How volunteers can help you

Why should you spend time looking for new volunteers? See what difference a few extra pairs of hands could make to your club.

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Right now, 70% of local sports clubs across the UK currently need more people to help out. But did you know that volunteers are also a great way to grow your membership – as every new volunteer gives your club the capacity to take on 8.5 new members.

Join In’s Top 3 ways to use volunteers:

  1. Grow and support your membership. More volunteers means more support for your members. Just ask coach Dan Hart who has helped 11 more youngsters in Surrey to play football regularly – read his story.

  2. Cut your workload. Having more volunteers could help you with the tasks you don’t get time to do – for example, running social media accounts or taking the minutes at club meetings.

  3. Improve training. When Sherri Smart volunteered at a local athletics club in the West Midlands, every runner benefited from more individual attention.

Let’s get started

Want to attract more volunteers to your club? Here’s where to start:

  • First, make a list of your current volunteer roles – and the skills they have. This will help you identify any gaps in your volunteer pool.

  • Now you’ve identified the kind of help that your club really needs, you can prioritise filling the most important volunteer roles first.

  • For many sports clubs, all this is part of their club development plan – which can help set the right course for a club to achieve its goals. Find out more about creating a development plan for your club with Club Matters↑.

Who do you need?

You’ve likely already filled some of the key volunteer roles at your club. These might include chairperson, coach, secretary and treasurer. (To see some useful role descriptions for different kinds of volunteers, take a look at the England Athletics toolkit ↑.)

But as well as more traditional volunteer roles, have you considered some of the other volunteer positions that could be useful for your club? For example:

A fundraising co-ordinator
Community-based sports clubs are eligible to apply for many different grants – we’ll soon be adding advice on fundraising to the site.

A communications manager
How good are you at telling people – including the local press – about your club? Find more information on successfully managing the media.

A social media manager
Facebook and Twitter can be an excellent and free way to build an online community. See how volunteers can help grow your profile on social media.

A volunteer manager
Who’s the best ‘people person’ at your club? Ideally, he or she would also be an experienced volunteer, i.e. someone who knows the ropes. That’s your perfect volunteer manager – someone who can help induct new volunteers and be a point of contact for them. Their qualities and roles might look like this:

Qualities Roles
Naturally sociable Coordinates and communicates with all club volunteers
Wants to help solve others’ problems Notifies volunteers when club needs extra help
Good at working with people Thanks and recognises volunteers
Excellent communicator Helps the Chair with succession plans for volunteers/committee
Highly organised Manages the club’s Join In page, and helps find more volunteers

Make your own role

These are a few ideas – but volunteers can do almost anything. Whether you need someone to warm up the team, coach the players, officiate the match, organise fixtures, set up the equipment or be the photographer, there are countless ways for volunteers to help your club.

 The Olympic view

The Olympic view

“Volunteer coordinators are vital. They provide consistency, set high standards and generate the camaraderie, which is so valuable in sport.”
Jean Tomlin, Join In Board member and HR Director for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – responsible for the 70,000-strong volunteer Games Maker programme.