A huge thank you to all those that have got in contact with me with questions and comments over the past month, I’m always happy to help, so please keep the comments coming!

This month let’s talk about volunteers! Volunteers carry out almost 80% of the administration functions within the sport and recreation sector, probably more within worship groups, making volunteers an integral part of the success of ANY community organisation.

So, we know we need volunteers but what do volunteers need from us?


Volunteers get involved in community groups / organisations for a number of reasons: 

  1. To gain skills – job skills, communication skills, personal and professional development.

  2. To gain experience – they might be new to the workforce, the country or changing careers.

  3. To have fun!

  4. To meet new people!

  5. To feel part of a community.

  6. To pass on skills to others.

  7. To be challenged, experience something new or just to get them out of the house!

  8. To contribute and feel like they are making a difference and doing good.

Each person will have a different reason to get involved but they will all have similar needs to attracting them to work with your specific club. This includes flexible working conditions, easy to manage roles and great communication to be able to know what needs to be done and by when.


BUT WHERE DO WE FIND THESE PEOPLE?

The best way of recruiting people is to have one of their friends ask them. Organise your members to each ask five people or ask your existing volunteers to approach their friends. (It's always nice to get a personal invitation!) If you have already tried this and still need more help, some recruitment options could include:

  1. Local newspaper volunteer listings.

  2. School newsletters.

  3. Senior citizens clubs.

  4. Places of worship and their newsletters.

  5. Posters on community bulletin boards at libraries, shops, community centres, sports clubs, university campuses.

  6. ‘Bring a Friend’ morning tea for current volunteers.

  7. Public recognition of your volunteers or a special announcement asking for help at an event.

  8. Stall at community events/festivals

  9. Your website and your www.hallsforhire.com.au listing

  10. External websites like www.govolunteer.com.au or www.ourcommunity.com.au

Volunteers give their time and energy because they're committed to a cause. They come back because it's fun. You have to be able to deliver on both counts. It's important to show volunteers that a real value is placed on their work:

  • Show respect by talking to them, asking for feedback and suggestions.

  • Show recognition by thanking them openly and often. A phone call, letter or formal certificate of thanks after a big project or a milestone is important. 

  • Reward your volunteers by building a team spirit, perhaps a small gift or a social gathering to say thank you after a specific goal or project.

I couldn’t run any of my community venues or events without A LOT of volunteers. They are part of the reason I do it and why I love it! I would never look at doing anything without the support of likeminded volunteers and hope that these tips help you find more volunteers and have more fun with them!

Deb