How To Use Social Media To Increase Volunteers

How To Use Social Media To Increase Volunteers

Thomas CostelloWeb Leave a Comment

Churches using social media to increase volunteers also increase engagement within their church and online. Social media isn’t just about recruiting though.

Often, churches simply ask for volunteers on social media. However, social media platforms are better suited for building awareness of causes, communicating with volunteers and showcasing all your church does.

When used correctly, Facebook, Twitter and other networks could just become the easiest way to increase volunteers and online tithing.

Showcase The Need

It’s not uncommon for people to think churches already have plenty of volunteers. However, 59% of people consider ample volunteer and outreach opportunities to be an important factor when choosing a church. This means people are interested in volunteering. They just might not realize there’s a need.

Post about how busy your volunteers are, but how you need more in order to help more people. Post about projects your church wants to take on, but doesn’t have the volunteers to handle.

Talk about why the community needs your church. By showcasing the people do need help and your church needs volunteers to help them, you prove that there are still plenty of volunteer opportunities available. Plus, potential volunteers get more insight into exactly what type of work your church does.

Use Engaging Videos

A large part of using social media to increase volunteers is getting them passionate about the cause. Posting engaging videos that showcase your volunteers in action helps do just that.

Plus, your social media followers get to see the before and after to see just how much of a difference being a volunteer makes. Interview a few of the people you’re helping. The idea is to use your videos to make a connection with potential volunteers.

In fact, Google found that 51% of people watch videos online to connect with others. Half of people watched videos to gain new perspectives about their lives.

Videos about your church’s volunteer efforts offer a connection and give viewers a new way to think about problems in their area and around the world. Honestly, sometimes people may not even realize how much others need them and the differences they can make.

Use Stories From Volunteers

It’s not always enough for your church to post about volunteers on social media. Instead, your followers want to learn more from the volunteers themselves.

Ask your volunteers for stories about why they’re volunteering, why certain causes mean so much to them and what moments have meant the most to them. You can also ask for stories about their first volunteer experience and what drives them to keep volunteering.

People relate to personal stories. When they read or watch a video about your church’s volunteers, they’re more likely to feel a more personal connection to the cause and/or volunteering.

Plus, people want to know that your volunteers are happy. They want to make sure you’re not pushing them too hard, micromanaging them or otherwise doing things to drive them away.

Post Scripture About Volunteering

Let the Bible explain why volunteering is so important. You likely post scripture regularly on social media as a way to educate, inspire and motivate.

Use pictures of your volunteers in action and add volunteer-related scripture to them. The combination further showcases the need for help and that God is calling people to help. This also makes a great sermon topic or series, which works well for recruiting volunteers during services.

Some great resources for volunteer scripture include:

Create A Volunteer Group

Volunteers like to feel like they’re a family. Create a Facebook group for your volunteers. They can talk about projects, stress, schedules and even how to recruit more volunteers. Allow them to invite others to join the group so they can learn more about volunteering.

By allowing non-volunteers to join, you’re giving them a voice. They might not have the time right now to volunteer, but they might be able to offer advice and ideas to help your current volunteers do more. It’s always a good idea to point out that there are numerous ways to volunteers, including doing things online.

Share Relevant Content

It’s always a great strategy to post about your current volunteer efforts when using social media to increase volunteers. However, you don’t have to just constantly post project updates, volunteer stories and requests for volunteers.

Share content from other churches, Christian leaders and non-profits about volunteering. The content could be about how to fit volunteering into a busy schedule, different ways to volunteer, how to handle obstacles, dealing with emotions and more.

You should also share proven studies and facts about how volunteering makes people happier and healthier. Studies have shown that spending time volunteering helps reduce depression, boost self-esteem, reduce stress and increase physical activity.

Show volunteers and potential volunteers that you want to help them as much as possible in deciding if volunteering is right for them. Offering this extra guidance proves you care and will encourage more volunteers to sign up.

Show Current Projects

People love to follow a current project to see how it progresses. Is your church helping to clean up an overgrown, unused park? Post a video before you start. Then, post new pictures and videos each week to show the progress. Of course, don’t forget to post the final picture of the community using the new park.

Show your current projects and why they’re important to your church. You’ll show potential volunteers what volunteering looks like in your church and how much your team can accomplish.

Plus, people like to know that your volunteers are staying active. If they want to join an active community, show them everything you’re currently working on.

Add Links To Sign Up

You can post all the details you want about volunteering, but you might not see too many people signing up unless you do one simple thing – provide a link to sign up.

Whenever possible, add a link to your posts that lead back to your church website’s volunteering page. The easier you make it for people to sign up or contact you, the more likely they are to volunteer. If you don’t have a volunteer form or page, ask people to message you on social media or respond with a comment.

You should also consider using Facebook ads to reach more volunteers. Whether you use the ads to promote your church’s website or aks for volunteers, ads are a cost-effective way to reach a wider audience faster.

Explain What’s Really Required

There’s a common misconception that being a volunteer means spending hours every week and traveling often. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, there are plenty of volunteers who do put in numerous hours every week. They may also travel around the world on mission trips. This doesn’t mean this is the norm.

Post about what’s actually required from your volunteers. For instance, someone might spend 30 minutes a week proofing and editing your church’s blog posts. While it’s not much, that 30 minutes helps to polish your content, which leads to more readers, more regular visitors to your site, more online tithing and more people joining together to worship.

When you’re talking about your volunteer projects, talk about how much time volunteers spend. Some people may only work an hour a week. Others might handle the administrative part, such as filling out paperwork or calling people.

Often times, people are afraid to volunteer because they’re already stretched thin. You might want to post not just volunteer opportunities, but one-off projects, online options and opportunities that require an hour or less per week.

It might not sound like these volunteers would be effective, but it’s better to have 10 volunteers handling small tasks than one volunteer feeling overwhelmed handling all 10 tasks.

Stay In Contact Followers

Use social media to increase volunteers by staying in contact with your followers. Keep volunteering in the front of their minds. Posting often about the projects your church is working on ensures no one forgets about the importance of volunteering.

You should also respond to comments and questions. If someone asks about volunteering on a project, but no one responds to their comment for two weeks, they’ll feel like your church isn’t fully committed to the project or the volunteers.

Ask What’s Most Important To Them

Maybe people aren’t volunteering because they don’t feel your church is working with the right causes. For example, someone who desperately wants to help end hunger for poor families in the area might feel like your church is neglecting those in need if you only focus on worldwide issues.

Use social media to poll your followers. Ask them what issues are near and dear to them. Offering volunteer opportunities that they can relate to easier will increase the number of volunteers.

Post Stories From Those You’ve Helped

It’s always great to hear stories from your volunteers, but what about from those you’ve helped? For instance, people enjoy hearing stories from volunteers about how fulfilling it is to come together to build a house for a family in need.

However, it’s even more heartwarming when people hear from the recipient of the house. They see exactly how much all that hard work means to those being helped.

If people are willing, ask them to do a short video or even write a quick letter about how much everything means to them. Hearing how volunteers are changing lives often motivates people to help out.

Use Plenty Of Pictures

This should go without saying, but always use plenty of pictures. Simply posting “we helped feed the homeless today” isn’t going to resonate as well as a picture of your volunteers prepping, packaging and/or serving the food.

Plus, posts with images do much better on social media. According to statistics gathered by HubSpot, Facebook posts that include images receive 2.3 times more engagement. Twitter posts with images are retweeted 150% more often.

It’s best to use real pictures versus stock photos. These are easier to relate to and ensures your church doesn’t seem fake. If you’re posting to social media, use our guide on finding and using images on Facebook.

Add Some Humor To Increase Sharing

In order to use social media to increase volunteers, you’re going to need plenty of people to see your posts. Don’t be afraid to add in some humor to increase sharing.

You don’t even have to add humor to your volunteer posts, either. Simply posting funny Christian memes or cute anecdotes about your life as a pastor helps bring in more followers on social media. Then, that larger audience is viewing and engaging with your volunteer posts too.

Host And Post About Special Events

Any time you’re hosting special events and fundraisers, invite your social media audience to join you in person. If it’s possible, live stream the event, such as a charity concert. This allows online followers to participate as well.

Having online attendees might not seem that important, but when they feel included, they’re more likely to donate to your church. You can then use those funds to better equip your volunteers and help more people overall.

Honor Volunteers

Volunteers do a lot of hard work. They give of themselves and their time. Make sure they know you appreciate it. While volunteers don’t do what they do for glory, a public thank you means a lot.

Every week or month, post a thank you to a volunteer or specific group. For example, if a small group of volunteers put together a big community event to help a local family, post about what they did and thank them by name for their time and efforts.

When others see that you’re honoring your volunteers, they’ll know you truly care about them and value them. This makes them feel like volunteering with your church would make them a part of a welcoming family.

Plus, doing this keeps your volunteers happier. Sometimes, volunteering can be stressful and it’s small things like this that make it easier. It’s just one of the many things you can do to keep from driving your current volunteers away.

Make it easy for new volunteers to sign up with a church website. Contact us today to find out how to create your church’s new online home.

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