Many sport organizations run only on the power of volunteers. In the past, the work of these volunteers occurred on fields, in gyms and in meeting rooms. However, the pandemic has brought on large changes in how we deliver sport. Now more than ever, we’re planning and delivering sport virtually. At the same time, virtual volunteering is emerging trend. Virtual volunteering is done online, with computers or other tech tools, usually from a location away from the organization’s headquarters.
Benefits of Virtual Volunteering
Virtual volunteering allows volunteers to fit their tasks into their schedules when it works for them. As well, virtual volunteering can be done remotely. This means that the volunteer can be located anywhere, not just in your local geographic area. Additionally, virtual volunteering means you can find the best person for the job. You can search for the person who’s skills and abilities best match the position, because you can search from across the entire planet. Another benefit of finding virtual volunteers is that you can assign volunteers for single, one-time tasks, or you can find volunteers for ongoing, large projects.
How Can Virtual Volunteers Be Used
Virtual volunteers can be used in many great ways. The following are a few ideas of how virtual volunteers could be used to tackle projects in your organization.
Social media posting & strategy development – Virtual volunteers could help with writing posts about feel good content that isn’t time sensitive. Interviewing coaches and writing profiles. Promotions about upcoming competitions, or follow-up about results. Or, perhaps you recruit someone with experience in marketing who may help develop your social media strategy.
Website updates – Website horrendously out of date? Enlist someone with great writing skills or knowledgeable in website management to complete updates and remove outdated content.
Policy – The great thing about policy (if there is anything great about policy just kidding, I am a big fan of policy!) is that policy can be developed any time. Someone who is logical and analytical could take on writing or updating drafts of policy.
Volunteer handbook – Developing a volunteer handbook is the perfect task to be completed virtually.
Proposal writing – Given the current societal circumstances, many sport organizations are finding themselves in tight financial conditions. Virtual volunteers may be the perfect support to help seek and write sponsorship applications and grant proposals.
Financial analysis – Many organizations find it beneficial to seek out someone with financial training to sit on their boards as treasurers. Perhaps because of your organization’s rural geography, this has been difficult. A virtual volunteer may assist this, by finding someone without geographic restrictions to support financial analysis.
Risk management analysis – Let’s face it. Assessing an organization’s risk is one of the not-as-fun parts about being involved in sport, but is necessary part of keeping sport safe. Virtual volunteers could complete the assessment for the final review by the board.
Finding Virtual Volunteers
When you’ve decided how to use virtual volunteers, write job descriptions (nothing fancy) to share what people are looking for. Post it on your website, on your governing body’s website, on social media, or try posting it on a website like the Sport Information Resource Centre job board. Some communities have volunteer organizations, like the United Way of Saskatoon & Area. Hopefully through these efforts, you find great people to support your organization to reach new heights!
This article has been adapted from Volunteer Canada’s webpage about virtual volunteering.