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5 tips for successful service events

Research from United Methodist Communications discovered churches that provide community service opportunities are viewed much more favorably because of their active, "outside the church" approach. Consider these five tips for planning a successful service event.

1. Plan
Recruit an event planning team. Identify your goal, such as raising money for a cause like Imagine No Malaria, providing food to impact hunger or cleaning up the community. Meet your community's unique needs. Check out past events and brainstorm at .

2. Assist volunteers
Keep in mind your volunteers' needs. Create opportunities for different ages and abilities. Consider providing t-shirts. Also, think about lunch, childcare and parking to ensure the event runs smoothly for everyone involved.

3. Budget
Identify expenses, such as purchasing food for volunteers or ordering any equipment you might need to get the job done. Use a budgeting tool, like the free template in Office or an Excel spreadsheet to track estimated and actual expenses.

4. Collaborate
Establish partnerships with other organizations and area United Methodist churches. This can help you make a larger impact and accomplish more at a lower cost to all.

5. Publicize
Grab media attention. Once the event details are nailed down, contact local newspapers and TV stations. Go to and check out 5 Tips: How to Obtain Media Coverage.

Download our free event planner's handbook, complete with timeline checklists at . And if you're part of a United Methodist district, conference or a group of churches planning a joint outreach ministry event, learn more about Rethink Church partnership grants at