Following on from the advice we provided in our June newsletter on finding new volunteers, we wanted to share with you some quick tips and tricks to help you manage and retain your current volunteers.
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. 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.
- Manage your volunteers with clear roles & responsibilities
If volunteers are clear about their role and responsibilities, they are more likely to feel confident about what they should be doing. Use a Role Outline to describe what the role is, what is expected and where possible the time commitment expected. And importantly show how the role will make a difference.
Top-tip: Having a volunteer co-ordinator who can check that everyone knows what they should be doing and be the main point of contact can be a great way to manage and support your volunteers effectively. Check out our Volunteer Coordinator Role Template to get an idea of what this role could involve at your club.
- Connect regularly with your volunteers, to see how they’re doing and motivate them
Set aside some time to communicate with and listen to your volunteers will help them remain committed and motivated to your club. It will allow you to all be working towards your shared club goals together. Volunteers may have different ways they prefer to stay in contact. It’s a good idea to check what works best. Ways to stay in touch with your volunteers include: social media, meetings, emails and social events
- Recognise your volunteers to show they’re valued by the club
As simple as it may sound, thanking volunteers for their time and effort is often forgotten about or overlooked in sports clubs. You could do this in a formal or informal way. Some ideas include:
- 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.
Check out Sport England's Making Your Volunteering Experience Meaningful Guide for additional advice on how to provide a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience to all of your volunteers.