You Do Not Have It Covered: 20 Tasks for Volunteers

AntsWorkingOnStrawberrySometimes a volunteer catches you flat footed. “You guys need anything? Can I help out?” There’s certainly a lot that you, a booster club leader, need to do. You could use some help. To-do lists are so tightly spooled in your head it feels like they’re going to start fluttering out. Yet it feels like more effort to train this volunteer than to do things yourself. You’re tempted to tell them that you have it covered, or that there’s nothing small enough for them to take on. Don’t give in.

Do not say “no” to a volunteer ever. Period.

Because while it’s easier to brush someone off, it’s important to invest in future volunteers. Long term, committed volunteers start with a single task. To help get them involved, I prepared this list for those fresh volunteers—the ones who won’t yet make a season long commitment or don’t have time to be trained on a lot of new skills. In particular, keep these tasks in mind if someone offers to do something you don’t need. You can say no, thanks, but we could really use your help with:

  1. Organizing: every board member has an organizational project they’ve kept on the back burner. Whether it’s cleaning up a database, cleaning out a supply room, updating a website, or typing up minutes, there’s always some pencil pushing to do that would help the club.
  2. Calling: in a perfect world, supporters and volunteers would receive a phone call for every meeting and fundraising event. Usually, we don’t do this because we’re busy. But trust me, if you call everyone marked as attending or unreplied on that Facebook event, you’ll increase attendance. For more efficiency, make a phone tree.
  3. Hosting an event: pre-game pasta feed, coach appreciation celebration, award nights
  4. Cooking: preparing food isn’t just for bake sales. It’s also great to have food or snacks for participants and club volunteers. Games, board meetings, and awards nights are all great occasions to show support by preparing platters of healthy snacks.
  5. Writing op-eds/letters: for supporters who appreciate the work of a booster club, it’s good to communicate. Sincere letters of support and thanks to a local newspaper or school board member increase a booster club’s visibility in the local community.
  6. Proofreading: with club communications like newsletters, website pages, etc., it’s great to have an extra set of eyes.
  7. Chaperoning: especially when students travel, it’s helpful to coaches to have an extra pair of hands, and eyes, to keep excursions organized and safe.
  8. Filming: Every booster club event deserves to be recorded and shared with the community. Editing and uploading is also a very important piece of the video puzzle.
  9. Photographing: Every aspect of a booster club can be photographed, from preparing fundraisers to enjoying activities. Convince a volunteer to do this once and they might become your official photographer.
  10. Driving: coordinate or drive in student shuttles. More about this in 5 Ways to Help Your Booster Club–After the Fundraiser
  11. Spring cleaning: most activities use equipment that could use an oiling, sewing, taping or plain throwing out.
  12. Tweet: a trained volunteer can tweet from the club account, while an untrained volunteer can tweet at it. Same goes for other social media accounts like Facebook (posting updates and photos on the club’s page).
  13. Staffing the snack shack
  14. Setting up: support fellow volunteers by helping them set up for their event
  15. Cleaning up: be a hero for fundraiser hosts by helping take down decorations and clean up the venue.
  16. Picking things up: such as items for an auction, food for a fundraiser, or equipment for a club.
  17. Washing uniforms: is this the type of volunteer who already knows that oxiclean gets out grass stains and won’t turn red striped pants into pink ones? If so, they can wash uniforms, a task that can be done on their schedule.
  18. Babysitting: babysitting can be a way to enable your booster’s volunteers. It’s also a way to exchange volunteer time with other booster clubs. For example, your volunteers could exchange babysitting now for help at a big fundraiser in the future.
  19. Sewing: for example, patches often need to be sewn by hand onto team uniforms (because iron on patches always fall off).
  20. Parent registration drive: collect parent email addresses and permission to use them.

What does your club delegate to volunteers? Does it have different tasks for the fair-weather supporters and more consistent ones? How does your club orient new volunteers?

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