How to find volunteers

When you know which kinds of volunteer your club needs most, the next question is how and where to find them?

How to find volunteers

Where to look

We know that recruiting more volunteers can sound daunting and time-consuming – but help is at hand. Here are our Top 4 places to find new volunteers:

1) Join In
OK, we’re clearly biased but the Join In website is the place to find local sports volunteers. Thousands of clubs are already using the site – it’s quick, easy and free. All you need to do is tell us about your club and add an email address: create a page for your club today.

Potential volunteers will then get in touch with you by email. (Please remember to reply to them quickly, so they know you’re interested.) For more on promoting your club with Join In, please see our ‘club page’ section.

2) Your local stores
Your community sports store, supermarkets, sports centres and town halls often have notice boards where you can post your volunteering opportunities. You could even find a volunteer graphic designer to help design something eye-catching to find more help.

3) Your members
Who already has a strong connection with your club? Often your existing members are a great pool of volunteers – and will be happy to share their time and skills for the good of the club. That said, it’s not always easy to rally the membership – so here are three handy tips:

  • Make and share a club information sheet for members, which explains why you need volunteers. (Many people don’t offer to help because they don’t know help is needed! Read how Braintree BMX has successfully recruited from within.)
  • Hold an annual volunteer recruitment event. Perhaps you could tie it in with an existing social event in the club calendar? (Read more about running volunteer events.)
  • Find out what skills your members have by asking them to complete a short form – then you’ll know who best to target.

4) Your local Volunteer Centre
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations – or NCVO for short – has a national network of accredited Volunteer Centres, which could be a great source of help. Simply enter your postcode to find your local volunteer centre↑.

 Nanda Bratawijaya
Nanda Bratawijaya
Volunteer Network Manager, Join In

Nanda's top 5

Join In’s Volunteer Network Manager Nanda loves helping local sports clubs to find and welcome new volunteers. Here are his Top 5 tips for clubs:

  • All about awareness. Often people don’t offer to volunteer because they aren’t aware that you need help.
  • Open and accessible. Some people may not identify themselves as “volunteers” – even though they could make a big difference to your club as a volunteer. That’s why it’s important to sound friendly and supportive, and explain that there’s a role for everyone.
  • Upbeat and rewarding. Volunteers are looking for fun, memorable and exciting opportunities. Many will also want to develop and benefit from the experience – so remember it’s as much about them as it about your club.
  • Work those contacts. Go back through your networks and contacts. You may already know some sport enthusiasts who would love to volunteer if asked.
  • Explore every option. Social media. Local press. Community notice boards. There are many different ways to ask for more volunteers. Remember that you can also turn to your National Governing Body (NGB) and County Sport Partnership (CSP) for help.

Finding helpers with Join In

How a kids’ football team in Hampshire created a Join In club page – and found 3 new volunteers.

External Resources

Dean Scopes, Jubilee 77 FC’s club chairman, was finding it hard to attract coaches and build new teams. “In summer 2014, I was watching a pre-World Cup football match on ITV. An advert came on with Ian Wright highlighting the difficulties of trying to run a team for kids with no help or support. I thought it was fantastic!

“It made me laugh out loud as its message was so clear and accurate about today’s grassroots football – and, in particular, our club’s situation. I immediately got my phone out and visited the Join In website and created a club profile for our club. Within four days I’d received our first interest.

This season we have increased the club’s membership from about 105 players to 135 players, and I could not have achieved this without support from Join In. It has been a great success for our club – and we’re hoping it carries on. Thank you!”

- Create or update your club page today