V4V Good Practice Case Studies: Polski Związek Żeglarski (PZZ) (Polish Yachting Association): Volunsailing Project

Sport / Activity: Yachting   |   Country: Poland

Which of the four pillars does the example cover?


Pillar 1 – Volunteer strategy and planning



Pillar 3 – Volunteer management and retention


Pillar 4 – Volunteer development and training

Focus of volunteer intervention: Development of volunteering amongst under-represented groups


The 2 years Erasmus+ funded ‘Volunsailing’ project’s main aim is the creation of a universal, international manual for sailing organisations that want to implement volunteering in a systemic way in their structures, including a set of ready-to-use tools and documents, with a specific focus on attracting older adults to volunteer including those with little experience of sailing, and individuals with disabilities.

According to the Polish Statistical Office research on volunteering work in Poland done in 2016, people over 65 years old are much less likely to enrol in voluntary services than young and middle-aged citizens. Only 26% of all retired people enrol in any kind of volunteering activity and only 26.3% of people with disabilities tend to enrol in voluntary services. The project addressed this case by providing the best possible work conditions for these potential volunteers.

The project aimed to achieve its objectives by:

  • Raising awareness on the role of volunteers in sailing sports
  • Encouraging sailing organisations to engage young, disabled and elderly people as volunteers
  • Generating a coherent international volunteering system for sailing

Activities undertaken:

Creation of International Volunteering Manual for sailing organisations, which included:

  • A list of good practices concerning volunteering implemented in partnering countries
  • A handbook on measurement and communication of the impact of volunteering, stating in detail how to measure the impact of volunteering and
  • Guidance on how to best promote volunteering in order to raise public awareness regarding the value that volunteers bring into sport,
  • A step-by-step guide of how to develop volunteering systems in countries that do not yet conduct this kind of activity
  • A set of tips concerning the mobility of sailing volunteers from all age groups across different European countries
  • A set of ready-to-use documents to help start and build a volunteering system


The guidance produced was used by both small local sailing clubs and larger organisations such as Member National Associations to guide their efforts to recruit, retain and manage volunteers. This has allowed these organisations to increase the diversity of their volunteer workforces and further build their volunteering capacity.

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