Diversity of Volunteers

Do you invite a mix of ages, backgrounds, populations, members and non-members into your volunteer group?

Look at your club's current volunteers in terms of ages and specific population groups and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are they representative of the surrounding community?
  • Is the group as diverse as it could be?
  • Is your committee representative of your members?
  • Are your policies and procedures inclusive and do they allow for diversity?
  • Have you looked outside of your club for volunteers?

People volunteer for different reasons, and being able to target specific groups and focus on their skills and motivations to volunteer is important in getting them involved with your club.

The different groups from which your club could attract members/volunteers:

  • Families
    • Increasingly, parents are looking for opportunities to be helpful while spending time with their families. Sport provides a great opportunity for this. Look at ways to engage parents and ensure that your club is attractive to families. This could include having smoke-free environments and responsible service of alcohol policies and making sure parents can have a break from their volunteer role to watch their child play sport.

  • Baby Boomers and Retirees
    • With more people (baby boomers) heading towards retirement than ever before, opportunities exist to target this group to volunteer. Consider promoting volunteering to baby boomers as a way of managing their transition from paid work to retirement. Retirees are often looking for ways to be involved in voluntary work, to contribute, to feel useful and stay involved with their local community. Contact past members of the club, advertise at local businesses and on local community boards and websites. The Golden Gurus program is made up of retired people who volunteer their time to mentor community organisations. Golden Gurus or Active Ageing SA could help with your club's recruitment.

  • Indigenous
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a rich diversity of traditions, culture and languages - all of which can add immense value to your club. Building relationships with local indigenous communities could link your club with potential new members and volunteers.

  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
    • Clubs need to be aware of differing cultural values within the community. Remember that different cultures may require different approaches for managing volunteers. Contact Multicultural SA to find out more about CALD organisations in your community.

  • Youth
    • In general, young people are full of fresh perspectives, enthusiasm and ideas. If you have youth members in your club, talk to them and find out what would entice them to volunteer. If you are unfamiliar with the latest technology, speak to the younger members about them helping in this area of your club. Volunteering can help youth add value to their CVs, complete academic subjects and obtain scholarships (such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award). Use these as incentives for this group.

  • People with a Disability
    • When working with people with a disability, focus on the person and their abilities. Always look at what they can do rather than what they cannot do. It is important to address barriers such as access, finances, transport, communication, attitudes, and social and psychological issues. If you are not sure, ask the person or speak to a disability service provider in your area.

  • Unemployed
    • Centrelink may be able to recommend your club to people looking for volunteer work. Some long term unemployed people are required to undertake volunteer work to continue receiving their benefits. Volunteering in a sporting club may be perfect for them.

  • Corporate Volunteers
    • Corporate volunteers are 'sponsored' by their employer to volunteer. They are often highly skilled and often volunteer their time during work hours. Volunteering SA&NT has a list of corporate organisations with people willing to volunteer.

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  • Identify the possible groups / organisations your club could target for volunteering
  • Develop strategies for approaching the groups targeted
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