Volunteer hours are an important part of making the association successful and for keeping costs low (especially compared to the cost of many other major sports youth programs). A small amount of volunteer time is expected from all families during the season.
It is with great excitement that EP Fastpitch is announcing a major change in our volunteer program.
We listened to your feedback and have heard you! The overall message from parents was to have a volunteer program with “greater flexibility” and “a more personal approach”. We have spent a significant amount of time designing something that meets the needs of both the Association and the parents.
Most families are pleased that EP Fastpitch does not resort to typical fundraising (having the players perform door-to-door sales ro raise money, in which most families often eat the cost themselves), so we depend on parent volunteers to keep costs low. It is expensive to hire people to work the concession stand and to groom fields between every game during tournaments. That's the kind of expense we wouldn't want to pass on to each family, resorting in higher fees.
Changes starting in 2018
The entire 2018 Summer Volunteer Program (volunteer shifts) will be organized, tracked and managed using SignUpGenius. Utilizing this method will allow families to both choose the volunteer shifts that work for their schedule, and take into account the needs of each family. Unlike previous years where volunteer assignments were manually managed by a single concession manager, EP Fastpitch will use two parent volunteers and manage volunteer shifts using SignUpGenius. The goal is to give you an avenue of communication and allow the EP Fastpitch Association an opportunity to get real-time feedback from you. A solid volunteer program will give us the chance to purchase new equipment, focus on player development and continue the pride in playing softball at Miller Park.
In the preseason when jerseys arrive, prior to your daughter's first game, EP Fastpitch will arrange a uniform pickup time. During this jersey pickup period, EP Fastpitch requires a $300 check from each family, to hold throughout the season. It will be cashed if a family fails to show up for a shift or fails to complete their full set of volunteer shifts. Volunteer shift assignments are managed through SignUpGenius, so it is imperative that you create/own a SignUpGenius account with which to sign up for volunteer shifts.
Here is a snapshot of what you can expect:
- Our EP Fastpitch Volunteer Coordinators will build and track volunteer shifts in SignUpGenius . They will be responsible for:
- communicating the availability of shifts to sign up for,
- managing when shifts open up (to minimize “preferred shifts” being grabbed by only one parent group),
- managing when shifts lock (to eliminate last minute cancellations),
- communicating reminders close to the date of your shift(s),
- working with parents to answer questions, and ultimately
- making sure we have appropriate coverage for our concessions and field maintenance needs.
- Volunteer Coordinators are committed to constant communication with you. To assess volunteer hour needs in the future, you will be asked to provide feedback on your experience after each shift. We want to know what is working and we want to know areas that need improvement (ie- properly staff shifts for future events). The success of this new roll-out depends on you!
Your total volunteer time commitment for each family has changed starting in 2018:
|"First year" 8U
||One 3-hr commitment
|8U (non first-year)
||Two 3-hr commitments
||Three 3-hr commitments
||Three 3-hr commitments
||One 3-hr commitment
Families with multiple daughters playing softball can expect a small break!
||One fewer 3-hr commitment for the 2nd daughter
||Progressive decrease in 3-hr commitments
You will be held accountable for the shifts you sign up for. We (and all other families working shifts) are counting on you to show up for your designated shift! For this program to be successful, we trust that you know what's on your calendar, in advance, and that you are signing up for shifts that you can successfully complete.
We recognize this is a change for parents that have been in the program for years. Going forward, we ask that all communication regarding volunteer hours be done with the new parent coordinators listed below. They are available and willing to help via all contact methods shown.
It is important that you make sure we have the correct contact information from you on both SignUpGenius and the EP Fastpitch website.
The most common opportunities performed by families to complete their volunteer assignments are at Miller Park doing:
- Concession Sales
- indoor and outdoor concessions
- weekday, or weekend (tournament) assignments
- Field Maintenance
- grooming, raking and/or chalking fields between tournament games
Tournament assignments are likely spread over different days of the same tournament, and may possibly include shifts in another tournament on another date.
Volunteering Process and "Opt-Out"
To ensure families perform their volunteer assignment, families will write a $300 check (payable to the EP Fastpitch Association) at the time their daughters pick up their uniforms. These are held throughout the season. In the event that the volunteer assignment is not fulfilled, the checks are cashed.
At the time of registration, families have an opportunity to "Opt Out" of their season's volunteer commitment by providing a payment of $200.