Volunteer at Parkrun?

Done some parkruns loved them and my daughters thinking of being a volunteer but heard questions about whether it is notforprofit and some volunteers got sacked. anyone shed some light?


  • No idea about that, however the general idea is that you should volunteer to help out with one event for every 10 you take part in. Doesn't seem too bad a deal.

  • i imagine it is NFP, i can't see how they're generating a revenue, aside from some nominal advertising revenue on the website, which can't have that much traffic, and probably just keeps the servers switched on, and a bit of sponsorship from adidas or something to cover costs.

    I'm also not sure how a volunteer can get sacked. Perhaps asked not to volunteer again, but you'd have to do something worthy of that. People love free help.

  • I seem to remember a thread on here late 2011/ early 2012 started by someone who had been a parkrun volunteer and then wanted to set up a similar event (possibly on a different day or time) and was asked by parkrun not to volunteer for them any more.

    I think that is pretty unique circumstances though!

  • There was that - and there was another one down South I think ? I think the guy had started to deviate from the idea - so offering more options or something. Which wasnt what parkrun wanted.

    As to profiting from it - I dont care. It costs me nothing to run and its only fair to volunteer. If someone can make a profit out of setting it all up - well good luck to them, but I really don't know if that is the case.

  • i've only run one parkrun, but it intend to run more before xmas, and volunteer at least once before then, otherwise i'd kinda feel like i'm taking the p!ss out of those who are volunteering.

  • if anyone was 'sacked'/asked not to come back I can only assume they were an awkward bugger and that the decision was in the greater good.

    like cougie, I don't care if they profit or not.

    it is a great event. it's only fair to contribute occasionally by volunteering.

  • You can run about fifty times per year if you like, for free. Where do questions about profit come from?

    I ran several parkruns and volunteered on a few. On one occasion the race had nearly been cancelled as there weren't enough volunteers. I think parkrun is a fantastic idea and everyone who enjoys it should volunteer once in a while. 

  • parkrun is definitely Not For Profit as dictated by its constitution and legal set up, so there can be no argument on that front.

    And the couple of incidents mentioned above can quite easily be classed as storms in a teacup.

    There are thousands of parkrun volunteers and I dont think I've come across one that doesnt thoroughly enjoy doing so.

  • If you are happy to run for free why would you not volunteer ? You have concerns but that doesn't seem to prevent you from taking part and enjoying the events so I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from. I'm marshalling at a race at the weekend which is not a free event but that doesn't stop me giving up my time for free. My local parkrun is a fantastic event which has got my entire family running and subsequently enrolled in an Athletics Club. When I am out injured I volunteer because its the least I can do in return. Volunteers are treated well and applauded at most briefings so I would think if one got 'sacked' there would need to be a very good reason, and probably the right decision. As for profit, I dont think so, it costs money to set up these events and keep them going and I've never been asked for a penny.
  • It's definitely not for profit.

    With regard to volunteering the expectation is that it will be carried out in the spirit of parkrun.

    If someone was "sacked" then they must have been up to no good. Everyone has a part to play when volunteering and should be encouraged to do so as in my view a parkrun should almost become self sustaining with a director being able to step back a bit and just co ordinate.
  • I can only echo what's above: it employs people, but is not for profit. And thousands volunteer for it each week with no problems whatsoever - in fact, with grateful thanks from the organisers. Your daughter will enjoy it and will be thanked profusely.

  • Park run put something up



    says - The international rights to parkrun are owned and managed by Paul Sinton-Hewitt through the company UKTT Limited.


  • john2443john2443 ✭✭✭

    Absolutely not for profit, there are a small number of employees (about 8?) which isn't bad for an event that had 30,000 runners last week. There are about 2000 volunteers each week.

    Paul S-H invented it and could probably have made a load of money from it, but effectively gave it away by creating a trust or something like that to ensure that it can never be sold or make money for anyone else.

    parkrun are very keen to protect the brand so if someone was trying to set another event up that deviated from the basic principles (Saturday, free, open to everyone, 9am in England, other countries vary) they would not be allowed to do it if they were trying to associate it with the parkrun name.

    It costs a few 000 to set up a new event, this is half paid by the main sponsors and half raised locally - we had that from the council.

    You will never be asked for money, but there is (if you can find it on the webpages!!) an option to donate, most of this goes to your local event and a small amount (10%?) to the new events fund - details are shown here http://www.parkrun.org.uk/aboutus/donations/

    Finally, yes you should volunteer, it's good fun, you get to know people and runs can't happen if you don't, you can run 49 times a year and volunteer the 3 when you have race that weekend or are injured or had a late night on Friday! There aren't many things in life that you can give 3 and be given 49 back! 

  • Thanks John for post, sure you're genuine as most Parkrunners are.

    Got sent link http://www.eightlane.co.uk/index.php?p=/discussion/611/parkrun-uktt/p22 

    Wish it weren't true!


  • john2443john2443 ✭✭✭

    Why do you believe that the claim in that link is true - was it you that made it? I can say that Runners World makes millions out of us posting on here, but I don't imagine anyone would beleive me!

    I don't think it's a secret that the franchise for parkrun could be worth millions, but it has been set up as a not for profit organisation so that no one does make millions.

    Some of the main posters on the thread you link to are clearly trolls, I suggest that if you have proof (ie not hearsay from a forum) that you post it.

    parkrun certainly doesn't make any money out of me, I volunteer, get a free timed run, how can anyone be making money from me? All I spend is on a post run coffee, maybe UKTT take a % from the cafe image

  • John, you'd probably already noticed that "Runner Volunteer" posted on the same day that "Volunteer" registered on Eightlane. Hardly the cleverest attempt at using multiple anonymous aliases! In fact, the last time I saw such a ham-fisted attempt at bashing parkrun was here...spot any similarities?!


  • Good call Wire.

    Very shoddy attempt to undermine the parkrun organisation.

  • even if it was true (it isn't) i wouldn't care. it's brilliant.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    That thread on the eightlane link in genius, some real conspiracy theorists on there. has kept me entertained for a while
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