Volunteers play an invaluable role in the provision of sport and recreation in Brisbane. It is vital that sport and community organisation manage their volunteers sensibly and effectively.
Understanding why people volunteer
It’s important to find out why people volunteer their time, and identify the opportunities and experiences your organisation can give in return to volunteers. This knowledge will help your organisation to attract volunteers, better match a volunteer to a position, and give them an enjoyable volunteering experience.
Overcoming barriers to volunteering
There are a number of barriers, both real and perceived, that may prevent people from volunteering their time to sport and community organisations. These include:
- lack of spare time and/or the time commitment required
- costs involved
- lack of confidence in their ability or skills they can offer
- transport concerns
- uncertainty about roles and responsibilities
- language or cultural barriers.
Recognising these barriers is the first step in developing strategies to overcome them. Some things you can do include:
- create position descriptions outlining a role’s requirements, tasks and responsibilities
- provide expected time commitments
- implement strategies, such as reimbursement of expenses or subsidising training/coaching courses.
Managing your volunteers
You could consider appointing one of your committee members as a Volunteer Co-ordinator. They can assist your club to:
- match volunteers to positions which complement their skills, abilities and interests
- ensure all tasks are allocated and volunteers are made aware of their duties
- provide guidance and feedback
- coordinate training and education programs to help up-skill your volunteers.
Rewarding your volunteers
Implementing strategies to recognise and reward your volunteers to show their contribution is appreciated. Suggestions include:
- small gift
- acknowledgment in newsletters or annual reports
- membership discounts.
If an individual feels valued they will be more inclined to continue volunteering their time.