In the latest edition of Sports Destination Management, I contributed an article outlining the Volunteer Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention cycle. Including some helpful tips and ideas for each stage of the process.

Here are some of the article highlights that include my top tip for each stage of the cycle:


Prep work is important! Before reaching out to begin recruiting volunteers, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Put some thoughtful effort into creating volunteer jobs, describing what each role entails, and detailing the dates & times they are needed. Laying this groundwork will make for a smoother recruitment process. Potential volunteers will be equipped with the information they will need to evaluate if the position and your event is a right fit for them.

Volunteers by Greg Lee


Communication is key! Communicate with your volunteers prior to the event and make important information such as locations, times, dress code, easy to find and accessible. I try to provide volunteers with as much as I can prior to the event, so that they are prepped and ready to go.

The more familiar they are with the event, their job, and responsibility, the more confident they will be to handle things day of. When they are confident, they will take ownership over their tasks and become engaged with their day of event team – leading to a positive event experience for everyone.


Treat volunteers well during the event and follow up afterward to express your thanks and ensure their experience was positive. Thank them and then follow up separately with a post-event survey. It will show your volunteers that you value their insight and help deepen their connection to the event.

To get the full scoop and additional tips & tricks for successfully working with volunteers, check out the article "Keeping Volunteers Engaged."

Ready to Volunteer?

If you're ready to volunteer, look up your local Sports Commission or CVB. They can get you connected to amazing volunteer opportunities. Or if you're in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region sign up to hear about our volunteer opportunities.