Volunteer Week, 17th – 23rd May 2021: Keys to creating a culture of volunteering

In the build-up to Volunteer Week (17th – 23rd May) South West Sport has been presenting club development workshops dedicated to providing local sports clubs with strategies and ideas on how to attract, retain, and re-engage volunteers. The return of sport and play has brought with it the need to re-engage and recruit volunteers to help clubs get back on the park.

If you missed out on our club development workshops on volunteer attraction, retention, and re-engagement, check out this recording we have prepared which highlights some of the key ideas and strategies we discussed in the sessions.

The PowerPoint slides for the session are available here, and the worksheet is available here.

In each of the five local government areas of the south west, Program Officer Nick Marshall presented workshops covering some key ideas on how to develop a strong and sustainable culture of volunteering in community sports clubs.

The following key ideas were identified in the workshops:

  • Have an up-to-date list of volunteer roles that are currently vacant.
    Include the following details in your list:
    • Role title
    • Time commitment per week
    • Tasks involved
    • Skills that aligned with this role
  • Identify tasks that can be done virtually or remotely – i.e. from the comfort of home. This provides volunteers more flexible opportunities to contribute and frees up the time of other β€œon-the-ground” volunteers.
    Virtual options may include:
    • Providing a balance between online and face-to-face meetings
    • Communication roles – social media manager, newsletter editor, and email correspondence with members
    • Financial record management
    • Membership management
    • Merchandise and uniform coordinator
  • Target your recruitment of volunteers to people both inside and outside your club and ensure you include the following details when you advertise each role:
    • The role title
    • The time commitment
    • The tasks and responsibilities
    • The benefits to the volunteer and the club
  • Use multiple platforms to communicate volunteer roles and opportunities at your club.
    The following are the most effective ways to communicate opportunities:
    • Emails to members
    • Announcements at club functions and training sessions
    • Social media posts
    • 1-on-1 conversations (speaking directly to people that you think can fill roles in your club is the most effective form of recruitment)
  • Regularly recognise volunteers for both minor and major contributions. When you recognise volunteers it is important to clearly communicate the role, time, and responsibilities of the volunteer.
    Volunteer Week is a great opportunity to start these ideas.
    • Ideas for minor recognition might include:
      • Weekly volunteer profile on social media or club newsletter.
      • Acknowledging officials, coaches, and support staff after games or events.
      • Volunteer of the week awards
    • Ideas for major recognition might include:
      • Volunteer of the year award
      • Life membership awards
      • Club person of the year award

A club that regularly recognises its volunteers and clearly communicates the available volunteer opportunities to their communities will help develop a culture that helps attract and retain volunteers.