Genius is making the complicated simple, not making the simple complicated. Sometimes there are good practical answers right before our eyes to the issues we face. And one of the biggest issues pastors and church leaders face is how to gain, train, and retain more volunteers.

In the April edition of Wired Magazine, the Cincinnati Zoo was profiled. Facing shrinking attendance and revenues, zoo officials implemented data-driven analysis to develop practical solutions.  Their results were startling.

Tightening up the marketing message cut costs in that area 43%.

Also, Wired reported that “after analyzing location, time and demand data, the zoo placed additional carts at exits during closing time, boosting ice cream sales by an average of $2,000 a day.  Each individual step added value,and every evolutionary improvement compounded benefits, leading to an annual ROI of 411%.”

After reading the comments above, there are five lessons all church leaders can learn from the Cincinnati Zoo that will allow you to gain, train, and retain volunteers:

  • Streamline Communications – When you communicate an over-abundance of volunteer needs from your platform and website, these become competing voices and noise to those in your church.  It is counter-intuitive but fewer options actually increases volunteer participation.
  • Use Real Data – Wired reports that 59% of midsize business leaders say critical decisions rely too much on gut feeling.  The Holy Spirit gets blamed for a lot of bad decisions church leaders make.
  • You Need A System – The Cincinnati Zoo took steps that added value.  They had a system and a process.  Pastors and church leaders need a system for gaining, training, and retaining volunteers.  Click here for a 7-day FREE trial of the Volunteer Rocket system.
  • Remove The Barriers That Prevent Your Volunteers From Serving – By placing ice cream carts at the zoo’s exits at specific times of the day, sales increased.  If you want to engage more volunteers, engage them at optimal times and where they are.  They need simplicity rather than something else on their calendar.
  • Compounded Benefits – By streamlining your message and options, utilizing data, implementing a system, and engaging volunteers at optimal times, you will not only begin to attract and retain volunteers but also create a volunteer culture.

Pastors and church leaders, what is one thing you can today to gain, train, and retain volunteers in your church?

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