Engaging and Retaining Volunteers

Finding volunteers

Know why people volunteer

An important first step for clubs looking to recruit new volunteers is to understand why people volunteer in the first place. By knowing why people volunteer, clubs can understand what volunteers want out of their time at the club.

Some of the reasons people volunteer include:

  • Helping others and their community
  • Family or personal involvement in the club
  • To build social connections
  • Personal satisfaction
  • To gain experience and develop skills

Sell your club and its achievements

When trying to engage new volunteers to your club, it’s a great idea to show potential volunteers what your club has been achieving.

What is your club undertaking that sets yourself above the rest?

  • Are you providing equal opportunities for women and girls?
  • Are you providing a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for multicultural communities or people with disabilities?
  • Is your club a Good Sports club?
  • Does your club offer payment plans for club membership fees, so cost isn’t a barrier to participation?

Demonstrating your club’s commitment to achieving great things within your community can be a real selling point for new volunteers.

Stay connected

Ensure your club is easy to contact when trying to recruit new volunteers. If a new volunteer can’t contact your club to offer their support, you will miss out on the opportunity! Provide reliable, current contact information on websites, Facebook pages, and advertisements to ensure volunteering within your club is simple.

Contacting your club needs to be easy for potential volunteers, and not having current contact information creates ‘friction’ between your club and potential volunteers. One way to reduce this is to create an online contact form where potential volunteers can simply enter their details and your club can contact them. Have this form sent to a club email address and not a personal one to ensure the email address is always current.

Once you have engaged a new volunteer

Make a good first impression

Create a great first impression on your club’s new volunteers by meeting them at the facility, showing them around, introducing them to other members of the team and committee, and providing an overview of your club’s goals, achievements, and overall culture. Providing a handout or welcome pack to a new volunteer also ensures they don’t forget any information, have important contact details, and know their role in the club and what is expected of them.

Be a positive representative of the club

When engaging with your new volunteer, does your demeanour and attitude reflect the positivity, passion and excitement of your club? Are you displaying that your club is welcoming of new volunteers? That initial contact with someone from the club can really set the scene for volunteers and help them to decide if this is the right club and role for them.

Be flexible

Being aware of prior job and lifestyle commitments of your volunteers’ means that they are more likely to stay. If people can volunteer when it suits them, they are more likely to volunteer for another season, as they won’t feel that their volunteering is putting pressure on other commitments. Listen and understand a new volunteer’s prior responsibilities, and help them to fit their new volunteering role into their lifestyle.

Give thanks

Thank your volunteers at the end of the season! They are more likely to come back for another season if they feel their work is appreciated! For ideas on how to show your volunteers that you appreciate them, click here http://www.sportsfocus.com.au/recognising-your-volunteers/

To read more about engaging and retaining volunteers, please click here or here.

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