How Manchester Sports Development Team tripled their volunteer numbers in 6 months

Manchester Sports Development team are part of Manchester City Council (MCC). They are responsible for the development of leisure provision through volunteering, education and the sustainability of sports clubs.

Prior to using VolunteerKinetic an annual brochure was distributed to sports clubs, leisure facilities and libraries containing information on local clubs and volunteer contacts. The process was expensive, time consuming and difficult to keep up to date.

Government spending cutbacks in 2008 led to the end of the brochures and forced the department to rethink how they communicated with the public. They were left with a conundrum; how to sustain thier volunteer management programme with a smaller budget.

A review revealed what was needed was a One-Stop-Shop for sports volunteering, which not only connected volunteers with providers, but also allowed them to measure the success of the volunteer programme.

VolunteerKinetic offered the solution they were looking for, an interenet based system that would put volutneers in touch with people who needed volunteers and also record their activity.

They launched VolunteerKinetic in 2009 with 150 volunteers taken from their original records with the aim of reaching 500 volunteers within two years. Existing volunteers and sports clubs were informed of the new system via mail shots, phone calls and word of mouth.

By utilising the power of the internet they reached 500 sport volunteers in less than six months, and to date they have over 5000 active volunteers registered on the system.

Richard Fuber – Volunteer

Richard Fuber“I started volunteering during the comonwealth games in 2002, but during this period I had to wait for a news letter to come through the post. The new system sends me weekly news emails and SMS texts, it also lets me to search for opportunties whenever I want, so its much easier for me and has meant that I am much more involved in volunteering.”

Craig Abel (the administrator of the system) currently spends two days per week managing the volunteers, allowing him more time to get out of the office and promote their volunteer programme.

As a result of this sucess the VolunteerKinetic system has been rolled out by GreaterSport across the whole of Greater Manchester. All the systems are linked together giving each sports development team the opportunity to share their volunteering opportunities, which has proved very useful for large events. It has also meant that GreaterSport can capture all the volunteer numbers and logged hours for each region, without having to chase around asking each local authority for figures.

Craig and Paralympic LanternCRAIG ABEL, VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

“The Social media (Facebook, Twitter and WordPress) functionality within the system is an effective marketing tool that allows for volunteer led promotion, access to a much richer dataset, a wider range of KPI reports and an understanding of the geographical spread of volunteers. The soon to be released Smartphone app will only accelerate the growth of an already sucessful volunteer programme for us.”

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