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Enhancing positive volunteer experience in the sports for development sector

Enhancing positive volunteer experience in the sports for development sector

Volunteering has taken different dimensions based on how it is applied in activities, programmes and organisations.

The concept of volunteering is more popular in the non-profit sector. However, the corporate world has not been left behind with using helpers as a result of the rise in corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Various organisations apply the volunteering concept in different ways. The existence of volunteering agencies such as volunteering service organisation (VSO) has enabled the placement of different volunteers in different countries based on their skills and needs i.e. teaching, health, business.

But how do sport and development organisations approach volunteering? It is safe to say that various value sports organisations deal with children and youth and the emphasis is placed on the “safe space” ideology which attempts to prevent the population group from social deviation.

Mostly, the organisations recruit volunteers from the locality of programme implementation as a strategy to ensure sustainability. Human resource departments should consider formalising the volunteer function so as to create a sense of dignity among them. This should start from the human resource planning, recruitment, selection, placement, compensation as well as training and development.

Organisations should establish motivation packages to encourage volunteer work in the sports and development sector. Despite compensating them in form of monthly stipend, most the volunteers feel unsatisfied with lack of career advancement opportunities. There have been cases of child abuse in such programs due to the absence of child protection policies, theft as well as absenteeism in program activities are also common occurrences but one of the most crucial thing for the top hierarchy to consider is the interpersonal relations .the master-servant approach has seen scenarios of high handedness when senior staff don’t appreciate the work done. There should be mechanism to deal with such issues to as to tame cases of arrogance, malice and “taking volunteers’ input for granted because you are the boss mentality”.

 To effectively get the best out of helpers in these organisations, human resource experts should consider consulting volunteer placement agencies to create specialised volunteer departments based on the skills needed. The volunteer department could then work with related departments such as communications, finance and sports.in the end; this will provide a roadmap for organisations to develop volunteers who will then fill up such positions in the future.

[This article was written by Gabriel Tabona, and edited by the Operating Team]

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Published

Monday, December 5, 2016 - 17:00

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