There is a lot that goes into running a successful sports program. Think of all of the games that have to be scheduled, practices, fundraisers, tournaments, and all of the infrastructure that needs to be put in place.
This requires a lot of help, and most of the time there’s not a budget in place to hire the people for that help. So, you turn to volunteers. Volunteers are crucial to a season’s success, but it can be difficult to nail down all the volunteers you need sometimes.
Here are five tips that will encourage more people to volunteer to help with your program.
- Connect and engage with your volunteers
Treat the role of a volunteer with the importance that it deserves. People typically enjoy volunteering when it’s something that they care about, and they understand how crucial that volunteer role is. So, connect and engage with your volunteer base, tell them what you need them for, how long you’ll need them for, and make sure they know that without their help, what you do would be impossible—or at least much more difficult than it needs to be.
- Let events count toward volunteer hours
This could be a great opportunity to take advantage of what local businesses, schools, and community-led clubs require to count toward specific volunteer hours. Certain groups in schools or community-led organizations have specific volunteering goals that they encourage (or require) members to do each year. So, reach out to those groups before your season starts and make sure they know these opportunities are available.
- Make your opportunities easy to find
This might seem self-explanatory, but it’s worth stating. You want to make sure all of your volunteer opportunities are easy to register for (we know a thing or two about making registration easier), and that all of them are heavily promoted on social media, in local newspapers, and even with old-fashioned fliers, or by word of mouth. Make sure people know when your event is!
If you are the admin of a team, club or league who needs the help of parents, you can make your announcement on our News & Documents page to let specific teams know about opportunities.
- Offer swag, and incentives
People like free stuff. You know this. You probably like free stuff yourself. So, when you’re encouraging people to volunteer, offer things like T-shirts, free tickets to events, and even a free meal or two.
- Show your appreciation
Last but not least, show your appreciation to your volunteers! They’ve given up their time to help you and you appreciate their help. So, let them know. Shout them out on social media, in a team newsletter, an email, etc. Showing appreciation is a great way to encourage future volunteerism from those people and generate interest in others.
It can be difficult to ask people for help sometimes, but people will often volunteer with a little bit of encouragement. Make sure you take steps to communicate to volunteers how important they are and make your events easy to find and get behind.