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How well does your tennis volunteer program function? Take the Volunteer Quiz...

May 25, 2008 12:04 PM

How prepared are you for tennis volunteers?

Do these ring true for you?

Quiz yourself and see some examples of who’s doing what.

1. “We respond to potential volunteers offering to serve within 48 hours, whether by email, phone, or a postcard in the mail.”

National volunteer expert Susan Ellis writes, “The fastest way to undercut a recruitment effort is lack of preparation for results.” For some people, volunteering to serve is a risk; not responding quickly to an offer is an easy way to lose a potentially great volunteer. To promote and develop the growth of tennis means generating new and active volunteers.

2. “My organization/section website clearly indicates how people can serve with us and who to contact.”

USTA Northern California’s site communicates how people can volunteer with NorCal and who to contact.

3. “Our website has a downloadable volunteer application.”

At the USA Tennis Florida website, potential volunteers can download a volunteer application. NorCal and New England also have volunteer applications online.

4. “We have a ready list/handbook of volunteer opportunities to offer interested persons.”

USTA Middle States keeps a notebook of section volunteer opportunities, including position responsibilities and expected time commitment. Potential volunteers can review the different possibilities and find a match.

5. “Training and orientation are included with our volunteer opportunities.”

USTA Midwest includes a New Volunteer Orientation Program in its strategic plan; they also offer ongoing training opportunities for current volunteers in the form of seminars, conferences, and diversity training. USTA Southwest shares a newsletter of volunteer management ideas with its community coordinators.

6. “We produce a volunteer newsletter to keep past volunteers updated and recognize accomplishments.”

At the RCA Championships in Indianapolis, tournament volunteers receive a newsletter announcing volunteer awards and future opportunities.

7. “We pair a new tennis volunteer with an experienced one to get a sense of our organization.”

Volunteer commentator Sally Gardner Reed writes that providing a new volunteer with a mentor is an excellent way to introduce him or her to the organization, its social structure, and its working environment. A mentor can fill a volunteer in on the administrative hierarchy and share information about the tennis program culture.

8. “If someone asked me how many volunteers are currently part of my program, I could give a pretty close estimate at any time.”

USTA Pacific Northwest has over 200 volunteers serving in its section. Knowing how many others are involved can inspire new volunteers to participate.

9. “We regularly ask our tennis volunteers for their feedback.”

At the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles, volunteers are asked to complete a survey of their experience. The information is compiled and used to improve volunteer satisfaction. The RCA Championships also have an online survey, and they publish the results for all to see.

10. “We organize an annual event to recognize and celebrate our volunteers.”

Many USTA sections celebrate the contributions of volunteers with community service awards at annual banquets or other events. USTA Texas has presented the USTA Texas Section Community Service Award since 1989, USTA Missouri Valley honors one of its members with an award for Community Service Excellence during its Section Annual Meeting, and USTA Mid-Atlantic bestows a “Volunteer of the Year” Award annually.

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