VC Top Tips

 

Many clubs across the UK now have Club Volunteer Coordinators in place.

Below, are some activities that Club Volunteer Coordinators have told us they have been involved with since taking on their roles.

Club volunteer needs assessments

Many clubs are aware of the general duties involved with running their facilities but few have enough information to ensure that their current and future volunteer needs are met effectively. The volunteer needs assessment is a valuable process. It is fairly easy to do and it can help with the development of club volunteer management plans.

For more information and guidance see the following documents

  • Getting volunteer recruitment on the agenda
  • Club volunteer needs assessment, tips and advice
  • Club volunteer needs assessment template
  • Club volunteer needs assessment sample

Matching volunteers to club roles Ensuring that all members are offered appropriately challenging volunteering opportunities is vital, but matching volunteers to appropriate vacancies can be difficult. The first step towards making this easier is making sure that sufficient information is gathered to inform decisions relating to volunteer placement and development.

  • Create, maintain and update a volunteer database

For more information and guidance see the following document:

  • Developing a skills data base
  • Or visit www.do-it.org.uk for more ideas

Recruitment - Top Tips for Club Volunteer Coordinators

Welcoming new members

Welcoming new members into your club is important. Always remember that first impressions last. Finding out what new members want, from their involvement with your club, is the first step towards helping them settle into a voluntary role within the club and keeping their membership in the longer term. There are a number of ways that Club Volunteer Coordinators can help new members:

  • Arranging buddies or mentors may help to identify where your new members may be able to contribute as a club volunteer.
  • When dealing with new members try to sell volunteering as an exciting opportunity. Don’t present voluntary club work as an obligation.
  • Provide information packs that include details about the range of volunteering opportunities you can offer new members. Provide details on access routes to specific volunteering roles; let your new members know what they can do to develop into specific volunteer roles.

For more information and guidance see the following documents:

  • Club information pack content list o What is a buddy system?
  • Young people as volunteers

Create a sense of community

Creating a sense of community is a good way to ensure that mutual support develops for all club members. Too often, the few work so hard for the benefit of the many. Involving everyone is a good way to raise the awareness of the issues, and club meetings can help to create a supportive community. Some members may not be aware of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. All for their pleasure!

  • Organise quarterly meetings for volunteers to facilitate the exchange of ideas and help solve problems.

Recruitment - Top Tips for Club Volunteer Coordinators

Attending club committee meetings

Putting and keeping volunteering issues and development on the agenda is an important element of volunteer management. Integrating the volunteer action plan into the club development plan is an important step forward.

  • Work with the club committee to gradually introduce more volunteer management ideas to the club. 
  • Form a Volunteer Management Sub-Committee and devise guidelines and policies relating to recruiting, recognising, training, and rewarding volunteers within your club.

For more information and guidance see the following document

  • Making it a team effort, forming volunteer sub-committees

Giving volunteers recognition

Recognition plans do not need to be onerous. There are many official recognition schemes available but you don’t need to rely on these to show your volunteers how much they are appreciated!

  • Design and implement volunteer recognition plans. At a local level, devise specific recognition programmes to acknowledge particular types of voluntary contribution in your club.
  • Check out the opportunities available for National Award nominations and nominate someone from your club!
  • Build these schemes into your club recognition plans.
  • Publicise and promote recognition schemes within the club via newsletters, poster and the web.

For more information and guidance see the following documents.

  • Club Instructor of the Year Award (down load word format)
  • Club Volunteer Recognition Certificate (down load word format)
  • Club Young Volunteer of the Year Award (down load word format)
  • National award Schemes for young people

Recruiting volunteers into specific roles

Identifying the types of roles that your club struggles to fill is probably quite easy. As a form of succession planning, it could be helpful to nominate someone, in the club, to maintain an overview of specific club volunteer needs i.e. to identify where volunteers will be needed in the future, to plan specific events or perhaps develop club opportunities etc.

  • Identify and approach individuals with potential and coax them into specific volunteer roles.

Role clarification

Research has also highlighted the fact that many would-be volunteers don’t volunteer because they want more guidance. If you are not providing guidance and role clarification to your members then you may not be making the most of your potential volunteer workforce.

Role clarification, provided through role descriptors, is an important volunteer management tool that can be used in the recruitment and retention of volunteers. Setting up role descriptions for every volunteer role provides guidance and gives volunteers the opportunity to take on specific responsibilities.

For more information and guidance see the following documents: 

  • Club Volunteer Coordinator, role descriptor
  • Volunteer job design for success
  • Volunteer job design, tips
  • Volunteer job design worksheet

Providing feedback and support to volunteers

  • How am I doing?

Volunteers need support, recognition and encouragement as much, if not more, than paid workers. Facilitating feedback can help motivate volunteers and it can also help to identify training needs. Establish a self-evaluation and feedback system to help you support your volunteer development.