Introduction to recruiting and managing your volunteers

V - inspiring A Million

Did you know that sport volunteers contribute one billion hours each year to sport which equates to 720,000 paid workers?

This begins to show just how important volunteers are to sport. This section will help your club in the recruitment and retention of volunteers to match the jobs that need doing; which in turn will help the smooth running of your club.

1. This section will help your Club to:

  • Become more attractive and welcoming to good volunteers who can make a real contribution to your club
  • Think outside the box when you consider attracting good, skilled and passionate volunteers
  • Appreciate the work of and communicate better with existing volunteers
  • Deal with ‘difficult’ volunteers
  • Understand the importance of recognition, support, training and reward as very important factors for volunteers
  • Make plans for recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers
  • Understand the importance for your club to have a clear vision and strategy that volunteers can buy into

2. This is important because:

  • Your club can only stay alive and indeed grow if you have a good team of volunteers who have got relevant skills and, indeed, a positive attitude
  • If you look for volunteers in the same places you always have done you will, of course, not get new people and thinking coming into your club
  • You must have a plan in place for recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers; it doesn’t happen by itself
  • Clubs that are ‘drifting’ without any direction find it much more difficult to attract and retain volunteers, because no one really knows what they are supposed to be doing
  • Good volunteers do not want to become involved with internal club politics: they just want to get on with their specific role within the club
  • People volunteer because they want to make a difference to the club and they want to enjoy themselves and belong

3. You can achieve this by:

  • Making volunteer management as important as coaching the first team, getting funding for your schools programme or securing the services of the best junior coach
  • Saying ‘thank you’ to all volunteers
  • Not always asking the same people, but asking people with the skills you need and not just somebody because they are there!
  • Having fun!