Traditionally, it’s been a coach, volunteer or a professional, and it is this, but so much more. Whoever you are, we hope this page will guide you to the information you need to help you confidently get people moving more.
As a setting, we feel that it’s important:
- that your People have the knowledge, skills and behaviours to provide positive experiences for your participants and customers
- that your People are representative of the participants / customers that you serve
- that your People are diverse
- that you have enough People to meet demand.
Recruit and Retain Volunteers:
In the past, volunteering in sport and activity has been seen as something people do for the benefit of others. Whether it’s marshalling a fun run, managing money, driving people from A to B (and back) or even washing the muddy kit on a Sunday afternoon, it’s always been the participants that everyone is focused on. This is changing!
We need to work to put the experience of the volunteer and a drive to increase diversity at the heart of our efforts. After all, without volunteers, most community sport and activity simply wouldn’t happen.
We know that recruiting volunteers is not always easy. With 70% of clubs nationally reporting a shortage, and 45% of settings in North Yorkshire & York saying that ‘attracting more volunteers’ is a development goal for 2023 – 2024, volunteer recruitment is a common challenge. But there are simple things you can do to make it easier.
Here are some top tips from us:
- Advertise your volunteer opportunities outside your club or setting. We searched some local volunteer directories for opportunities and there were very few (and sometimes no) roles in clubs and settings. Links to where you can promote your opportunities are:
North Yorkshire: https://www.communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk/volunteering/we-need-volunteers/
When people are looking for volunteering opportunities locally, they will look on these sites.
- Think about language and misconceptions. Using words like ‘helping out’ can tackle some of the misconceptions about regular, long-term commitment.
- Shout about the benefits to the volunteer. Some conversations we had with volunteers showed they value the social side, meeting new people and giving back. If you ask your current volunteers what they get from volunteering you can use this information to recruit others.
- Make sure people see themselves at your setting. Making sure that you show a range of people helping out (and enjoying doing so) is really important. Settings told us that on average they felt the diversity of their workforce was at 3.2 out of a score of 5 (where 1 is not diverse and 5 is very diverse). So show you are inclusive. Branch outside your activity and parent group. If someone really loves marketing, do they also need to play your activity to plan your social content?
- Make sure your opportunities are accessible. Can roles be completed at home or just be 30 minutes long? Or completed by a small group? parkrun are very effective at promoting their volunteer opportunities on social media, with key roles that people can dip in and out of on a weekly basis.
There is more information on this at Club Matters.
Recruiting Volunteers – https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/volunteer-development/recruiting-volunteers/
Retaining Volunteers – https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/volunteer-development/retaining-volunteers/
Developing Volunteers – https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/volunteer-development/understanding-your-volunteers/
Volunteer Management – https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/volunteer-development/effective-volunteer-management/
Diversity in Your People:
Diversity in your People (workforce), often described using words such as diversity, equity and inclusion or belonging, refers to having a workforce that’s made up of people from a range of backgrounds, which can include various aspects of identity such as gender, race or ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religion and educational background. It is the collective mixture of employees’ differences and similarities (including individual characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences and behaviours). Where possible, find ways to encourage and recruit people from different age groups and backgrounds to get involved in the running of your organisation.
Most of us know their workforce should be diverse but sometimes have a hard time understanding (or believing) just how beneficial diversity is to the organisation. It’s not simply the right thing to do. Here are a few reasons you should prioritise workforce diversity:
- Attracting participants, volunteers and paid staff (and getting them to stay): If individuals felt the company did not value an inclusive and diverse workplace culture they are less likely to join / attend. When people feel cared about – and see that their peers are cared about – they join, stay and they refer others. It supports the development of a more representative workforce and committee, allowing people to see others ‘like them’ in volunteering positions, contributing to a positive experience.
- Sparking innovation: Organisations comprised of people from various backgrounds and work experiences collectively come up with more creative ideas and ways to solve problems. Diversity of People encourages diversity of thought, by having people with different views and life experiences working together.
- Improving performance: Ethnically diverse organisations are 35% more likely to outperform their peers. This may be attributed to the fact that staff, volunteers and participants are more likely to feel comfortable, happy and confident in an inclusive environment.
- Expanding your reach: When you accurately reflect the world around you, your organisation can more effectively and authentically market to a larger group of customers