Volunteers are more likely to stay at your club if they have a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience and are confident with what they are doing
Research shows that sports volunteers give more time per week and volunteer more frequently than the average volunteer. How great is that? We’re sure you’ll agree that we should be celebrating how fantastic these people are, making their experience as fun as possible and recognising their incredible commitment.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. In fact, sports volunteers are far more likely than volunteers in other sectors to quit – largely because they feel undervalued, unrecognised or because they’ve had poor experiences in an unorganised environment.
So, what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen at your club? Take a look at the ideas below on how you can provide a fantastic experience at every point along a volunteer’s journey. It doesn’t have to be lots of work, and it is often the little things that make the biggest difference.
Providing a great experience won’t only help keep volunteers at your club, but they’ll also become your best ambassadors for recruiting volunteers in the future:
Give new volunteers an induction
Manage your volunteers with clear roles and responsibilities
Connect regularly with your volunteers, to see how they’re doing and motivate them
- Social media. Facebook or Twitter (or other Social Media sites) can be great ways to keep your volunteers updated, as well as, interacting with them on a range of topics.
- Meetings. Informal meetings, as a group or individually will give volunteers a chance to ask any questions they may have, and suggest new ideas and projects.
- E-mail. The majority of volunteers will have email addresses so this is a great opportunity to keep them updated and help them stay in touch with each other.
- Social events. This is a great way to informally engage with your volunteers and participants. It is a great place for them to meet other volunteers, and it's fun too!
Recognise your volunteers to show they’re valued by the club
- Volunteer award evenings
- Volunteer recognition in newsletters, or other club communications
- Personal thank-you letters
- Regular ‘shout-outs’ at the end of activity sessions
A successful volunteer programme is a team effort, so share with any paid staff, Board members, members, athletes and parents about the vital role of volunteers, and the difference they are making to the club. Use our Volunteer of the Month template for a quick and easy way to recognise your volunteers on a regular basis.
Recognising Young Volunteers
If you have young people volunteering with you, a great way to recognise their efforts is through vInspired awards. vInspired is a charity which pairs organisations, including sports clubs, with young volunteers (14-25 year olds). Through vInspired, young volunteers can work towards their V10, v30, v30 and v100 awards, showing how many hours they've spent volunteering, which look great on CVs and as a discussion point in job interviews.
So, if your club currently has 14-25 year olds volunteering with you, or it could do in the future, you can sign-up with vInspired as an award provider. If your young people also sign-up with vInspired, they can start working towards their awards.