In honour of State of Origin kicking off tonight, we thought we would have a look at giving and volunteering to sports organisations. Giving Australia found that 7.7% of donors gave to sports organisations. The average amount donated to sports over the year was $395.89; however, because there were several larger donations in this pool, the median donation of $50 better reflects more typical giving. In total, Giving Australia estimated that $442.74 million was donated to sports organisations, representing 3.94% of all donations.
Three-quarters (75.5%) of sports and recreational organisations surveyed in the charities and non-profit organisations surveys undertook fundraising activities in their most recent financial year. The most common sources targeted were everyday donors and government grants. Membership fees was by far the most common way these organisations raised money with 70% fundraising through membership fees. The second most common activity was raffles (50%), followed by community grants (42.5%) and other event-based fundraising (e.g. BBQs) (37.5%). Volunteer fundraisers were the most commonly used resource (55%) followed by networking with peers (27.5%) and other internal staff (25%). More than one-fifth of sports and recreational organisations used social media to aid their fundraising.
Volunteers were incredibly important to sports and recreational organisations with nearly all (90.6%) having volunteers, and 18.9% having 100 or more volunteers. One-fifth of all volunteers in the Individual giving and volunteering survey (20.1%) volunteered for a sporting organisation and 7% volunteered for a recreational organisation in the 12 months prior to interview. The average number of hours volunteered over the year to sporting organisations was 91 hours (1.75 hours per week on average). This equated to 142.66 million hours in total (or 15.31% of all hours volunteered). Our sports volunteers tended to be male and between the ages of 35 and 54. This is to be expected as many of these people will have volunteered for their child’s sporting clubs. This age group were also volunteering for schools.
Volunteers in the Individual giving and volunteering survey identified the activities they undertook while volunteering for sports and recreation organisations. The most common type of activity for sports organisations was coaching, refereeing, counselling, mentoring with a quarter (25.9%) of all volunteers involved in these activities. Overall, 43.8% of volunteer-involving sports and recreation organisations allowed people to volunteer without being physically present. The most common activities were skilled online volunteering and promotion of a cause via social media.
More than half (58.3%) of volunteer-involving sports and recreation organisations had a manager of volunteers. This person was most commonly unpaid and part-time. Nearly all (93.8%) volunteer-involving sports and recreation organisations did not have formal contracts for volunteers. A third had no volunteer program at all, while 29.2% had an informal training program (and 25% had a formal program).
Around ninety per cent (89.6%) of sports and recreation organisations provided some form of recognition to their volunteers. The most common form of recognition was public acknowledgment in newsletters, annual reporters, website, social media etc. with 58.3% of volunteer-involving sports and recreation organisations providing this form of volunteer recognition.
Overall, 76.9% of sports and recreation organisations surveyed had a website or webpage and half (51.3%) of these were mobile enabled. This was very similar to the statistics for all charities and NPOs, with 80.4% having a website or webpage and 50.8% of these being optimised for mobile technology. Most commonly websites for these organisations were used to provide information, share news and promote the organisation. Some 55% used it to promote events.
Overall, 68.6% of sports and recreation organisations were using at least one form of social media, compared to 65.3% of all charities and NPOs. Nearly all sports and recreation organisations were using Facebook with only a small number using other platforms. Social media was most commonly used to provide information, promote events and to communicate with members/supports. Nearly a third of sports and recreation organisations were using social media to recruit volunteers or ask for donations. It was most common for sports and recreation organisations to post several times a week (34.3%), followed by several times a month (17.1%) or once a week (11.4%). Overall, 78.9% of sports and recreation organisations felt that technology was quite or extremely important for the future of giving and volunteering yet only 11.5% of sports and recreation organisations felt they were currently using technology quite well and none felt they were using technology extremely well.
Thank you to all the valuable givers and volunteers for sports organisations ensuring the great Australian pastime continues. Go the Maroons!
To read the full reports and factsheets, go to https://www.communitybusinesspartnership.gov.au/about/research-projects/giving-australia-2016/