“What is a volunteer?” Is it someone who does something for FREE? Yes, but there’s a little more to it than that. A volunteer is a very special person who gives freely of their time and talents for the benefit of others, without personal renumeration.
Who is a Volunteer?
A volunteer is a person who is willing to help perform any one of the necessary unpaid jobs in our club. Your role as a volunteer is important to our sport. You can be actively involved in your child’s swimming program and can also be instrumental in strengthening swimming in the Northumberland community.
There are unlimited opportunities to get involved to help in almost any capacity. The rewards are meeting new people, making new friends and having that great feeling that you have had an impact on your child’s athletic environment, and love of swimming.
Give volunteering a try. Any contribution you can make will be appreciated. Ask Annette Otter or any other returning NORAC parent what you can do to help. They will appreciate the offer and put you in touch with the appropriate person to place you in an area where your best skills are used to make the swimming experience joyful for everyone in the club.
How to Make a Good Volunteer Feel Great
Recruit Volunteers. Don’t wait for volunteers to speak up-take the first step and approach people to serve on a committee or carry out specific duties. Once they have agreed, explain the value of their contribution to the program, and emphasize the importance of reliability and commitment.
Match the volunteer to the job. By listening to volunteers, you’ll find out why they want to be involved, what their interests and talents are, and how much time they are able to give. Give complete and accurate descriptions of all tasks and make sure the volunteers understand any requirements for training and/or certification, as well as the time commitment.
Provide training. Training will enable the volunteer to perform his tasks competently and to understand how his work relates to that of others. While a volunteer may already have great skills and experience in doing whatever job you have assigned him, he needs to know how his role fits in to the overall program.
Provide guidance & reinforcement. It is important to provide volunteers with positive feedback and guidance for their jobs. Just as our swimmers need a pat on the back so do our volunteers. Be quick to praise and be sure to provide direction so that these volunteers become increasingly more effective.
Share the glory. Volunteers want to feel that their efforts contribute to the success of the team, whether it be a meet or a fundraiser. Be sure to share the glory and the limelight with those volunteers that made the success possible.
Here are a few suggestions on how to work with and keep volunteers
- Greet by name
- Introduce yourself to a new volunteer
- Accept their individuality
- Recognize and accommodate personal needs
- Enable volunteer to grow through the activities
- Give additional responsibility
- Enlist them to train other volunteers
- Distinguish between groups and individuals in the group
- Celebrate outstanding achievements
- Take time to talk
- Praise them to their friends
- Plan a “Recognition Edition” of the newsletter
- Say “We missed you”
- Say “Thank you”