Jan 22

Recognize, Connect, Celebrate — and keep volunteers coming back

In 1906, the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, noticed that 80% of the land in his nation was owned by 20% of the people. Since then, the 80/20 rule has come to be called “the Pareto principle.” This principle is likely at work in your church. You may notice, for example, that . . .

  • 20% of the members donate 80% of the weekly offering; or that
  • 20% of the members contribute 80% of the effort needed for a successful Sunday school, VBS, or care ministry.
  • 20% of the effort invested in an event or task will take you 80% of the way toward completion. (The rest of the effort adds polish, zing, and those “nice to have touches” that transform a B- event into an A+ endeavor.)

It isn’t always 80/20, of course. Sometimes it’s closer to 70/30 or 90/10. But generally in life, efforts and results are spread unevenly.

You might read about the Pareto Principle and get discouraged. But don’t overlook the positive possibilities for the new year ahead! The Pareto Principle says that you don’t have to be perfect to make a big impact. Just starting can often take you 60% or 70% or even 80% of the way! Remember what your mom used to say? “Well begun is half done.” It’s often true.

Do you work with volunteers? Are you a volunteer yourself? Leverage the Pareto Principle over the next 12 months and see what happens!

You don’t have to be a perfect encourager to encourage the people you’re working with. You don’t have to send 25 thank-you notes to help your people feel appreciated. Notice one thing one person has done well and say thanks. You need not start by praying 12 times each day for each volunteer. Start by praying for your staff once each week.

Does even this sound daunting? Then check out the tools CTA makes available free and very inexpensively on our Volunteer Management website. Some customers recently have told us they have never considered our free resources because nothing free can be worth very much, but we just may surprise you! On our free resource page you will find:

  • Volunteer job description templates
  • Themed named badges—in full color
  • A free devotion to encourage volunteers
  • Several articles filled with tips for recruiting, encouraging, and re-enlisting your best people
  • Notes of encouragement you can print out and sign
  • Candy bar wrappers you can use in several creative ways
  • Water bottle wrappers
  • A retreat planner
  • And more!

Connected to all these freebies are related products guaranteed to save you time and effort. You invest the 20% by downloading, printing, ordering, and deploying the ideas. Then watch as the other 80% begins to materialize, under the blessing of our Lord!

Can you think of other tools you wish we offered? Let us know! Maybe we can develop them! After all, CTA’s vision is to see you highly effective in your ministry—and we mean that!

© 2014 CTA, Inc. No duplication of this article is allowed without the express written consent of CTA, PO Box 1205, Fenton, MO 63026-1205. www.CTAinc.com. 
If you would like to reprint this article and distribute it, complete and submit the form here. 
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