d) Succession Planning

Succession planning is a critical element of any well run organisation.  When there are processes in place to assist with succession planning, much of the stress in your club can be minimised.

“The best recruit a Club President can make is the recruitment of the club’s next President!”

It may take some time to set up but the benefit is well worth the time taken.  The tasks are often not difficult but just take some time and experience to work out.

Imagine you are a volunteer willing to help out and the club you have found yourself at is fumbling around explaining to you what to do, leaving parts out, not knowing how many people are needed, looking frazzled because the manager ‘needs’ to be somewhere else putting out another ‘spot fire’.  Would you come back happily?


A good succession plan would include your club business plan, position descriptions, a list of general positions needed and policies.  The benefits are huge, you look well organised, the volunteer has all the information they need and your stress levels will benefit enormously.  Find some time to commit to this and reap the rewards personally and for your club. Its a crime in sport to not pass the torch correctly!

Business Plans

No need to be frightened of a business plan! A basic business plan outlining the clubs goals and priorities is all that is needed. It can be on display in the clubrooms and referred to regularly by committee members can help a club remember the bigger picture and the club is bigger than the individual.

Of course you can really get into this process and clubs that have made detailed plans, and worked together with the entire club to develop visions statements, goals and priorities have had amazing results and would swear by them as a force in helping people in clubs align and work together.

It is no accident that strong businesses seem to all have a clear vision and it is the business plan or a vision statement that can help to bring this together.

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Position Descriptions

Good succession planning needs to include position descriptions for those who hold substantial roles in an organisation.  If they decide to move on you don’t want them to take all of their knowledge with them.  You need to find a way to document their knowledge so they leave the club a legacy rather than a lot of stories about how it was when ’Johnno was the president’.  It is also critical to plan for the more routine weekly, monthly roles so that if someone doesn’t show up for whatever reason you can cope with your sanity intact. According to studies done by the AFL one of the main reasons volunteers take their ‘bat and ball and go home’ is poor management.  Position descriptions are a critical part of the management strategy.  If you can hand ‘Gina’ who you have asked to help as someone didn’t show up on the day a list of how to do a the role you have asked her to do she may be impressed and learn that volunteering is actually a bit of fun and is quite rewarding.  Another volunteer is created instead of scared off, it’s a classic win/win.
Position description templates are avaialable via this link

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List of Positions

Generally a list of positions can be used as a checklist for leaders/organisers and will save them having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ each year by racking the brain for all the roles needed to be filled each year or event day. Let’s spend our time finding the people each year rather than coming up with a list and losing it each year. Buying a laptop for the club is a good way to keep all the important documents in a central location, alternatively a shared google drive can be accessed by selected club office bearers.

More Roles & Responsibilities

a) President
b) Secretary
c) Treasurer
d) Junior Development Co-Ordinator
e) Sponsorship Manager
f) Recruitment Officer
g) Social Media Co-Ordinator
h) Marketing and Promotions Officer
i) Council Liaison Officer
j) Social Officer
k) Club Team Manager
l) Database Manager
m) Sports & Coaches Manager
n) Volunteer Co-ordinator
o) First Aid Officer
p) Safety Officer
q) Grounds / Facility Manager
r) Media Manager
s) Clothing Co-ordinator

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Policy Creation

A strong club needs to be extremely clear about what is expected so that the club can run effectively and that all its members can be respected/valued in the appropriate way.  These policies can also help summarise the appropriate processes to deal with a range of situations.  The power of having these on paper can’t be underestimated.  Examples of policies with regards to volunteers are

  • General volunteer policy
  • Recruitment
  • Selection and induction
  • Health and safety
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Disputes, grievances and complaints
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Continuous improvement
  • Social Media
  • Selection of coaches and players policies
  • Spectator behaviour

More Volunteer Information

a) Managing Volunteers
b) Volunteer Recruitment and Planning
c) Volunteer Rostering
d) Succession Planning
e) Communication
f) Communications Platforms

g) Position Description

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