Getting people to volunteer to do things

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David Blower
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Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by David Blower » Sat May 03, 2014 10:06 pm

How do clubs and leagues get their members to DO things such as being on their club and league committees and being captains of the teams? BUT the important point about this is to not make it feel like that a member has to be forced into saying "yes" to everything.

In general I think at our club there seems to be only ever a few members who seem to want to do anything. I am not moaning (too much I hope) about this, afterall I know that most of our chess club members just want to play chess. Yet things still have to be organised.

One of our club members is going to be captain of 3 teams (one of which I refused to be captain of) as I was already captain of one team and on the club committee. I am also the webmaster of my chess clubs website (link below!) The other chess club members would be amazed at how much time our chess club website takes up for me. I am happy to do this, as without it we would have virtually no publicity for our club.

I have also being asked to be on the committee of the Wolverhampton League, and the Cannock League, and be the records secretary of the Wolverhampton League, all of which I refused.

Although no one has said directly: "I'm doing too much, why does no one else ever do anything" I get the sense that we have the few members who say "yes" to doing things, more because they feel they have to, rather than they they want to do everything.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by MJMcCready » Sun May 04, 2014 6:47 am

You need to give people a title, then you can get them to do things. Once they are given a role e.g, 'Tournament Organizer' then you can tell them to do things because its their job. Create a role for them first but be a little sketchy on what's involved.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by MJMcCready » Sun May 04, 2014 6:51 am

For what its worth, what you are describing sounds very typical. Most would rather leave it to the few to do everything. It was certainly true at my club.

MSoszynski
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by MSoszynski » Sun May 04, 2014 7:47 am

What is described is perfectly normal, and applies to every sort of club, not only chess.

From personal experience, I would say that the best recruiting ground for organisers and administrators is new members. These are people who are already taking on a new, partly unknown commitment merely by joining. Contrast their position with those long-time members who have never taken on any responsibilities. Why should they do so now, belatedly, when they have been contentedly paying their subs and playing club chess for years without needing to bother about anything else?

In other words, it is important to involve new members within the structure of the club from the earliest moment. They should realise that they are joining something not simply paying a fee for a service (provision of a venue with equipment, etc.).

Meanwhile, those people with more time than they care to admit, more administrative and managerial inclinations than others, and a greater sense of duty and service, will still do most of the work.

Andy Stoker
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by Andy Stoker » Sun May 04, 2014 4:43 pm

I sympathise - and would also like to take this opportunity to thank you and the countless unsung heroes who run chess clubs, tournaments and the like.

The church I belong to could have a similar problem - like most other organisations relying on volunteers. We have a "6 year" rule and "don't take on too much" rule ... any appointment is for a maximum of 6 years - then you stand down for someone else and - if appropriate - take on something else. I think they are rules, rather than guidelines or anything weaker.

Thus, we can refer to these rules should it look like person A is about to get lumbered with yet one more job. It means we have people we would not have immediately thought about doing some jobs - and then we have to think about support, training, back-up plans, succession planning and all that good stuff.

David Blower
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by David Blower » Mon May 05, 2014 12:57 am

Andy Stoker wrote:


We have a ... "don't take on too much" rule ...

Thus, we can refer to these rules should it look like person A is about to get lumbered with yet one more job. It means we have people we would not have immediately thought about doing some jobs - and then we have to think about support, training, back-up plans, succession planning and all that good stuff.
Sounds interesting. Obviously a "6 year" rule is a specific timeframe and easy to police.

But how do you make sure a "don't take on too much" rule is policed. If person A is about to "get lumbered with yet one more job," but takes it anyway, and then say allows an ilneligible player to play for a team (say a player playing for a B team, whilst already capped to the A team) the club gets deducted points, and then gets relegated (not happened to my knowledge ever at Brewood) and then person A says: "I was doing too many things, I didn't really want to be captain of 3 teams" (extreme example) then thats no good after the event. It needs to be policed before it happens.

Also of course whilst person A might only be happy doing 3 things, person B might be happy doing a different (and greater lets say 10) number of things. If person B expects person A to do a 4th thing, because person B is already doing 10 things, that another thing to think of.

David Blower
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by David Blower » Mon May 05, 2014 6:10 pm

Hopefully once our club members read this article, they know a little bit more of what is involved. We will surely find someone to do the roles needed!

http://brewoodchess.webs.com/apps/blog/ ... am-captain

Niall Doran
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by Niall Doran » Mon May 05, 2014 10:37 pm

MJMcCready wrote:You need to give people a title, then you can get them to do things. Once they are given a role e.g, 'Tournament Organizer' then you can tell them to do things because its their job. Create a role for them first but be a little sketchy on what's involved.
Not sure I can agree with this part. I took on responsibilities which were misrepresented at the time: "Don't worry, there's only a couple of meetings a year". I'm now up to six meetings so far this season, some of them on weekends and lasting up to six/seven hours, and some unannounced admin work. I have other responsibilities in life (job, relationship, other associations I'm already involved with). Had I known what was involved, I wouldn't have accepted.

You could count this as a result for the people off-loading the responsibilities, as otherwise maybe no-one would have been found, but this has been a source of considerable stress for me this year, as my time is limited and I'm spreading myself too thinly and don't feel I'm doing a good job at anything.

A better option would be to explain exactly what's involved, but offer them help to ease them into the role. If there's extensive form-filling, for example, the first time it needs to be done the person who previously did it should work with the new guy. If there a league meeting, explain what's involved, the purpose of the meeting, the different people participating, and what decisions, if any, they will need to make. Throw someone in at the deep end, chances are they'll drown.

David Blower
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by David Blower » Tue May 06, 2014 12:01 am

Oh well, an email has now gone out to every member of the chess club. We will see if anyone is going to step onto the committee, and to the role of the B team captain. (Now feel a bit less worried since the email has been sent!)

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Getting people to volunteer to do things

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue May 06, 2014 12:59 am

You are referring to what I call 'The White Economy'. It is seldom mentioned in the media, but is a huge boost to our economy.
People who volunteer to take on a job, but then fail to do it, are huge time-wasters.
But it amazes me the amount of whingeing that goes on about people who are undertaking voluntary tasks, often partly at their own expense. If a person is elected for a year, everybody involved has a duty to help that person do his job successfully.

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