Club staff, along with representatives of the Dale Trust and members of the wider fanbase, recently met online to discuss volunteering opportunities at the Club for the rest of the 2023/24 season and beyond.
Some of the excellent work that current stakeholders undertake on a voluntary basis was highlighted, with the likes of Redwood School, University College of Football Business (UCFB), and Rochdale AFC Community Trust praised, alongside the vital ongoing contribution of the Dale Trust.
However, it was acknowledged by the Club that with a significantly smaller staff than in recent seasons, further voluntary assistance is needed to help improve in some areas.
The following four categories were discussed at length:
1) THE DALE DIRECTORY
All parties agreed that it would be a great achievement to begin the creation of a directory of supporters with specific skills available to help the club. The most obvious examples of these would be trades people (for example, electricians, plumbers, painters/decorators, etc). However, discussions were also had in relation to those individuals in possession of more niche skills and how they could also be of value.
A whole range of ideas were discussed here around how volunteers could both improve the overall matchday experience, but also help to reduce costs by undertaking some roles that have traditionally been covered by paid staff. New opportunities such as matchday Supporter Liaison Officers (SLO's) were mentioned in relation to the former, whilst all manner of roles were suggested in relation to the latter.
3) ONE OFF PROJECTS
A prime example given in this category was around re-engaging lapsed fans ahead of the upcoming AFC Fylde home fixture on Boxing Day. The Club will be running a number of promotions for the fixture and needs the help of supporters to leverage their respective networks to encourage people to attend. Similarly, our commercial team will shortly launch a 2023 Christmas Draw and is keen to talk to potential volunteer ticket sellers at the earliest opportunity.
4) RECURRING PROJECTS
Several suggestions were covered in this category. The conversation here was wide ranging, taking in everything from seeking post-game feedback each Monday to aid the improvement of the home matchday experience, to reaching out to the local and regional business community to try and attract new partners into matchday hospitality, to methods of growing the Club’s digital footprint.
Any expressions of interest for any of the above (or any other potential activity not expressly mentioned) can be registered via email@example.com. Additionally, the Dale Trust desk can be visited on a matchday for any preliminary conversations.
Many thanks to all those who contributed.