? Have some other ideas for tasks that can be completed from home? Let us know in the comments below.
For more help with volunteers, from roles to recruiting, to check out the resources in our membership site, Courageous Storytellers.Image: Ed Yourdon Creative Commons