Volunteers are a vital part of successful sports clubs but very often go unrecognised for their efforts. It can be a thankless and often endless endeavour and more and more sports clubs are reporting that volunteers are hard to come by. Often this is a numbers game – if a small number of volunteers commit to the role, they can be overwhelmed by the workload and disincentivised to return the following season as a result – so getting adequate numbers of volunteers at your sports club is important.
Clubs – especially amateur sports clubs – cannot exist without the volunteers. They spend a vast amount of time week after week on the seen and unseen tasks needed to make a club function.
Why do people volunteer?
“Well someone has to do it!” is often what you will hear back from a volunteer when asked that question. “I got roped into it!” is another common one. But volunteers are not acting against their will – they give their spare time as volunteers in sports clubs for many different reasons e.g. to learn new skills, to help out in something they value by apply existing skills, volunteering is also seen as a career booster and networking opportunity plus there’s the ‘feel-good factor’ – as well as the fact that there are health benefits associated with volunteering according to a study from Carnegie Mellon.
Ways to Volunteer
If you are interested in volunteering at your local sports club, the first thing to do is to turn up at a meeting and get to know the people that run the club. Clubs are always looking for new volunteers and can really never have enough – from official committee roles (which are ratified at the club AGM) to ad hoc stewarding or fundraising roles, there are a myriad of ways of getting involved.
Probably the most common route to becoming a sports club volunteer is as a parent of a child joining a club for the first time – these are often the volunteers “roped in” – driving kids to games, becoming a linesman or umpire for day starting to the journey to becoming a regular contributor to the club over many years.
As the graphic above shows – clubs need a vast range of skill sets to succeed, from the physical toil of looking after the pitch and maintaining facilities to on-field matters which nowadays require everything from coaches to nutritionists, physiotherapists and club doctors – depending on the level the team participates at. And then there’s the mammoth effort that goes on behind the scenes…
Behind the Scenes
Much of the unseen work is carried out by the club committee, who look after the administration of the club. Most modern sports clubs are turning more and more towards experienced business professionals to get involved in running the club’ administration. There are increasing challenges for club administrators when it comes to GDPR compliance, police vetting of volunteers, maintaining financial records and managing finances, raising funds for day-to-day and capital expenses and planning the strategic development of the club. All of these takes a huge amount of volunteering hours – with existing volunteer resources already stretched meeting day-to-day activities.
Much of this volunteering workload is made simpler with Clubforce. We won’t mow the grass or line the pitch but when it comes to managing club memberships, fundraising, communicating with members and reporting on the club’s performance Clubforce has the tools to make volunteering a more efficient and enjoyable experience and as a result frees up significant volunteering hours every week, allowing club volunteers to focus on other areas of the club.
If you would like to learn more about simplifying the administrative effort by bringing Clubforce to your club, fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.