May 14, 2014

Recruiting Fundraising Volunteers

Summer is the perfect time to recruit volunteers. Fewer committee meetings mean more time for the one-on-one visits so important to matching the right person to the job.

Yet, recruiting volunteers for fundraising is more than simply filling a slot. Its an opportunity for mentorship, fostering greater engagement between the volunteer and the parish, and enabling others to live into their calling.

So… what happens when a parishioner’s call doesn`t meet your volunteer opening? ECF financial resources program director, Terri Mathes tells the following story:

“I had two committee chair positions to fill for the foster home my parish runs in Tijuana: fundraising and trip coordinator. This was at the height of the drug wars in Mexico, when the San Diego papers carried photos of corpses left "as a message" along the main avenue of Tijuana. Who on earth would lead monthly trips to the foster home in the middle of that?

“At least I had a great prospect for the fundraising committee. One of our newest volunteers was a suburban mother who'd done fundraising work at a variety of churches and private schools. 

“So I was shocked when she turned me down. "I'm more interested in leading the trips across the border," she said. This woman juggles a full-time job with caring for her aging parents and raising a teenage daughter. She speaks no Spanish. 

“But her teenage daughter does.

“Together they had visited the foster home several times, seen the needs there, and felt compelled to participate in a solution. And that was it. Months later, someone asked her why she'd taken on such a tough assignment and she said, "When God calls you, I guess you just answer the call and figure out later how you're going to do it."

Don't assume your volunteers have the same priorities you do. Listen to their interests before you ask them to volunteer and they may surprise you with what they're willing to try.”

For more stories and ideas on Planning and Recruitment of Volunteers for Fundraising, please register for the June 4, 2014 webinar. Following the webinar, an archived version will be available here.