OFF THE PITCH: Secrets to an effective volunteer program is pleased to continue with its “Off the Pitch”column by Ruth Nicholson. Ruth is the founder of GO!, a go-to expert resource for youth sports governance and operations. Since many local clubs are approaching tryouts and recruiting volunteers for the coming playing year, this column addresses the keys to creating and sustaining a successful volunteer program.

off-the-pitch-bannerby Ruth Nicholson

Good volunteer program design decreases administrative costs, engages members, increases program support, shares the workload, and improves support for coaches so they can devote more time to our players.

But volunteers are not free.

The average value of a volunteer hour in the Washington state in 2015 was $28.99, a 5.3 percent increase from 2014. For comparison, the nationwide value of a volunteer hour in the United States in 2015 was $23.56 (see This figure can be used in annual reports, grant proposals, and financial statements to…

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