Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Let’s face it volunteers are the key to a successful amateur sports club. Most clubs are run by a small pool of volunteers who bring passion, drive and ambition to clubs, to keep them running and improving. Remember volunteers aren’t just coaches or referees, they’re those that hold committee members positions, they are those parents that offer to wash the kit, the wife of the chairman who makes the tea on the Saturday. It could be someone who just helps now and again. Without them clubs are nothing, even big professional sports clubs such a premier league clubs have volunteers, that offer to clear the pictures of snow in bad weather. Sports volunteering is worth millions to British economy and is the most popular sector in which people are likely to volunteer.

Things that you need to consider for volunteers is the four R’s, recruit, retain, recognise and reward, as well as what organisation can support you and what resources are available to ensure all club volunteers has an excellent voluntary experience.  These people that offer their time usually get put upon quite heavily, taking on one role then quickly carrying out three or four different jobs. It is important that we consider the needs of the volunteer at the heart of what they do, what are their motivations for volunteering? Are their needs being met if we can truly understand this then the support we offer to the individuals can be a lot more appropriate and tailored to them individually, which will in turn encourage them to continue giving up their time and making a difference for a longer period of time.

National Resources

Sport England - Volunteering

You can find a lot of information of volunteering including on the sport England volunteering pages

There is a section called volunteering explained which can really help with legalities and policy regarding volunteering.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

You can also get general volunteering information from the NVCO. The NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteering because they’re essential for a better society. Each day, millions of people make a difference through voluntary organisations and volunteering. Our vision is a society where we can all make a difference to the causes that we believe in.

The website also gives a breakdown of:

> Services and support

> Research

> Volunteering policy

> Training and events


vInspired is an independent British charity dedicated to helping young people volunteer in their local communities, this can help with rewarding volunteers under 30.

Recruit, rewarding and developing volunteers

The club matters web site has some great information and templates which will help with recruiting volunteers:

Information includes:

> Looking inside your club

> Looking outside to the wider community

> What organisation can help 

> How to recruit in a safe way

It also has some excellent downloading resource guides on:

> How to attract volunteers

> Skills matrix

> Writing role descriptions

> Manging your volunteers

> Volunteering insight

> How to make volunteering experience excellent

Rewarding volunteering

If you have volunteers under the age of 30, you can use the Vinspired volunteer awards scheme. This allows volunteers to tot up there hours and get rewarded for them. You get your volunteers to submit there hours for approval and they get a certificate in the post.

You can also get your young volunteer to sign up for a FREE VInvolved card, which gives them discount off products and services which young people will like.

Recruiting volunteers

The Sports and Recreation Alliance have an online tool twhere you can advertise your volunteer positions

You can also post volunteer positions on the UK sport find a job web site.

And through your NGB web sites as well as local recruitment such as your local volunteer centre.

Legalities and volunteering

There are some legal ares regarding volunteering that as a club you should be aware of: 

> Volunteers are not employees

> In-kind payment can still be taxed, and as a club owner committee member you may need to be aware of this from HMRC point of view.

> Volunteers, volunteer because of their own free will, and it is a volunteer agreement not a contract as in employment law.

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