Communication is at the heart of any volunteer ministry. As a result, it’s important to engage volunteers by frequently sharing relevant information so they feel connected and informed. Sometimes mass emails about routine tasks or messages with ministry schedules can feel impersonal, resulting in unopened emails and ill-equipped, disengaged volunteers. Want to know how to prevent this from happening? Here are five ideas to make sure every email you send to volunteers is engaging, personal, and fresh!
1. Recognize the new
Have you onboarded new volunteers or recently updated a process or policy? If so, take a moment to recognize what's new to keep your communication fresh and engaging. By sending out a few sentences introducing new volunteers, you open the door to other volunteers having the opportunity to say hello. When you highlight a new process or policy, like new steps to complete a background check, you ensure volunteers receive important updates while also keeping your emails current.
2. Celebrate the seasons together
Christmas, New Year’s, Easter—throughout the year you have plenty of opportunities to celebrate together. Use the seasons and holidays as a way to walk through life with your volunteers. All you need to do is send a seasonal note, image, or even a fun GIF to keep your regular communication channels relevant. Don’t be guilty of sending the same text throughout the year. Keep your message relevant to the season and keep the content current.
3. Show your personality
Do you have unique interests and things that you enjoy? While it’s important to keep communication professional, it’s also enjoyable for everyone when you let your personality shine through. If you have an interest in things that others may find fun, like a propensity to recognize little-known holidays (e.g., World Waffle Day on March 25), you can use this to make the regular emails to your ministry volunteers fun and interesting to read. Would you like more engagement with your emails? Ask a church-related trivia question by linking to a poll and get volunteers more involved. Enjoy inspiration quotes or little known facts? Share these tidbits to give everyone a peek at your personality while ensuring emails are enjoyable for all.
4. Embrace your community
Volunteering isn’t easy, but one of the benefits is the community that volunteers create. Build on this strength by sharing the celebrations and concerns in your church. Create a prayer list or share a progress update on a group goal. Collect prayer requests from volunteers regularly and then add them in your scheduled emails as a way to keep everyone up to date with the needs and concerns of the church. By doing so, you’ll foster a greater sense of community while giving ministry volunteers a chance to share their concern for other members of the group.
5. Share the news
At any given time, there are lots of things going on in the church, community, and denomination. Use your scheduled communication channels to keep volunteers informed. Give ministry volunteers a reason to engage with regular emails by transforming them into a resource for current events and points of interest. You can share a quick summary of what’s been going on, or just link to relevant calendars and articles that volunteers can explore at their leisure. Your volunteers will appreciate the helpful information they receive as part of their regular team communication from you.
Open the door to engagement with the regular pieces of communication you send. Give your volunteers a gift with every email you write by keeping it fresh, relevant, and engaging. You’ll find that you’ll begin building a stronger community one email at a time.