Volunteers, whether they are helping with league operations or specific sports clubs, are integral to keeping the day-to-day process running smoothly. They also offer valuable support and help for games and special events throughout seasons. Volunteers are important to cost management for organizations. Parents and other volunteers willing to donate their time to coach or work on the board reduce operation costs. An all-volunteer staff also allows for lower overhead fees for the organization. This also ensures that those participating are truly passionate about their club, league, or the programs they are involved in.

Considering the immense value that volunteers offer your youth sports club or league, it is essential to generate ongoing interest to keep future planning at the forefront. This often includes specific incentives such as discounts and special trainings. Here are five ways to incentivize volunteers for your sports club or league.

  1. Clearly State Your Goals

A poorly-managed volunteer program leads to frustrated parents and a disappointing sports league experience. Word gets around when volunteers are undervalued or mistreated. Clearly structure your program and break down criteria into specific positions. From here, you have a better idea of your specific needs and the type of people you require. Keep your volunteer descriptions direct and openly state expectations in advance.

  1. Offer Discounted Enrollment for Volunteers’ Families

Many youth sports team or league volunteers are parents and family members of team players. Show them some support by offering discounted enrollment for volunteering families. A couple suggestions for discounts are waiving registration fees, providing savings on gear purchases, and providing sibling discounts. Directly articulate these benefits when seeking volunteers to further incentivize participation.

  1. Show Parents the Value of Volunteering 

In the interest of transparency, as a youth sports team or league, make it a point to emphasize the value volunteers bring and how much you the organization appreciate their time and efforts. Volunteering fiscally benefit organizations, by allowing for the budget to go back into the team. This can create opportunities for special camps, clinics, and specific skills trainings. As your volunteers likely have a child or a connection to a child on the team, they will likely enjoy hearing about the benefits that their hard work brings.

  1. Offer Incentives to Volunteer Coaches

Your volunteer coaches likely have a passion for the sport or a connection to it. One way to keep their enthusiasm going is by offering educational incentives. This form of giving back is mutually beneficial, as it improves volunteers’ skillsets while building a passionate, ever-growing team culture. Coaching programs, teaching materials, mentorship, and continuing education are all excellent tools to motivate volunteer growth.

  1. Show Your Appreciation

Your volunteers keep your youth sports team or league running smoothly, be sure they feel supported. Keep team culture fun by hosting an end of the season thank you party for all volunteers. Consider giving thank you gifts to your volunteers for birthdays, special occasions, or simply just because.