It’s one thing to plan an event for several hundred faithful attendees. But imagine planning 20 one-and-a-half day gatherings in different cities across the United States and welcoming more than 150,000 attendees in the course of a single touring season.
From its beginnings in 1996 to its 18th year in 2014, Women of Faith is recognized as one of the cornerstones of large-scale, faith-based events. To pull it all off, coordinator Mozella Brown, CMP, needs a lot of volunteers. Her team includes a volunteer coordination staff who works with volunteers—up to 150 in a single city—who serve as ushers or greeters, place programs on seats or help with traffic flow inside the venue.
Brown has several strategies for finding volunteers. Each city on the WOF tour has a representative from the WOF team who works directly with them. In cities the organization has been to before, or ones that are in close proximity to others they’ve visited, the representative will reach out to directly to volunteers who have contributed in the past. For places they haven’t been to, WOF starts by hosting a kick-off meeting and invites women who are leaders in the community or wives of pastors in the area. They also go into local bookstores or reach out to various ministries to involve their congregations.
All volunteers receive at least one seat to an event, with the runners receiving more than one because they are more involved. Often, husbands will volunteer and give their seats to their wives. “The men are great, because they’re willing to stay in one place and help out the entire time,” says Brown, “whereas the women who volunteer want to be inside listening to the program when they’re not needed in their positions.”