258 8 ways that places of worship can encourage involvement

  1. Appoint, hire or find a volunteer coordinator. If it’s nobody’s task, nobody will do it for long.
  2. Establish relationships with groups that need volunteers. Then encourage friends to volunteer together.
  3. Create a child care cooperative, providing parents an opportunity to volunteer. Lack of child care is a major barrier to participation of parents.
  4. Sponsor gatherings to explore cultural, social and religious diversity, as well as diversity of opinions.
  5. Provide places where members can volunteer or provide transportation so that members can visit prison inmates.
  6. Provide information about legislative issues. This can be tricky, but many people motivated by their faith say they don’t know enough about the issues.
  7. Sponsor a visit by community, civic, social service professionals, or elected officials. Remember – many people say they don’t know enough about issues. Who will teach them?
  8. Establish a social concerns committee.

From Profile of Illinois: An Engaged State, the final report of the Illinois Civic Engagement Project, University of Illinois Springfield and United Way of Illinois, 2001. It was based on the first statewide survey of civic engagement in Illinois. For 68 recommendations (PDF) on how to get people more involved, see the complete report. Or see http://civic.uis.edu.

Posted on June 10, 2014