Following their successful meeting on 15 October 2021, the V4V partners met again online on 10 November to begin planning the final component of Phase 1, a comprehensive mapping of the volunteer workforce in Europe. This new component will be the first ever survey of sport organisations across Europe with a focus on the volunteer workforce.

The meeting began with an update from Szilvia Perényi (University of Physical Education, Hungary) who is leading on the analysis of the partners’ desk research (over 1,000 pages) and volunteer interviews.  Szilvia summarised the main points her team identified which will be useful for the survey structure and content.

Aurélien Favre (European Observatoire of Sport and Employment – project coordinator) then introduced the partners to the ESSA-Sport Employer Skills Survey which was carried out in 2017 as a recent example of a similar initiative which gathered nearly 4,000 responses and offered some learning points and tips from which V4V can potentially benefit. 

The partners then divided into three online breakout groups to begin to brainstorm some key issues regarding the V4V survey. Following extremely productive discussions, the partners then reconvened in a plenary session and debated each group’s suggestions in order to reach consensus.

Some of the main points which the partners agreed were:

  1. The key purpose must be to collect information and data to assist development of the practical tools for sport organisations and volunteers which will be the focus of Phases 2 and 3
  2. There is also the opportunity to gain a better understanding of sport volunteering, the challenges which organisations face and examples of good practice in volunteer recruitment, deployment, training and management and to identify the value of volunteering for the sector
  3. The survey should be as comprehensive as possible, targeting all types of organisations who directly deploy sport volunteers or have an overall responsibility (for example, national and international federations)
  4. The questionnaire should aim to collect information and data on the most relevant issues, such as organisation and volunteer workforce profile, skills needs and gaps, policies and practices for recruitment and retention, management, training and support and perceived incentives and barriers to volunteering.

The partners concluded the meeting by urging EOSE and UPE to proceed to design detailed proposals for the survey which would be approved by a follow-up session in January 2022. The survey will then be fully prepared and launched via an online platform with questionnaires in as many European languages as feasible in mid-March 2022 and be open for 6 weeks.

Aurélien Favre, EOSE’s Executive Director, commented, “The V4V project is reaching a really exciting phase which we are all looking forward to. The partners have done some incredibly patient and detailed background research into what is already known. Now this first ever survey of sport organisations on the subject of volunteering will reveal findings which will be genuinely new, authentic and unique for the European sport community.  We can’t wait to analyse the data and see the results. If we get this right, the survey will provide rich raw material for the partners to create tools for organisations and volunteers to really improve and sustain the undoubted contributions which volunteers make to the vital activities which our sector carries out.”

Contact: Aurélien Favre – EOSE Executive Director