It’s most common for clubs to recruit for volunteers from existing members.
The more people you can get involved with running the club the better, as long as you organise it well and ensure that people only take on what they can manage. Most of the problems that occur in clubs’ management happen because tasks and responsibilities are either divided unevenly or because volunteers are not given a good enough idea of what is needed from them.
So, how to remedy this?…
If you find that you have difficulties filling roles from established club members, don’t forget to make it known to new members that there are ways to help out with running the club. You will probably find willing volunteers in your Learn to Row or novice groups. Think about the variety of skills that people have that are transferable to the club environment. Just because they don’t have in depth knowledge of rowing shouldn’t hold them back. You might want to look at the Join In programme, which aims to encourage people not already involved in sport to volunteer and get involved.
Examples of roles needing to be filled in a club and some typical tasks can be found here.
A job description for all volunteers and committee members is a great place to start. Not only does it help to clarify what everyone does, it also helps when that person leaves the position and you need to find a replacement. You might find that responsibilities can be better divided once everyone has an idea of what other people are doing.
Advertise that you need help
Often club members will have a vague idea of who runs the club and who is on the committee but will not really know how to get involved. If you make it clear that there are opportunities to help out you may be surprised by the response. Use the job descriptions and a realistic indication of how much time will be involved.
You could also try advertising outside the club. Following the successful volunteering programme of the Olympics and Paralympics, people are more aware of the importance of volunteering. Try contacting your local volunteer centre, Further Education college or sign up to Join In.
Guildford Rowing Club successfully attracted volunteers to help with their Adaptive Rowing programme by sending a poster to the local Volunteer Bureau. Think about where and how you could advertise.