Recruiting volunteers is a crucial element of managing your youth sports program. Your volunteers are coaches, sideline helpers, and much-needed support during the season.
There’s always a need for extra helping hands, so how do you get more volunteers?
Here are 4 tips for recruiting more volunteers this season and 4 ways you can plan for next season.
4 Tips for Recruiting More Volunteers
- Focus on Impact
Volunteers want to know that their efforts are making a difference. It’s hard to visualize the impact they can have when they’re looking at a sign-up form – so make it easier for them!
Find ways to show potential volunteers how they’ll be helping the kids in your program. Your recruiting materials should tell your story and show volunteers how it feels to work with your team.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Use pictures and videos to give potential volunteers a window into your program.
- Your team is your best resource. Ask your previous volunteers and players for testimonials. Sharing their personal experience with potential volunteers is the best way to illustrate the impact they’ll have.
- Leverage Word of Mouth Marketing
You can’t find a recruiting tool more powerful than word of mouth. You’re more likely to trust the opinions of your friends and family, and potential volunteers are no different.
Ask your coaches, volunteers, and parents to recruit new volunteers from their networks. With their help casting a wider net and sharing their experiences, you can reach a greater audience.
- Post your volunteer positions on social media and ask your network to share them. Having them like, comment, and share your posts will help you reach more potential volunteers.
- Make sure your network has plenty of volunteer information on hand. Having recruiting materials and online links ready to go will make it easier for them to share with friends they’d trust as volunteers.
- Reach Out to Local Universities
Whether they’re looking for ways to get involved with their community or working on improving their resumes, college students are great volunteers. They typically have flexible schedules and can bring a unique enthusiasm to your program.
Reach out to your local universities and community colleges to see who’s interested in volunteering for your program. Pay special attention to academic majors and clubs that align with your program or require volunteer hours.
- Connect with local university career centers. Many of them manage student job lists, and they may be able to list your volunteer positions.
- Reach out to their sports programs, especially those that play the same sport as your team. Your volunteer positions may resonate more with those students.
- Make It Easy to Sign Up
How many times have you started to sign up for something online, only to click away as soon as the process became inconvenient? No one wants to feel frustrated or confused, so make your volunteer sign-up process as easy as possible.
Go through your sign-up process as if you were a new volunteer. Are there any steps that cause friction? They may be discouraging volunteers, so try simplifying where you can to improve your processes.
- Give parents the chance to sign up as volunteers during your program registration. You’ll get more eyes on your volunteer positions and may be able to sway those on the fence.
- Friction can also be caused by having strict volunteer shifts and limited positions. Try offering different positions and flexible shifts to accommodate parents with busy schedules.
4 Ways to Plan Ahead for Next Season
- Take Plenty of Pictures
Pictures and videos are strong tools for telling your story and recruiting volunteers. Take lots of pictures and videos throughout this season. Building a large media library now will give you more to pull from when you start recruiting next season.
- Thank Your Volunteers
Your volunteers will stick around when they feel their work is valued. Spend this season showing your volunteers you appreciate them. You can thank them in person, spotlight them on social media, or host appreciation events to keep them engaged and ready to return next season.
- Build a Strong Online Presence
People rely on the internet when researching volunteer opportunities. Build a strong website that tells your story and shares your volunteer information. Keep your online resources up to date so your community knows how to get involved next season.
- Create a Volunteer Mailing List
How are you keeping potential volunteers informed? Have those interested in volunteering join a mailing list so you can keep them up to date on your new positions. Build the list and engage them throughout this season so you’ll have a wider network to recruit from next time.
Recruiting volunteers can be hard, but it gets easier as you build more connections and engage your network.
Playerspace’s solution, LeagueMVP, is a holistic tool that handles all aspects of sports league management.
Level Up Your League With LeagueMVP
Recruiting volunteers is only one component of managing a successful sports league. Take your league to the next level with LeagueMVP, Playerspace’s holistic sports league management solution.
With LeagueMVP’s management tools, you can:
- Generate digital rosters to reduce time spent creating teams by up to 600%
- Quickly communicate with parents and staff through automated notifications, emails, and texts
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- Prepare for next season by collecting, storing, and analyzing league data
Ready to level up your league? Learn more about how LeagueMVP can help.