It’s no secret that without volunteers, your youth sports organization and its teams would fall apart. Without their support and constant participation throughout the year, the success of your season is almost impossible. 76% of sports clubs agree with the statement that their “club lives primarily through the voluntary commitment of its members”. Whether it’s your coaches, your tournament assistants, etc., every single one of your volunteers is an essential piece for a successful season!
That said, it is extremely important to recognize the hard-work of your volunteers to retain and keep them for the upcoming seasons. Sometimes it is possible to forget everything they do for their club and that they are really your pillars! A reminder is therefore needed to highlight these extremely hard-working and indispensable beings for your organization’s daily operations.
Your volunteers give you lots of time
Throughout the season, your volunteers give you time in their daily lives for the good of your youth sports organization. Whether it’s preparation time for training, contact with parents or players, practices, during games, events, etc. your volunteers allocate time and energy to you that they could use for themselves. Not to mention the fact that the vast majority of them have a full-time job in addition to putting a huge number of hours into your association. This dedication is not insignificant and deserves to be recognized.
Your volunteers take care of your young athletes
The coaches, managers, volunteers at the events, but also the parents who willingly take care of your team’s activities, of the delivery and the retrieval of the jerseys at the end of the season, or even maybe the team carpool, all look after the young athletes within your organization in one way or another. Volunteers who coordinate and attend events and those who work on the “social” side of your team, focus primarily on the well-being of the athletes and their safety. For their part, the coaches are there mainly for the evolution and progression of your players throughout the season. Without your volunteers, the players wouldn’t be in such good hands. Moreover, their safety and progress would not be as assured.
Your volunteers save you tons of money
If your volunteers were not there, you would probably have to find outside sources to meet your needs, which would cost you a lot of money. The fact that your volunteers are willing to put all that time and energy for you and your association for free is an incredible bonus for your club and you have to push it forward. In addition, saving money keeps the registration price acceptable for your members.
How to show appreciation to your volunteers and retain them
It is very important that your volunteers are happy in their position in order to bring them back for following seasons. Obviously, it is much more advantageous for you to retain them as much as possible instead of finding new ones. A recent study by the Sports and Recreation Alliance of the United Kingdom allowed them to determine the main points to bring and keep volunteers. They established 6 things that volunteers want, with the acronym GIVERS, here is what they found:
Volunteers want personal growth and well-being. They want to feel that their volunteer experience helps them grow as a person, live new experiences, and become better people. This sense of growth will make them feel that working for you is a worthwhile experience every season.
They want to feel like they have an impact and make a difference. They want to see the results of all their efforts, they want to see young people grow under their wings, and they want to see the organization prosper because of their great work.
They want to have their voice in the club and feel that they are taken seriously by their leaders. It is very important that your volunteers feel heard and that their opinions are valued by the organization. They are the ones who are on the ground with the young players. They are present at the events, and they live with the decisions of your association on a daily basis. Their opinions must be highly valued in the organization.
Ease and Experience
They want their registration experience to be easy and practical. The same applies to their overall experience. A simple registration, background check, and meeting/discussion are sufficient. If the process is too complicated, the motivation is lost. It is important to keep this in mind during your selection process.
This is where a solution like MonClubSportif becomes greatly beneficial to your club. The app automates all processes that can be cumbersome for your organization and reduces email or phone exchanges for unnecessary and impertinent questions. By using MonClubSportif, the workload of your volunteers is not only reduced, but also simplified. They will therefore be more inclined to come back for several seasons, since their involvement will not seem like a job, but rather like a hobby.
Without necessarily wanting something big, volunteers want to be recognized and rewarded for their work. It’s not difficult to show your appreciation at the end of the season. Whether it’s a dinner or a little party, it’s the least you can do to thank your volunteers, who have put in hours and hours of effort throughout your season. You can also use your social media to highlight their work with a word and a photo of them in action. It’s simple and can do a lot of good!
They want to have pleasant social interactions during their volunteering. If they feel alone and do not interact during their volunteer time, it will not be a rewarding experience. Be sure to include teamwork in their day-to-day, to provide a rewarding social experience. Listen as much as you can to plan teams that are cohesive.
Be grateful for the hours invested
It is therefore crucial for your club to apply these principles to increase your chances of making your volunteers happy and keep them year after year. According to a study by Parks and Recreation Ontario, your sports volunteers give an average of 143 hours per year per sport. That is huge. Do you realize how much they are doing for youth sports and young people?
Dear volunteers, the MonClubSportif team would like to thank you very much on behalf of all the young people, parents, coaches and other people involved from near and far! Without you, none of this would be possible!
Moreover, if you are a parent and you are not involved in your child’s club, you should try, for their own good and yours! Getting involved in youth sport is an incredibly rewarding experience. It is also an action that will greatly help your child and his association. You will be able to be part of unforgettable memories of your young one. The sense of pride felt at the end of a busy season is worth it.