Volunteers

any topics for discussion concerning the Southern League, South Mids, or Midweek Youth

Volunteers

Postby Mickeygee » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:25 am

I suspect most non-league clubs could just about survive without the generous money men who fund the supporters’ hobby and enable clubs to live beyond their means. It would probably mean rapid relegation for those clubs that lose their financial support earliest, but gradually players would be either playing for clubs they want to play for, rather than those that pay them a few extra quid a week – or not playing at all.
Right, so who will be first to offer 'expenses only' deals to the players ? Let’s hope it’s not Chesham Utd !

What the clubs cannot survive without are those vital loyal volunteers who actually make non-league football happen around the country each week by performing the numerous necessary tasks which go on behind the scenes in support of ‘their’ club. I even know one club where the Chairman often operates as a ball boy during games !
Volunteers are the clubs’ lifeblood and, without them, there would be no Chesham Utd etc.

Trouble is, for various reasons, volunteers are difficult to find these days. When people do get involved it is vital that they are not taken for granted and that the Club’s officers show them appreciation for all they do and ensure thanks are expressed when appropriate.

Personally, I don’t understand why clubs don’t offer selected youngsters, say, £7.50 per hour to carry out certain duties, such as social media management, basic sales promotion, superficial cleaning of ground & premises, programme/raffle ticket sales, catering etc. Half a dozen paid helpers per game would ease the workload and improve performance in certain areas – for less than the cost of an ordinary player.

Is it worth considering at Chesham Utd ?
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Re: Volunteers

Postby Alan » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:36 pm

Interesting thought, but has potential to change things dramatically and become a bit messy and expensive...In my opinion.

I still think the heart of the club should be volunteers - The town/fans/community show that they are prepared to put in a bit of graft, a little bit of time (however small) and a bit of effort, and this, I believe will make those that put money in to the club feel better about what they are doing, and more inclined to continue funding. In theory.

A lot of it may stay under the radar, but there are a lot of people putting in a lot of time and effort to improve the club, purely as a volunteer and because they want to help. I can foresee the situation where those people might start to get a bit miffed if someone else suddenly starts getting paid for doing less than what they do? Human nature would lead to some resentment.

To be honest, it probably happens a bit already.

Personally I think the starting point, or ideal point, would be to find a way to drum up some support and enthusiasm to get things done so that fans can then go to the Board and say look we are doing this, this and that - What is happening with these things and if we continue doing this will you continue to fund other areas...

...Unfortunatley if that gets slapped back in your face, then you probably won’t go back for more and you are left without helpers and volunteers...So maybe you do need to start paying to get things done. Which is a shame, as then it no longer feels like a club.

Too many bad choices. Too often listening to the wrong people.
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Re: Volunteers

Postby CUFC200468 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:16 pm

A couple of interesting and valid points raised here, both by Mickeygee and then Alan.

I know that I`ve mentioned this previously, but surely it again begs the question of how much benefit there is to be gained if only the club were to engage more with the town and the community as a whole. An increase in the fan base would generate the real possibility of more people coming forward to volunteer their services to the club - in effect, grow the heart of the club...
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Re: Volunteers

Postby Alan » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 pm

Totally fair comment...and the bonkers things is that, on the whole, nobody would disagree.

Yes, some comments make you cringe (and behind the scenes they are sometimes even worse!), but generally you'd like to think that getting the town and the community involved is a good thing. Maybe people have different ways of showing that wish, but you would have to be mad to think otherwise.

Maybe it ties in with the issue of volunteers, how do you define "the club"? Are you and I part of "the club" ? Or is it really just the owners, the board, directors, officials...where does the line stop?

It is a message I struggled, nay, failed, to get across when the supporters were running the club. We are all the club. It is very easy to become a part of the club, stick your head above the parapet and say "I'll do that". The club...sorry, the Board...I'm sure would bite your arm off. The problem comes as soon as you start to do that you are in a position where people form an opinion of what you are doing, you become part of "the club". Then not everyone agrees with you, despite all the good you do, people will criticise the bits you miss or do different to how they might like, and very soon your "volunteers" are left thinking "why am I doing this?"

As much as we all have opinions of direction, individual people, communication, decisions...whatever, there is one thing for sure - Nobody in a position of responsibility is making any money out of giving their time to Chesham. "The club" that we all think should be doing more will never suddenly start doing all the things we should because the people in position are already at capacity with what they are doing.

I am pretty confident that if a few people genuinely approached the club and said, "I will help spread the good word in the community - would you allow free ticket for kids, could you send a couple of people along to this school, that social event, this community event and in return I'm sure they will help promote the club, dish out leaflets, keep old programmes in their break out areas or reception areas...", the club would say yes, please do help. Thank you.

But...and this is a serious BUT. If you or I did that, made the offer like above...how long would it be before you start getting criticised for the way you did it and the bits you didn't do? It's almost a guarantee - supporters, officials and, yes, more than likely, the Board will start criticising what you do and then...well, then you say "F@*k it! Let someone else try..."

The reality is that as a club (without the inverted commas) we need to find a way to all be more appreciative, all take responsibility and work more collaboratively towards our goals. Blame is easy. That's ideal, but I'm not convinced it can happen because, as has been proved, money talks louder than hard work and goodwill.

There endeth my thoughts for the day! Chesham has never been short of ideas, but there has long been a huge shortage of people prepared to put ideas into action.
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Re: Volunteers

Postby Mickeygee » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:21 am

If I owned a football club like Chesham Utd, I'd be more worried about losing the support of an adequate number of volunteers than poor results or anything else.

Clubs need leadership and volunteers need to be shown appreciation and to be thanked for their contribution.
If a club owner or chairman adopts the attitude that 'this is my club so I'll do what I like', taking the helpers for granted, there is a danger that volunteers might say 'In that case, you get on with it, we're out !'

If there aren't enough volunteers to ensure necessary activities are carried out, but jobs and 'add-on' tasks still need to be done, (I'm thinking social media management, basic sales promotion, superficial cleaning of ground & premises, programme/raffle ticket sales, catering etc.), I can't see a better alternative than paying modest amounts - after all, the players get paid !

I take the point that this could cause a comparative grievance with existing helpers but I think using only youngsters as the selected paid volunteers on the basis of an odd hour here and there might overcome the problem.
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