4 Reasons Volunteers Stay

David Staal: fresh data shows a valuable trait ascribed to church volunteers: commitment.

Kids Hope USA, the national mentoring organization I work for that partners local churches with local schools to run mentoring programs, wanted to know more about volunteer mentors. So we put together a 2014 survey that gathered information representing over 7,000 mentor-student relationships. The results are worth trumpeting.

The study found that 91 percent of all relationships continue from one year to the next. To put that number into context, researchers at the 2014 National Mentoring Summit stated that “a third to a half of all relationships established through formal programs do not make it to their initial time commitment.” The data shared came from a large, secular national mentoring organization that asks volunteers for a one-year commitment.

Yes, 91 percent is extremely good, especially compared to 50 or even 67 percent.

Because Kids Hope USA works exclusively with congregations, the bragging rights for this data belong to local churches. What a fresh message, compared to all the efforts to prove people engaged in church are the same as—or worse than—the general population.

Emboldened by this data, I’m willing to take whatever criticism comes my way from saying: Church volunteers are more committed and, for that reason, better.

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