6 Things Great Leaders Do To Retain Volunteers

I’m not an extrovert and I wouldn’t say I’m an introvert either. I’m somewhere in between and this is a direct result of the leadership positions I have served under or I’ve held.


Many times leaders or directors get so caught up in managing and directing their teams  that they forget to LISTEN to them.  To make our team great, we have to become all things to all people.


At times I’ve even had to show my vulnerability to gain someone’s trust.


Did it push me outside my comfort zone? Yes.


Am I better for it?  Yes.


Are they better for it?  Yes.


Throughout all of this, I’ve learned a few key things on how to develop a deeper level of commitment and inspire individuals to give more than they ever thought they could.


Here are the basic LISTENing principles I use:


L – Love your team!! 
Care about the things they care about!!  Notice them – text, email, call them simply because they are.


I – Inspire your team!!
Cast vision – what are we aiming for, what are we trying to accomplish and the big why


S – Serve your team!! 
Whenever possible try to meet their needs or facilitate meeting their needs by working alongside them.  Be attentive to their families, challenges


T – Train your team.
Equip them with appropriate resources to successfully complete the tasks they’ve been asked to do. Be clear about your expectations and support them with stronger


E – Encourage their feedback.
This helps them to develop their voice, provide creative input, fosters collaboration and develop ownership.  You may meet needs you didn’t realize you had or fulfill dreams that were at one point impossible.


N – Never forget that they are family!
Celebrate their accomplishments (personal & ministry), Recognize their birthdays, graduations, etc. Coordinate get togethers simply to build relationships. You never know who’ll be invited and be interested in joining your team.


If you don’t already have this in place, you’ll most certainly experience a culture shift as you begin to apply the principles above.


Gail Brown

Gail was the coach for our VIP team and helped get it off the ground. When Grace Kids needed help growing their volunteer teams we asked Gail to join our staff full time. She is now the Assistant Director of Grace Kids at our Avon location and helps run team of over 200 volunteers that minister to over 400 kids each weekend.