Before you reach out to engage new volunteers, you need to understand what your club needs are and identify which ones are priority to enable your club to function effectively and safely – and will be attractive to a volunteer.  

These may be very different to what you considered priority roles pre-Coronavirus, with roles such as Welfare Officer, fundraising, or coaches/ activators likely to be taking on increased importance – not to mention a Volunteer Coordinator!

There may be new roles or tasks that volunteers can help with, such as boosting your online presence, or considering new approaches to diversifying income.  New tasks can be a great way of engaging new volunteers who have skills and interest in a particular area.

Consider doing an assessment of the support you would like from your volunteers. As part of this, you may find it helpful to think about:

  • What your top priorities are and whether are there any gaps in terms of numbers or particular skills or experiences needed
  • Mapping your members skills and interests by engaging with them to understand what their skills and interests are, as well as areas they would be interested in developing experiences in.  This will help you understand where the gaps may be and how they may be filled.  Our helpful skills audit template may help you think about how you could approach this here
  • How roles could be broken down into multiple bite-sized tasks that a number of people could share. 
  • Whether a particular role or task is a ‘nice to have’ or an essential need.  Make sure you have your essential needs addressed before thinking about the less essential roles or tasks.  

Tasks not roles

We know that one of the greatest barriers to engaging people as club volunteers is the perception that it can be a significant undertaking, often requiring weekly or even greater commitment.  More traditional ‘club roles’, such as Coach, Chairman or Treasurer, often carry significant responsibility and time commitment, and can be less attractive.  

However, in today’s busy world, people are increasingly seeking more flexible, short-term ways to give their time, which can be balanced with family and work commitments.

More and more clubs and community organisations are thinking differently about how they fulfil their volunteering needs, by breaking down individual roles into multiple actions and encouraging individuals to take on small, bite-sized jobs as opposed to a single role with multiple tasks.

Volunteer pins a number onto a cyclist shirt

Think about how your club can make it easier and more attractive for people to get involved, reducing the barrier of time and commitment, which deters many who would otherwise be willing to give small pockets of time.  Remember, the smaller the ask, the better! 

To help you think about how to break down roles into tasks, we have provided examples for a Coach and a Team Captain here

Of course, there will be many volunteers who have more time to give and are happy to take on a more traditional role in its entirety.  To help support the volunteers and be clear on their remit and responsibility, it may be helpful to use a Role Outline to describe what the role is and where possible, the time commitment expected. And importantly show how the role will make a difference. We have templates available for the following roles, which you should adapt as necessary for your club: Chair, Treasurer, Welfare Officer, Volunteer Co-ordinator and Secretary. Be creative with your roles and think about skills rather than jobs

Top-tip: Having a Volunteer Co-Ordinator who can check that everyone is happy 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.

Last modified: Friday, 24 September 2021, 9:36 AM