With Volunteers’ Week coming to a close, we want to thank the millions of volunteers who give up their time up and down the country. Without the time, energy and commitment of volunteers, grassroots sport simply would not happen. But it’s not always easy to find people willing to help out or people with the skills and experience that you really need in your club. In fact, it can be quite tricky! Is your club looking to recruit new volunteers but not sure where to start? Fear not – we are here to help, click here to read our 3 top tips to finding new volunteers.
Our 3 top tips for finding new volunteers:
- Look within your club
Look at your members, players, parents and their wider networks. Asking these groups of people if they are willing to offer some time could be a quick and easy way to boost your potential volunteer pool. Many people don’t volunteer simply because they’ve never been asked to!
Top-tip: Two thirds of current volunteers got involved because they heard about an opportunity through friends and family, so don’t underestimate word of mouth as a way to find new volunteers.
- Look outside your club, to the wider community
Broadening your search to include the wider community can bring in fresh perspectives, new skills and experiences and make your volunteer pool more diverse. You could organise an open day or recruitment fair - make sure your current volunteers are there to welcome potential new recruits and tell them about volunteering at the club, the roles available and why they enjoy it.
Use a range of communication tools to get the word out about the skills and experiences you are looking for and what volunteer roles you are recruiting to.
- Include a volunteering section on your website, where you can post updates on available roles. Make sure you include an email address or contact number for people to express their interest.
- Social Media is also a really useful way to let people know you need more volunteers. Use photos and videos to give a sense of what the volunteer experience is like.
Posters, flyers and postcards to promote your club and advertise volunteer roles can also be useful. Places with high footfall like leisure centres, gyms, doctors, community centres, local businesses and schools can be a good place to start. Think about where the people with the skills and experience you are looking for may visit
- Other organisations who can help
There are a number of organisations and programmes that can help link your club with potential volunteers. These include:
- Join in: a registered charity that helps UK grassroots sport clubs attract more supporters and volunteers from their local communities.
- vInspired: vInspired works to link organisations with youth volunteers. Half of 16-24 year olds would prefer to volunteer in something sports based. This is a huge group of potential volunteers.
- Local Volunteer Centres: local organisations that provide support and expertise within the local community to potential volunteers, existing volunteers and organisations that use volunteers.
- Sports Volunteering Network: This connects your club with your local County Sports Partnership who can support you with your volunteering needs.
- Schools/colleges/universities: As well as taking part in sport, many young people are keen to give up some of their free time to offer support to their local sports clubs.
- National Governing Bodies: Your sport’s governing body can help you find out about volunteer schemes that help to train, reward and recognise volunteers within sports clubs.
- County Sports Partnerships: They may also be able to provide support and guidance about working with schools, colleges and universities in your area.
Once you have recruited new volunteers you will need to focus on providing them with an excellent experience, to keep them at your club and help them to develop the skills they need. Make sure you read July’s newsletter which will give you some tips and tricks to effectively manage and retain your volunteers.
Find out more
There’s lots more tips and advice on volunteering on the Club Matters website;