Sport England have launched a new ‘Major Event Volunteer Fund’ awarding grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to encourage volunteering for sports events. The fund has recently opened and will remain open to January 2021 or earlier if all the funding is allocated.
The fund is open to organisations who want to pilot ways to overcome the barriers that deter major event volunteers from transitioning to grassroots volunteering.
Applicants are likely to be the national governing body or organisation hosting the major event, or a local organisation which shares our ambitions of supporting more major event volunteers to continue their pathway within grassroots sport.
The major event must be of sufficient size to enable meaningful learnings to be drawn from the project. Therefore, to be eligible for this fund, the major event must have a requirement for at least 100 volunteers to support the delivery of the event, of whom a sizable proportion of the volunteers are new to volunteering or do not currently volunteer at community level.
With 70% of grassroot organisations reporting a need for more volunteers, Sport England commissioned Goodform to carry out research into major event volunteers, to understand more about them and if there's an opportunity to support them to continue their volunteering in sport at a local level.
The research showed that despite really positive experiences, and with 35% of major event volunteers interested in doing more volunteering after the event, the reality is that only a small proportion go on to give their time at a local community level.
It is likely that successful bids will be a significant event in the sports calendar, such as world or European championships, or premium world circuit events for Olympic, Paralympic and/or Commonwealth Games sports.
Sport England may choose, entirely at its own discretion, to consider events that are outside of the above criteria if you can demonstrate reasonable evidence that:
- Your event is a high-profile national sports event
- Your event involves more than 100 volunteers
- There is interest among your volunteers to support community activities
- Your project will enable the transition of major event volunteers into grassroots sports volunteering.
More information and a detailed funding guide can be found at www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/major-event-volunteer-fund.