Big Event Volunteers Recruitment Process

I’m trying to get better at writing down the processes that live in my head.  It is my “hit by a bus theory”.  Morbid I know, but if I was to get hit by a bus, what is in my head that others might like to know.  So as we prepare for Fall Fest here at West Bradenton, I put down on paper our process for filling the volunteer roles that we need.  I have a precious friend who is going to coordinate volunteers for us, and so far it has helped both of us to know what needs to happen.  This is specific to my context where we utilize small groups (Family Groups) to staff much of the event. I thought maybe it would be helpful to you?

  1. First Sunday of October:  Give sheets to Family Groups, allowing them to select booths they are interested in.
  2. Collect sheets and assign booths to groups.
  3. Send email to class representative, thanking them for signing up and explaining that they will next receive info to help them assign 2 volunteers to each time slot (5:45-7:00 or 7:00 – 8:15).
  4. Second Sunday of October:

–                      Give sheets again to Family Groups that we have not heard back from.

–                      Churchwide volunteer sign up insert in bulletin

–                      Give time slot sign up forms to Family Groups that have selected booths.

–                      Recruit children’s ministry volunteers for inflatables or other booths.

  1. Assign new family groups to booths, follow up with class reps.
  2. Follow up with family groups that we have not heard from to see if they are interested in participating.
  3. Assign non-family group volunteers to empty booths/slots.  Make contact with them, letting them know their assignments.
  4. Third Sunday of October:

–                      Give time slot sign up forms to all family groups who have signed up.

–                      Churchwide volunteer sign up insert in bulletin

–                      Recruit children’s ministry volunteers for inflatables or other booths.

  1. Assign non-family group volunteers to empty booths/slots.  Make contact with them, letting them know their assignments.

10.Prepare reminder postcards and/or emails to those who have signed up, reminding them of their time slot and assignments.

11. Fourth Sunday of October (Sunday before Fall Fest):

–                      Provide booth instructions to each family group.

12.Assign any last minute volunteers.

13. Email class reps to thank them again for coordinating their class and thank them for making sure their booths are staffed at Fall Fest.

14. Night of Fall Fest:

–                      Welcome volunteers and help them find their booths.

–                      Help make sure that there are volunteers at each booth and that volunteers are relieved at the time switch.

15.After Fall Fest:

  1. Send thank you notes to groups and to individuals.

b.  evaluate process for next year.



4 thoughts on “Big Event Volunteers Recruitment Process

  1. Hey Jenny! I love your “Hit by a bus” theory. I have always done something similar for my work events, and I have what I call a “knocked in the head” folder! Same principle 🙂 Always love reading your thoughts and ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Jenny- very good info. I think it is a great idea to have “family groups” sign up to serve together. I have found that people are MUCH more excited about serving if they know that they get to serve WITH people they enjoy being with. I try to intentionally coordinate people serving together who I know enjoy each other.

    A couple things I do when recruiting for big, one time events (we put on a huge community-wide Easter Fest every year, we use HUNDREDS of volunteers from our church- and I coordinate them all):

    1) All church support. The more the church as a whole is excited and into an event, the more people will be excited. For example: we do T-shirts every year for all our Easter Fest volunteers, and we make it a huge deal as a church (not just a children’s ministry) so everyone wants to get involved, and wear their shirt all over the place as a promo for the event.

    2) A quick “all volunteer meeting” sometime within a week of the event. We do ours right after church- just bring everyone together in the gym and spend about 10 minutes just prepping and giving instructions and vision and inspiration to everyone. Getting everyone together ahead of time is important, even if it’s only a five minute thing right before the event- because it gives us time to get “pumped up” together and feel like we are part of a bigger team and see the bigger picture.

    3) Key Coordinators. For our Easter Fest, we have about 15 different areas that people can sign up to serve (parking, carnival games, food, inflateables, egg hunt, etc, etc). Each area has a point person, and it is that person’s job to nothing else other than coordinate that area. Be in charge, make sure everything is in the right place and everyone knows where to go and what to do. It helps that if volunteers have questions, they have their very own point person to go to, so they don’t all have to come running to the children’s pastor or the person in charge of the whole event.

    4) Follow-up. Like you do for your de-briefing, we usually try to send out an email or letter, or even have a “suggestion” box at the event, because SO many times, volunteers will come up to me with a fantastic idea to do something cool or different for next year, and I know that i am not going to remember it in the moment, so we always provide an opportunity for them to debrief and share their ideas and input. I also like to send out a quick survey to ask them if they would be interested in volunteering in the church on a regular basis (especially after VBS, this is a great way to get people to go from “one time” to “all the time” if they have a good volunteering experience).

  3. Jenny,

    I call it the “hit by a bus” theory too…don’t worry, you’re not morbid 🙂

    I like your strategy of using “Family Groups” to staff your events. I have a few questions of how you implemented that in your church.

    First, do your Family Groups serve as teams in regular children’s ministry or other ministry areas? For example, FG #1 helps out on 1st Sunday of each month, GF #2 helps out with check in, etc.

    How did you implement a “team based” approach to volunteering?

    Do your Family Groups have a weekly Sunday Morning Sunday School class?

    Was there initial resistance in your church to this format?

    Anyone else who has thoughts/experience on using an Adult Small Group to serve as a team in ministry, please share!

    Thank you for your service.

    1. 1. Our family groups do not serve in kidmin as a group. Most groups, though, have members who serve in some way.
      2. For this event we just told them to serve as a team. :). We shared the benefits: serve together, fellowship together, etc…
      3. Yes they meet weekly on Sunday mornings
      4. Not that I know of yet. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading!!!

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