Without volunteers your club or group cannot operate. Volunteers are the community members that bring your club together, uphold your culture and help your club to achieve success throughout the playing season and beyond. Your volunteers should be recognised and valued by all members, players and non-members.

Retaining volunteers | Recognising volunteers | Delegation | Succession Planning

Finding volunteers

First question you need to ask yourself is, have you asked for help?

  • Get to know your community and your members.

  • Create position descriptions that state the role, responsibilities, skills and time required per week.

  • Encourage new members and their family to become volunteers. This is a great way to engage the family to your sporting community.

  • Advertise the positions via your communication channels, word of mouth, local volunteer resource centre and/or with your State Sporting Association.

  • Get creative with who to approach: Grandparents in your community come with excellent experience and skills. Older siblings who are students may be looking to upskill.

  • Ensure your club has a process for screening all volunteers and that new volunteers are aware of the club’s values and codes of conduct before the screening process

  • Put the right person in the role, not just anyone.

Retaining volunteers

The things that motivate and attract volunteers have changed over the years. These days they are looking for different experiences than the volunteers of 10 or 20 years ago. Your club will need to recognise and respond to these to better recruit and retain volunteers and recognise that people want to contribute in different ways than previously. 

  • Understand why they are volunteering.

  • Make volunteers recognisable (e.g. Volunteer shirts, lanyards).

  • Use volunteer time sensibly and productively.

  • Create succussion pathways for volunteers to move around or up in their role.

  • Provide them with the opportunity to upskill (e.g. let them know when your LG or SSA is hosting a workshop or course that might interest them)

  • Allow volunteers to socialise, connect and have fun!

Recognising volunteers

  • Say thank you!

  • Profile volunteer’s personal and/or team achievements, sharing their stories through your club’s communication channels.

  • Host an event or awards night during National Volunteer week (May).

  • Award Life Membership to volunteers who have contributed years of service.

Delegation

Delegating tasks or jobs don’t need to be tricky. If a task or job cannot be completed by yourself or you don’t have the specific skill set to get it done, then ask for help.

  • Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and jobs to other volunteers and/or members.

  • Pick the right person for the task, with the skill set required.

  • Give exact details of the task and how it can be achieved/completed.

  • Set a timeframe for completion.

  • Ask for progress updates.

Succession Planning

Now more than ever sporting clubs need to create succession plans to ensure the long jeopardy of their clubs. What plan does your club have in place if a key member of your committee steps down or moves on? Does their knowledge and experience leave with them? Where does that leave the club in the years to come?
These essential questions are the first ones to ask when developing a succession plan for the club and its volunteers. There are five key steps that clubs need to work through to identify gabs and make a secure plan for the future:

  1. examine your club’s position

  2. identify skills required to fill specific roles

  3. assess current volunteer skills and identify potential successors

  4. prepare potential successors for their new role

  5. evaluate your club’s succession plan,

Creating succession pathways for volunteers is a great opportunity to upskill and keep volunteers engaged at your club. Position descriptions help to showcase the skills required for a certain position in your Club and it allows potential volunteers to see if they match up to the skills required.

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