Volunteer Recognition and Motivation – Tips to Avoid Burnout and Keep Church Workers Inspired

One of the biggest challenges that churches and church capital campaigns face today is getting an adequate number of volunteers.  Yet, getting a lot of volunteers involved in your church”s various ministries is key to enhancing ownership and investment and building community.  Here”s some great tips that appeared in an article written by Rebecca Metschke on some of the keys to getting and keeping volunteers and keeping them engaged and excited.  Enjoy!

Volunteer workers are the lifeblood of any church. In most cases, there”s simply no way to operate without them. Yet it”s not uncommon for those people to be taxed to the point of burnout. Even when it”s the Lord”s work that”s involved, it”s possible to run out of steam. When it”s no longer a joy to serve, the work can become a burden – and that person may opt out of serving altogether.

You”re probably familiar with one of the basic adages of customer relationship management: it”s far less expensive to retain a customer than to bring a new one in the front door. In a way, the same concept can apply to your volunteers. If you continually churn through people who are donating their time and talents, you know you”re constantly spinning your wheels and spending an inordinate amount of time on recruitment. How then, can you prevent burnout and keep people inspired?

Some things to consider:

Is the connection to the mission of the church clear?
Though it might seem counterintuitive, it”s not always obvious how a certain task or project is helping the church achieve its goals. Whether the job is staffing the nursery, weeding the gardens on the church grounds, ushering – you name it – volunteers should understand the correlation between their efforts and the church”s mission. The work is more rewarding – and more effective – when everybody is on the same page.

Is there an opportunity to bond with others?

The chance to build deeper relationships with other volunteers is a big plus and can be an extremely worthwhile benefit. In many churches, this volunteer activity may become a person”s small group.

Are volunteers being asked to serve indefinitely?
Whatever the task, there should be a definite start and end date – whether it”s a project that will only last a few weeks or a term of a year. If, after serving that first term, James opts to “re-enlist” for another, that”s fantastic! But he should have that option rather than feeling he”s being asked to serve “in perpetuity.”

This accomplishes two things: James doesn”t burn out, and you”re also more likely to enlist the help of others if people know exactly what they”re signing up for. It”s good to publicize some of those shorter term commitments; you may find that people who initially stick their toes in the water by volunteering for a smaller scale project or task end up enjoying it and opt to become more involved later on.

Have you asked people to serve?
Don”t assume people will step up and volunteer. They may not see how their skills could be utilized. They may be shy. They may not know who to talk to regarding their interest in serving. They may be afraid the time commitment will be more than they can handle (see point above).

If you don”t ask people to get involved, there”s a good chance you”ll end up with the same core group of people tasked with doing more work than they can handle (the dreaded 80/20 rule) when there may well be a crew ready and willing to help. Just ask!

A sidebar here regarding talent inventories: if your church queries the membership regarding time and talents, be sure to follow up! Don”t just stash the information away in a file – act on it. It’s frustrating for the people who complete these questionnaires never to hear anything more about it after the fact.

Do you acknowledge your volunteers?
Volunteers aren”t doing the job so they can be called out in public and patted on the back. However, it”s important to acknowledge them – both from a retention and a recruitment perspective. Thanking volunteers for their dedicated work is necessary to ensure that the team remains vibrant – and continues to grow. You can recognize people in a variety of ways, many of which are absolutely free and very effective. Just make sure you acknowledge them in some way.

If you want to convey thanks for sacrificial service in a tangible and unique manner, custom created personalized recognition plaques are a beautiful way to express appreciation to dedicated volunteers. For these and other personalized inspirational gifts, visit http://www.thechristiangift.com/
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rebecca_MetschkerArticle Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1439693

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How To Use Donor Recognition in a Capital Campaign

Some good tips in an article written by Kimberly Reynolds on how to recognize donors to your church capital campaign. Enjoy!

Capital campaigns using donor recognition are easy to conduct. In this type of capital campaign, a nonprofit group seeks a pledge of a certain contribution amount and in return, offers to provide a specific type of recognition.

Donations of a certain amount are rewarded with graduated levels of recognition. The actual donation could be a one-time gift, a periodic donation, a monthly automatic withdrawal, or an annual check.

Recognition products are available in a wide range of price points. They offer high-quality ways for your organization to thank donors for their support.

Inexpensive items can be given to donors for smaller contributions, while larger donations are usually provided some type of visual recognition at your organization”s headquarters or in a prominent high-visibility location outdoors.

Recognition Plaques
For very personalized recognition, consider offering a cast bronze plaque that highlights individual contributions to a specific project.

You can also offer smaller individual photo plaques that provide more room for customization of the message.

Donor Bricks
Engraved or personalized bricks are an excellent way to provide or incent capital campaign contributions with inexpensive recognition. One attractive method is to use brick pavers with laser engraved messages in a special entryway or sidewalk.

Another way to display these donor bricks that strengthens the tie to your group is to design and construct an attractive landscaping display.

Many groups build a reflection garden or water fountain area and then incorporate these engraved bricks in the sidewalks, planters, and rest/reflection areas.

Ask yourself if your grounds could benefit from this type of additional landscaping and then build a fund raising campaign around it.

Remember that each personalized brick could bring a donation of as much as $150 while also strengthening the bond between the donor and your nonprofit organization.

Donor Walls
A similar display method involves creating a donor wall. Here, a contribution again earns the right to place a long-lasting commemorative message on a brick or decorative tile.

The difference is that the display is vertical and designed to be admired by passerby. Think of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington as a high-end example.

You can mix and match different styles of recognition throughout a large donor wall display. Several companies work with non-profit groups to design and implement their unique vision of a donor wall.

Fundraising for a High-Dollar Capital Campaign
For recognizing donors in a high-dollar capital campaign, nothing beats an attractive wall display in a high-traffic area such as a foyer or entryway.

Let”s face it. People like to see their good deeds recognized. They also like to see themselves recognized where their friends and neighbors can see.

The higher the campaign amounts sought for your capital campaign, the more tasteful your recognition program should be.

One simple method features engraved brass plaques on a polished wood backdrop. Donors select the message they want displayed on their respective plaques.

Donor Recognition With Gift Trees
A somewhat fancier method of donor recognition involves using a gift tree. A gift tree is a three dimensional sculpture of a tree with burnished metal leaves. It is usually fixed upon a wooden backdrop for wall mounting.

Each leaf is engraved with the donor”s message. The end result is high-quality artwork to be displayed in the organization”s foyer or lobby.

Article Source: http://michaelwa.uibc2.com/?expert=Kimberly_Reynolds

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Church Capital Campaigns – Communication With the Congregation and Specific Donors

Here”s a good article and advice that I ran across by Pastor Russ Olmon about the importance of a consistent message and reaching out to and recognizing select and all members in your church capital campaign. Enjoy!

Church Capital Campaigns – Communication With the Congregation and Specific Donors
Many parishioners see the church capital campaigns only through the pulpit. Many churches bring capital campaigns to the pulpit through requests for gifts. However, they do not follow up with the congregation effectively in many instances. In order to make the campaign work, it is important to communicate with the congregation at a personal level. This means making personal visits to specific donors as well as smaller groups. This helps to reinforce the message the minister delivered from the pulpit. It also helps to bring the vision day to fruition with promises of gifts from everyone in the congregation.

Effective communications begin with the congregation. The message that goes out about church capital campaigns needs to be consistent. That means that everyone involved with the campaign needs to understand the purpose of the campaign as well as the theme around which the campaign runs. A consistent message will make the campaign bring true with the congregation. If someone on the committees is not in accord with what is going on, it can raise unnecessary questions and create doubt in the minds of some people in the membership. Training is essential when it comes to these types of campaigns.

Good campaigns receive large amounts from specific donors. Every congregation seems to have members who contribute larger amounts than most others do. In many church capital campaigns, the pastor will make a personal appeal to these donors in particular. Recognition for their donations is usually part of the process as well. However, the pastor needs a strike a balance in not placing these donors above any others. The smallest donation is as welcome as the largest. Pastors need to follow a fine line when undertaking this part of a capital campaign.

The best campaigns involve everyone. The entire church should be involved in church capital campaigns when possible. Of course, not everyone can serve on the board or as a volunteer. That would put too many people in the pot. However, by involving people in vision day and other activities, it will bring the campaign into everyone”s focus. That is just one of many things you can do to make your campaign successful. For more information on how to make your campaign successful, you need to reach out and bring in experts to make your campaign the best you have ever had. Many churches have requested the services and found that the time and money invested is well worth it.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6391941

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Why You Must Start a Bequest Marketing Program Now

Never before has there been more money available to your organization than right now. Members of the “Greatest Generation,” those who lived through the Great Depression and the Second World War, now in their 80s and 90s, are collectively leaving billions of dollars to charitable causes in the United States and Canada. Their preferred vehicle for giving isn”t a check. Or a credit card. It”s a simple charitable bequest in their Will. If you are not marketing your bequest program to this generation with all the resources you have available, you are missing what many are calling the greatest opportunity in the history of fundraising.

1. Donors are leaving bequests to other charities, so why not yours?
Donors in the United States gave $17.44 billion to charities through bequests in 2005. This amount represents seven percent of all charitable giving for that year. This figure is going to grow during the next few decades because we are in the midst of the largest transfer of wealth the world has ever seen.

2. The time is now
Between now and 2052, Baby Boomers and their parents will transfer roughly $14 trillion of their assets to the next generation. Around seven percent of that amount will be in the form of bequests to charities. There has never been a better time to be promoting bequests to your donors as a way to leave a lasting legacy.

3. Inexpensive to get started
A bequest program can be started with a minimum of investment. You can start by inserting a simple phrase in your letterhead, direct mail appeals and donor newsletters: “Please remember Chary ABC in your Will.” Doing so won”t cost you a penny, and will generate bequests over time.

4. Average bequest is large
How many times a year does someone walk into your office with a check for $30,000? That”s the size of an average bequest these days. It”s the equivalent of a major gift, and you can receive it even if you do not have a major gifts program or a major gifts officer. And chances are that it will be an unrestricted bequest, which means your charity can use it any way you please.

5. Cost to raise a dollar is nominal
If you host a lavish fundraising event, you can expect to spend around 75 cents to raise a dollar. If you mail a fundraising letter, you can expect to spend around 15 cents to raise a dollar. But if you ask for a bequest by letter or phone, you can expect to spend less than a cent to raise a dollar. That”s because the costs of marketing a bequest program are so small and average bequests are so large. Bequest marketing delivers the highest return on investment of any fundraising method.

6. Many of your wealthiest donors will make their largest gift at death
Your wealthiest donors are in their 70s and 80s. They grew up during the Great Depression, a time that taught them the importance of saving and investing. They have spent their lives accumulating wealth. They are savers, not spenders. Being savers, many of these donors will not make six- and seven-figure gifts in their lifetime. Instead, they will make their largest gifts to charity when they pass away, through bequests in their wills.rnrnIf you want to double, triple, or even quadruple your planned giving income, start a bequest marketing program today. If you”re not inviting your donors to leave bequests to your charity in their Wills, just remember that other charities are.

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