Captain’s Corner: How Do I Entice Volunteers for my Ragnar Relay Team?

entice volunteers

Q: How do I get people to volunteer for my Ragnar Relay team?

A: We rely on the support from volunteers, SWAT and local communities to makes Ragnar events run smoothly. Providing volunteers keeps the cost of running a Ragnar Relay down for your team. As a team captain, you are responsible for finding runners, budgeting, and booking vans, and recruiting 3 awesome volunteers by the volunteer deadline.  Well captains, here is a list of ideas to sweet talk your friends, coworkers, and acquaintances into volunteering.

  • Get their foot in the door: Suppose your friend has been living under a rock and this whole running a 200-mile(ish) relay thing is a foreign concept to him or her. Explain that volunteering at a Ragnar Relay is one of the best ways to find out what it’s all about. They’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the race to see how it really works.
  • Make them a part of the team: Having been a volunteer the previous year, when I captained my first Wasatch Back team I knew just how important our volunteers were. When Van 1 was done, we met our volunteers at a restaurant in Park City to grab some grub and relax before heading to the Finish Line Party. Everyone is part of the team with a beer in their hand, so be sure to include your volunteers in your fun post-race plans!
  • Earn money for charity: When I first volunteered for Ragnar, I was also raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Instead of paying the volunteer fee, the team made a donation to the LLS in exchange for my volunteering for them. Find that do-gooder in your office and see if he or she will step up for a charity. Talk about putting the FUN in fundraising.
  • They’re actually what makes the race go ‘round: There’s no way around it – without volunteers, Ragnar Relays wouldn’t be possible. Whether they’re handing out water on non-support legs, directing traffic, or checking in runners, they make a huge difference in the coordination of the race, which can be a rewarding feeling.
  • They get a sweet shirt: Hello, doesn’t everyone want some cool Ragnar gear?!
  • IT’S FUN: Ask your cousin this question when trying to persuade them to volunteer: Where else can you get out in the sunshine and make hilarious signs to motivate runners?
  • Pay for Volunteers: Paying for volunteers is an option available for teams. They money is costs to pay for volunteers is donated to the race’s charity, so you can consider it a charitable contribution for a good cause!

ragnar volunteers

What other ways have you found to entice volunteers? Leave us a comment below!


About Lindsey Etcheverry

Lindsey Etcheverry works in Partnership Development here at Ragnar. As an Oregon native, it’s pretty self-explanatory as to why her degree is in Environmental Science. If she’s not holed up in her craft room, she can usually be found in Millcreek Canyon hiking with her goldendoodle Dexter. Lindsey is the proud self-proclaimed title holder of “Best Ragnar Teammate Ever,” and likes to celebrate race finishes with breakfast and a microbrew.

One Response to Captain’s Corner: How Do I Entice Volunteers for my Ragnar Relay Team?

  1. Chris says:

    Team Red White & Blue is a veteran’s organization who promote community through physical activity. They have chapters throughout the country and are a good group to ask about runners or volunteers.

    – Chris
    ADK 2014 Volunteer “Team Fatty”

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