Tips to recruit and retain volunteers

On the blog Growing Vital Leaders, the Rev. Renee Ruchtozke, leadership development consultant for the Central East Regional Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association, offers some tips for recruiting volunteers. In brief, find out what each member’s gifts and passions are and help them find a role that feeds them, notes Ruchtozke, drawing on information from Bonnie Blosser, the director of lifelong learning at the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, Kans. See the blog entry “Your Trash, Another’s Treasure.” Also read the comments for more information.

If someone is being fed, say Ruchtozke and Blosser, they are less likely to burn out or fade away. And if you find a volunteer who seems to be struggling, make it possible for them to give up part of that job to someone who might enjoy it more. Or leave it empty to see if someone will step into it. It’s important, Blosser says, to “walk beside” the volunteer. “Sometimes just knowing you have someone you can turn to helps you to plow through.”

Growing Vital Leaders is a blog of the Central East Regional Group that focuses on ideas, tips, and tools on leadership formation. Recent blog topics have included congregational communications and management issues.

Many other articles and several webinars on volunteer recruitment are here.

Deadlines near for GA financial aid, certification

The following deadlines apply to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly 2013, which will be June 19-23 in Louisville, Ky.

February 1: All congregations must certify a membership number. The number determines the number of GA delegates  a congregation can have.

March 31: The deadline for the GA Planning Committee’s Matching Grant Program and the Youth and Young Adult Scholarship Program. The GAPC will pay registration costs and pay up to $250 (if matched by a congregation) to send a delegate to GA. Priority is given to congregational leaders, delegates from new congregations, and congregations that have not recently sent delegates. Grants for youth and young adults will pay registration plus up to $500. Applications will be available March 1.

March 31: Applications to be volunteers at GA are due. Adult volunteers are required to work 24 hours over GA. Youth and those who qualify for reduced registration rates are required to work 14 hours. Online applications will be available March 1.

April 30:  Applications are due to the UUA’s Stewardship and Development group for scholarships from the Davidoff Fund, which subsidizes the attendance at GA of lay leaders who have not been to GA in the past three years.

The Guide for the Frugal Attendee demonstrates other ways to attend GA as inexpensively as possible.