Youth sports organizations are predominately powered by the hard work of dedicated volunteers who provide financial value and benefit to any organization. It is important to maintain a solid volunteer base because there is increasing competition amongst other organizations to recruit the best volunteers. Typically, most volunteers donate their time to a single entity. Because of these crucial facts it is important to know what drives people to volunteer and equally as important to ensure they continue to contribute to your sports organization.
The main motivational factors for most volunteers are:
- Community development
- Acquisition of new skills
When considering the reasons why people volunteer, it is also helpful to make sure you know what your individual volunteers are seeking when donating their time to your organization. If you can align your volunteers’ motives with the goals and mission of your organization it will help to reduce turnover and provide more meaningful experiences to those that help your organization succeed.
Some reasons why volunteers leave:
- Lack of organization
- Unprepared or untrained leaders
- No sense of accomplishment
- Insufficient materials
- Little motivation
- Lack of proper training
- Skills and interest do not match volunteer assignments
In evaluating the motivational factors behind volunteerism as well as the reasons that deter people from being committed volunteers, the following are ways to help keep your volunteers engaged.
- Match your volunteers’ skills with the appropriate tasks
- Provide recognition to the contributions your volunteers make
- Measure the impact of volunteers
- Train your volunteers and train the paid staff that will work with your volunteers
Because youth sports can be heavily dependent on volunteer contributions, it is important to be cognizant of your volunteers’ experience with your organization. By being aware of motivational factors and deterrents, you can optimize your organization’s productivity.