3 Reasons Why You Don't Have Volunteers (And 25 ways to Fix It!)

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Volunteering is one of those selfless acts in life that can be rewarding in so many ways!  

But many youth sports teams neglect their volunteers and then wonder why they don't have any...


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They say volunteering can be good for your mind and body, counteracting the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety.  It can help make a huge difference, promoting personal growth and self-esteem.  It even saves resources for the organization that your volunteers care about.

Well, If it does ALL that, why is it so hard to get + keep volunteers?

There are actually a few reasons:

  1. COMMUNICATION
  2. RESPECT
  3. APPRECIATION

Now, before you start to get all up in arms; I’m not blaming YOU, per se.  Instead, I’m offering up the top 3 reasons why most volunteers either don’t offer up their time; or don’t care to stay.

Let’s break into this a bit more…

LACK OF COMMUNICATION

One of my fellow sports moms once told me,

Shaki, I don’t mind showing up to help, but don’t expect me to do something we hadn’t discussed.
— Anonymous Yet Awesome Sports Mom

Now, she wasn’t referring to me.  Or something I had asked her to do... more like venting.  But the fact is still there.

Most of our parents want to be there to help.  If they are there to support their child and the team needs help, they are willing to do what it takes. 

But they also don’t want to stress over whether they are getting the right information.  The best thing you can do is be TRANSPARENT with your parents and your volunteers!

Tweet: 

The best thing you can do is be TRANSPARENT with your parents and your volunteers!

 

What do I mean by being transparent?

For example, imagine the game was cancelled at the last minute.  Sam, a team dad, volunteered to bring the team tent.  

Be honest, timely, and transparent with the change of information.

Sam should be one of the first people you call (not text or email, unless that is specifically how he requested to be reached).  He may not like it, but I can guarantee he would be even more upset if he got all the way to the field before he saw your email. 

If you weren’t transparent, next time Sam will pass on loading up the tent because he knows if anything changes he’ll be the last to find out and it’ll just be a waste of his time.

LACK OF RESPECT

We are all very busy. 

And, we are all here for a common reason, our kids.  If it weren’t for them, I’m sure we’d either be on the golf course or Netflix binging while eating a double scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream on a waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles…(okay, maybe that’s just me!) haha

But you get my point!

One of the worse things you can do, which is also one of the quickest ways you can lose volunteers, is by disrespecting their time. 

To make my short point (because I don’t want to waste your time); if you schedule for a volunteer to run concessions from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. you need to make sure you have their replacement ready to go by 11:45 a.m.  Period!

Tweet:

Time is a valuable commodity that can't be replaced. Be respectful of your volunteers' time, and they'll come back again and again!

 

LACK OF APPRECIATION

Just because they agreed to volunteer their time and effort doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate being appreciated! 

While you can seriously run the gamut on the type of people you may have volunteering for your organization, just about NO ONE EVER got upset because you uttered a simple, “Thank You”.

In addition to showing your appreciation with gratitude, something as unassuming as asking their opinion from time to time doesn’t hurt either.  

You show your appreciation for all that they are doing to support you and your organization, and you prove that they are a respected member of your team!

That's It!!

I hope this post helped to shed some light on why you might be lacking volunteers. 

It might behoove you to take a step back and assess your current situation so that you are prepared to travel down a more successful road when the time comes.

In the mean time... I'd love it if you let me know what you think! 

And if you’ve found that you have experienced a similar situation please feel free to share it below.

So now that you’ve done some reflection and know why your volunteers were jumping ship; here are 25 ways to start building back up that list of names!

If you're just starting out and want to learn the overall process for bringing volunteers on board, I've created a short guide just for you!  Get it here!

If you can relate to this post, I'd appreciate it if you shared it with your team mom buddies!

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Until next time... Keep Tackling That Sideline,