TeamKinetic

Build better volunteer communities

Tag: sport

Introducing TeamKinetic: Chris Martin – What has Volunteering ever done for me?

Volunteer Managers have reason to celebrate this week with International Volunteer Managers Day on the 5th November and TeamKinetic released their latest updates on VolunteerKinetic 7.3!

We decided to take this opportunity to introduce or remind our beloved Volunteer Managers of who TeamKinetic are. Throughout the week we will be releasing a series of Blogs on each of our team members, with their story in volunteering and TeamKinetic.

To kick things off, I thought I would write my blog first. My topic of choice:

What has Volunteering ever done for me?

As I start to write this blog, I’m reminded of the scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where John Cleese as the Head of the Judean Peoples Front asks what have the “Romans ever done for us?”, if you have never seen this before, please take two minutes to enjoy this clip.

It is often hard to see the impact of volunteering has whilst actively participating in it. At the time when I undertook my voluntary roles, it was to fulfil a specific need that was being neglected or because someone close to me would ask if I could help.

Only upon reflection can a true appreciation of volunteering and its impact be noticed. In both my personal and professional life, volunteering has built longstanding relationships, that I still value today.

As a younger man, I remember wondering how I would continue some form of swimming once I had completed my lessons. I wanted to keep the competitive aspect that I enjoyed but did not want to continue into highly regimented adult swimming club that was on offer. My options presented themselves as either hanging up my goggles for good or travelling excessively to join another more sociable club. Neither one did I find particularly attractive.

Instead, I wanted something at my local pool, where I could continue developing my ability, maintaining enjoyment and friendly competition.

It was then, I saw a need for a local water polo club!

My friend and I decided that we could run this together. So we planned a pitch for the pool manager and after successfully convincing him of the potential our idea, he agreed to give us a slot.

The catch, however, was that the only available slot was 18:00 -19:30… on a Friday!

At the age of 18, this would break into essential socialising time and we wondered if we could get the attendance we desired. Disregarding this constraint, we decided to go for it and accepted the time slot!

By no means was it an easy ride from there, as the club required a big commitment for two teenage lads, demanding time spent planning, coaching and running the club as a whole.

Of course, we enjoyed doing it, but I would be lying if I said it was always easy going, as sometimes it really could be a pain in the backside!

At times it took some real perseverance to push the club through but the next two years saw us build our club to the level we desired! Eventually, my time to leave for University came, but we had built a club that had gone strength to strength, continuing in existence today (twenty years later!).

With the benefit of hindsight, I can look at that experience differently now. I developed planning skills, interpersonal skills, worked out how to get things done within a public-sector environment, I developed relationships that I still use professionally and friendships I still value today.

Many of the benefits of volunteering cannot be effectively measured, certainly when I started my volunteering journey neither had I considered too.

But now, I think differently. These experiences helped me identify elements of social capital that before I had never considered, and now would never underestimate or value.

I went on to become a qualified Physical Education teacher and set up a business around sports coaching, this journey started at that water polo club, not through any specific long-term plan but to some extent, due to the direction of travel that was started with this experience.

For the last eight years, I have worked in the sector and have grown to appreciate how complex peoples’ motivations to volunteer can be. Often it is beyond the simple reason of being ‘fun’ that we give our time but in the knowledge that we are helping to make a difference.

Since founding TeamKinetic, these beliefs and experiences have driven me daily. We have made it easier to find and be involved in Volunteer opportunities, whilst making it easier to recognise hard work and commitment in a way that is engaging and simpler for organisations that depend on their amazing volunteers.

I hope you will join us on our mission to build stronger more engaged communities, and if you find yourself asking the question, what has volunteering ever done for me, you too, can tell your story about how it has changed your life for the better.

If you fancy having a talk please feel free to email or call me!

Thank you,

Chris

Sales Director

Chris@teamkinetic.co.uk

How can NGBs do more with less in this new world of funding from Sport England

So as the dust settles on another funding announcement from Sport England, it’s clear we are definitely in uncharted territory. With many National Governing Bodies (NGBs) receiving significantly less than in sport-england-active-nationprevious periods we look at how the role of the volunteer will become essential in improving our sporting institution’s resilience.

The last round of funding covered 46 sports between 2013 and 2017 and with a total value of £493 million. The newly proposed £88 million spread across 26 sports, with four sports accounting for just under 50% of that funding is a deep cut to our sporting infrastructure. Sport England, operating in these austere times, have had to make some tough decisions and their new approach of encouraging NGB’s to focus on their “core market” may prove to be the best opportunity for a return on this significantly reduced investment. Only time will tell.

Further announcements are due in February, but it is doubtful that any major changes or reversals will be announced. What is clear based on the announcement yesterday is it is going to be a challenging environment for this next funding cycle.

So what do NGB’s do now?

Beyond getting all their members to start buying lottery tickets here are some ideas and thoughts that we thought it would be useful to share.

If all the NGB’s stopped existing tomorrow, would people still be playing sport this weekend?

I know this is something of a loaded question, of course, they will, but, only by relying on the ubiquitous and passionate volunteer-led sport across the country. NGB’s are still vital to the efficient delivery and development of their sports, but now they must learn to effectively leverage their volunteer base if they want to see their sport flourish under such deep cuts.

 

The growth of NGB’s over the last 20 years through the cash injection offered via lottery funding changed them in many cases into fully professional businesses that thought in terms of customers. They were more income-driven and had significant overheads to cover, as is typical during periods of rapid organisational growth. Of course, this led to improvements in a range of areas such as safety, facilities, professional levels of training, policy, etc.. and some of these improvements were drastically required. But in that jump to a more professional world, some of our traditional voluntary infrastructure struggled to keep up.

It is here that we think NGB’s can make some drastic gains with their core market. By understanding the many roles played by people at local, county, regional and even national level and what engages and motivates those individuals to give up their time is the area which could have the largest potential impact.  How many of these functions are volunteers, even though many may not self-identify as such, is one of the many questions NGB’s need to answer. How do you upskill these people, how do you empower them and how to ensure you do not rely on the same individuals undertaking all the work every week.

This next four years is an opportunity to reinvent many NGB’s from the ground up, to look at how you make them local led grassroots organisations that can simultaneously grow participation, membership and customer base. To do this requires two of the most valuable resources available, people’s time and enthusiasm.

NGB’s will have to become much better at responding to the demands of their stakeholder base, of directly engaging and understanding what the volunteers who operate their clubs and county organisations want and need.

In 2016, there have never been more ways to participate at a local and hyper-local level. With more channels available via social media; new ways to raise capital via crowdfunding and peer-led lending. NGB’s that thrive will use this technology to drive the benefits and stories about their sport locally and nationally. This will not be a top-down marketing campaign as these are often very expensive, but it will be a bottom up user led movement. An example of the type of user led content I refer to can be found on line; right now there are 13.3 million Parkour and 4.6 million Freestyle football user-created videos on YouTube.

It will be the role of the NGB’s to make it easy for participants, volunteers, helpers, and officials to create and/or find existing communities where individuals can engage directly. We have used these concepts and ideas as we have developed our volunteer management platform TeamKinetic and we continue to try to build using these principals:

  • Empower people to do it for themselves.
  • Reward and recognise them and when they do, do it in a way that appreciates what motivates them.
  • Make getting involved easy to find and then intuitive to undertake.
  • Share your successes and your failures with your community so that everyone can learn.

Our technology is not for everyone right now, but we know these principals superseded the digital realm. Not everyone wants to engage via their computers or phone, but the principals stand no matter how you look to engage with the people who make your sport happen. We find its a combination of people, policy, process and technology that allows an organisation to scale the use of volunteers effectively.

If you would like to know how we can help you reconnect with your volunteer base, how our systems and research can empower more people to get involved and how you can recognise those people; who support your organisation week in, week out. Our work and that of our partners as part of the Join In consortium is available, and we are keen to talk to all NGB’s on how we can help you do more with less. Feel free to contact me at chris@teamkinetic.co.uk or call our office on 0161 914 5757.

How you can turn every week into international volunteer week, and why you should!

International Volunteer Week is here again and for a brief period of time you are inspired to promote and publish your positive volunteer stories. This week you give thanks to all your wonderful volunteers via your social media channels and make gestures to those people that slave away day in day out, week in, week out for the love….helping to make your sport happen.

In the modern, professional world of sport with CEO’s and large work forces, it is easy to understand how a distance develops between the everyday member, volunteer, helper, parent and your organisation; as you as an employee are under pressure to hit targets, make money and grow your sport.

So how do you make every week, International Volunteer Week and maintain this feeling of goodwill to your valuable and dedicated volunteers throughout the year?

British Cycling’s Dave Brailsford talks often of marginal performance gains, the tiny differences between a successful team and a second place team. We believe that in organisations involving volunteers and the third sector, your biggest marginal gain can come from encouraging your volunteer work force to do more, to do it better, keep doing it for longer, and to gain more from their experiences.

So how can you do that? We have some ideas that we would like to share.

There are so many types of volunteer but they all share something in common; they like someone to acknowledge their hard work and say thank you.  Across a large organisation that can be difficult, how do you acknowledge the varying contributions they make? How do you even know?

To start with as an organisation you must look at how you are recognising volunteering within the senior management team and resource volunteering within your operational teams, do you have a person or persons with a responsibility for volunteering within your organisation at each level of management?

It starts from the top, is there an acknowledgement at board level as to the importance of valuing volunteers? Bearing in mind you’re a voluntary organisation!  That would be a great place to start.  We know that where volunteering is valued within an organisation’s culture you are much more likely to see amazing results.

Once you have some sort of volunteer management in place, you need to consider how you identify and recognise those people who are the “diamonds” for your organisation. These are the future volunteer leaders, those volunteers that operate over a wide range and number of volunteers and that inspire and mentor other volunteers.

To spot these volunteer leader candidates, develop a role in your organisation that examines your volunteer workforce. This role identifies the data and information you need to capture, and understands what motivates your volunteers and then uses that knowledge to facilitate and enable volunteer experiences that are fulfilling and rewarding. Read about our experiences in data insight and what we consider to be the most valuable data or take a look at the work of Join In.

It is easy for organisations to fall into the trap of offering great rewards and incentives, but the key is getting the right investment to the right people rather than spreading it too thinly across too many individuals. Incentivisation is part of a successful volunteer team, but you need to know what your return on investment is going to be. Who are you spending on? What do you expect in return? Are you investing wisely?   Having data on volunteer retention, cost per conversion, being able to map individuals pathway from starting out as a helper through to running a county executive or becoming a head coach. This data ensures that you remain focused on finding those “diamonds”.

Finally and we think most importantly you need to look at how you grow from a centrally administered and controlled volunteer programme, to one that is owned by the volunteers, clubs and participants themselves.  Any expanding and successful volunteer programme is partly the result of a ground swell of people from the bottom, not diktats from the top, you need to build volunteer leader infrastructure (by that I mean find great, motivated people and provide them with support, training and resources) that facilitates and enables your existing volunteers to help to offer more amazing, exciting opportunities to the next wave of volunteers. This is the virtuous circle of volunteer investment.

So to recap we think the most important things you can do to help your volunteer programme grow all year round is to;

  • Achieve an appreciation and acceptance at the very top of your organisation that values the investment volunteers make in your organisation. Value your volunteers.
  • Develop specific roles within your organisation who’s job is to collate your volunteer data and gain insight which can be used to improve your programme. Do not just collect key performance indicators.
  • Incentivise and reward volunteers all year round. Be smart, target rewards for best returns.
  • Identify, support and develop potential volunteer leaders. Leverage their experience and enthusiasm to spread your volunteer values.

Sport is known to be poor at retaining its volunteers, its time to move on from yearly gestures to look at understanding your rank and file stakeholders (not just members but mums and dads, siblings, and long standing supporters), what they want and how you can deliver to keep them engaged. We work with organisations to make valuing volunteers an important part of their culture and offer solutions that help with those issues outlined and encourage retention and development of volunteers. Our cloud applications, including VolunteerKinetic, provide an  easy to implement infrastructure that makes embedding good volunteer practice across your organisation simple.

I hope next International Volunteer Week I can write a blog where I talk about how we have move into a world where your volunteer is understood and is looked after as well as your CEO.

 

 

 

In response to the “Coaching and Volunteering Data Management Systems – Procurement Guidance For CSP’s.”

TeamKinetic welcome the guidance from CSP Network and wanted to take this opportunity to clarify our service and to share with you how we think our range of applications can provide a world class Volunteer and Coaching experience.

We are offering 12 months FREE usage of our system to all CSP’s as a no risk trial.  If at the end of the trial period you are not happy with our support or service, you can export your data in its entirety. For more information on starting your free trail and pricing please get in touch here.

What we do

logo VolunteerKinetic logo-ClubKinetic
logo-AccessK logo-CoachKinetic

Our system is not only limited to Volunteer management we also offer:

  • Coach management and agency support including tools for scheduling, payments, bookings, quality assurance and feedback.
  • An integrated database that allows for activity session and club sessions to be published, updated, searched and powerful communication tools to keep your clubs informed.
  • Accreditation and access management for events of any size, with badge creation, area access controls and on-site security.

We are actively developing more modules all the time for inclusion in TeamKinetic, our complete integrated package.

How far we reach

  • Our system is currently in use across the UK and has over 45,000 users registered.
  • Over 60% of those registered have been active in the last 12 months.
  • This year our users have already logged 27,564 hours
  • Last week our sites enjoyed 10,000+ page views

Who we work with

Our sports based customers include

logo_15 VOLUNTEERS MCC logo
Print BS Thistle 7 greatersport

 

We also work with a wide range of Universities, Hospitals, Charity’s and youth organisations.

What our customers say

“GreaterSport have been working closely with TeamKinetic over the past 14 months. TeamKinetic have been able to develop the system to suit our needs as a CSP, this has included upgrades so we can now manage both volunteers and coaches on the same system. Within Greater Manchester we have seen an increase in people volunteering with our APS volunteering score rising to 13.2% – we feel a lot of this is down to the management system as volunteering has never been so easy for the users. We would highly recommend working with TeamKinetic and are excited to see our volunteer and coaching workforce growing over the next 12 months.”

Nick Lowden

Workforce Development – Greater Sport

We have built our platform on the following principals.

The End User is the most important person in our world.

TeamKinetic is incredibly easy to use.  We believe passionately that less is more.  So we use data from the end user, what they search for, what they leave positive and negative feedback on, where they are, how many opportunities they view and what type of opportunities they are.  This provides insight and a more tailored experience for every user.  This IntelligentBrokering™ ensures every user is presented with information that is up to date and relevant.

Integrated social media, access via mobile device and the ability for the user to see and share opportunities with any one at any time.

We know you don’t like to send good people on bad experiences and we love to help you recognise talent and enthusiasm by;

  • Using anonymous feedback by both volunteers on opportunities and providers on volunteers
  • Giving volunteers ThumbsUp notifications for a job well done.
  • Rewarding both on line with achievement badges and in the real world with HourTrade™, those who go above and beyond

Its our aim and ambition to help you build a sustainable and strong sporting community of officials, coaches, volunteers and participants.

Support, support and more support

Information, data, and insight is excellent and indispensable, but it means little without the right support. We pride ourselves on our after care.

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00-5:00 telephone help line.
  • Online support ticket system for bugs and new features is always available.
  • Free access for customers to our yearly development conference in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, this year with speakers from DBS discussing safeguarding in recruitment, Step Up to Serve CEO Charlotte Hill and Geoff Thompson MBE from Youth Charter,  This year we are looking at Sports Volunteering in the current landscape of austerity. Book here.
  • Close working relationship with the Sports Volunteer Research Network so you can access a raft of academic research.
  • Monthly news letter that we like you to contribute to.
  • Partnership with the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Our products never stop improving and those improvements are driven by you our customers and the feedback you provide.

No Hidden Costs

Unlike some IT providers, we aim to be transparent and up front about costs. Offering long term assurances on price and clarity on future price increases.

In most cases our licence fees cover all standard on-going costs including support, updates, hosting, and data usage.

We want you to feel confident when you invest with us.

How do we achieve all this?

We aim to provide you with a set of simple to administer online tools that make promoting, signposting and communicating with your community simple and effective.

Our services are in no way exclusive and can work alongside any other web site or web sites.

The data collected can be exported at any time by you the customer. with an extensive library of report functions.

The system is built to allow you control over content and branding so there is little need for additional development costs.

Our CRM functionality means e-mail, social, blog and SMS can all be taken care without the need for additional external services or tricky exports and delivered fully branded at the click of a button.

If you want to find out how we can help you, please feel free to call or get in touch below.

BADMINTONscotland launch VolunteerKinetic volunteer portal

badminton_scotland
Badminton Scotland are looking to recruit hundreds of new volunteers through the launch of their new volunteer portal powered by VolunteerKinetic in their preparations to host the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017.  To be part of this event and loads more before just go to;

volunteer.badmintonscotland.org.uk

The Total BWF World Championships will see the very best players in the world arrive in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from the 21st  to the 27th of  August 2017, tickets available from here.  Scotland’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour will lead the home challenge as she looks to build on her Glasgow 2014 silver medal at the same venue while GB stars and World Superseries Final winners Chris and Gabby Adcock will be looking to repeat their gold medal success from Glasgow 2014

Scotland has a fantastic history for running truly world class events and with the facilities Glasgow can now boast it has world class venues to match, but a big part of what makes the Scotland such an attractive venue for these events is the passion and commitment of the NGB’s and their legions of volunteers.  BADMINTONscotlands Chief Executive Ms Smillie recognised both huge potential and also the huge challenges that face her team in realising that this event offers a once in a life time opportunity to build a great legacy for Badminton in Scotland.

“As a governing body you aspire to host these events, not just because they are exciting, but because they provide us the opportunity to promote and develop our sport in so many unique ways” said Ms Smillie, “We know we have a committed community of Volunteers in Badminton Scotland that will help make this event special, but it is ourslider 2 ambition to open this opportunity to people outside the badminton family and use it as  a catalyst to grow our sport over the next 4 years”

When we asked how you turn these events into a legacy, Ms Smillie offered this advice for other NGBs “World class venues and events are fantastic, but supporting people who are passionate about your sport as volunteer officials, coaches, and event staff to name just a few of the jobs we have on offer; is what will drive the continued growth of our sport”

We at TeamKinetic have prided our selves on developing a platform that is as well suited to major events as it is to supporting the local badminton club find some one to wash the kit, as we know it takes all sorts of people doing many different tasks to make sport happen.  So it was great to hear Ms Smillie when she said  “VolunteerKinetic provided a simple solution to how we identify, recruit aTeam-Europameisterschaft 2012nd retain our volunteers  that was great for the World Championship Finals but more importantly is it will leave a sustainable legacy that we can continue to build on after this event.”

So if you love badminton and you want to be part of the action follow the link below and sign up as a volunteer for BADMINTONScotland and who knows you could be court side next year for the World Championship finals.

volunteer.badmintonscotland.org.uk

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

The importance of social media in sport – Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/business-sport-series/11691416/social-media-in-sport.html

Social Media can be used to generate participation excitement and growth for your sport. . Are you using it right?

Council sports budgets cut by £42m

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-31624412

Regeneration Sport 22 AMore than £42m has been axed from councils’ sports and leisure budgets since 2010, a BBC survey has revealed.

Among the regions which saw the biggest losses were London and north-west England, which saw cuts of more than £12.3m.

Sports stars and charities said they were concerned cutting facilities was “short-termism” that could impact on communities’ health and fitness levels.

The government said it was investing in grassroots sport.

Some of the biggest cuts occurred in the North West, where Liverpool City Council closed Woolton Swimming Pool, saving more than £3m.

In the West Midlands, which saw £9.6m of cuts, the region’s only 50m pool – in Coventry – was among the facilities to face the axe.

And in London, where budgets were cut by £8.8m, Mornington Crescent Sports Centre in Camden was among the facilities to close.

In other regions, Sheffield lost the Don Valley Stadium, where Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill had trained, while Newcastle-upon-Tyne saw the closure of its City Pool in 2013.

David Moorcroft, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former chief executive of UK Athletics, said: “In times of cutbacks to public services, rightly or wrongly, sport and leisure is one of the first things to get cut.

“It’s really unfortunate because the health and happiness of the nation and communities is based around being able to access facilities that encourage people to take physical activity.

“Ultimately, if we are trying to reduce obesity among young people, you can’t really have clubs and volunteers doing all that work. Once a facility is lost, it’s gone forever. When you come out of recession, it’s very difficult to rebuild it.”

Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance which represents sports governing bodies in the UK, said she had “some sympathy” with local authorities “and the extreme financial pressures they are under”

“But reducing investment in sport and in leisure facilities is storing up problems for the longer-term,” she said.

“Limiting access to leisure facilities will result in greater inactivity and bigger costs to the NHS in terms of tackling conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.”

Sports and leisure spending since 2010
North West -£12,372,959
West Midlands -£9,638,972
London -£8,891,367
North East -£7,147,948
East -£5,114,871
East Midlands -£5,038,980
South West -£3,347,463
Yorkshire -£3,209,581
South East £12,340,287
Total £42,421,854

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said £1bn of public money had been invested into grassroots sport through Sport England.

David Sparks, who chairs the Local Government Association, said councils had had “little choice” but to squeeze budgets.

“The reality is that, within a few years, well over half of the council tax everyone pays will have to be spent on social care,” he said.

“With demand on these life and death services continuing to rise and funding from central government continuing to fall, councils will have little choice.”

 

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