The driving force behind the sport of eventing is the many amazing volunteers! The USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) exists to increase the ease of participation, provide incentives, and recognize the tireless efforts of volunteers.
Supporting and empowering volunteerism has been highlighted in recent years as the Association has looked for ways to recognize these unsung heroes. The program’s roots first began to grow thanks to the many efforts of the late Seema Sonnad, and they continued to grow thanks to the ongoing commitment of Seema’s fellow volunteer enthusiasts. The USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) was officially born in December of 2015 when the USEA Board of Governors voted to approve the new program.
In 2017, after the success of Area II’s pilot project, VIP rolled out an online management portal nationwide. Available through www.EventingVolunteers.com or the smartphone app for iOS and Android devices, the portal is designed to streamline the volunteer process for both volunteers and organizers. Click here for a step-by-step guide to getting started with EventingVolunteers.com and the VIP app.
*Organizers and/or volunteer coordinators must have all of their volunteer hours submitted on www.EventingVolunteers.com within 10 days of the completion of the event.*
Just about any age or experience level can find a job to do in our sport. If you have never volunteered, don't let that discourage you - you will be trained for your task at the event. Looking for a local event to volunteer at as a jump judge, steward, scribe, or in any other position? Go to the USEA Calendar, click on your Area, and then pick an event. Contact the volunteer coordinator or the secretary for information about volunteering. They will be very happy you called!
Follow the Volunteer Coordinator Group on Facebook.
Since 2020, the VIP Medal Program has recognized the volunteers who consistently serve the sport of eventing year after year. Hours earned are cumulative over a lifetime of volunteer service. Only volunteer hours logged and tallied via eventingvolunteers.com online app will be counted towards the medal program. Awards will be distributed in December of each year. The VIP Medal Program leaderboard is available on eventingvolunteers.com.
Bronze Medal: 500 volunteer hours
Award: embroidered polo, pin, certificate
Silver Medal: 1000 volunteer hours
Award: embroidered vest, pin, certificate
Gold Medal: 2000 volunteer hours
Award: embroidered jacket, pin, certificate
For questions or more information on the VIP program, please contact Kaleigh Collett at [email protected] or call (703) 669-9994.
Beginning in 2023, any qualified participant of the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) who logs 10 hours or more through EventingVolunteers.com will be eligible to receive a complimentary digital version of the USEA's Supporting Membership, now known as a 'Digital Membership.' This new membership category was approved by the USEA Board of Governors in August 2022 to serve as a thank you to the loyal volunteers in our sport for their dedication in supporting events around the country throughout the year. To qualify to receive a complimentary Digital Membership, volunteers must log 10 hours or more of service within 12-months and must not have competed or held an active USEA Membership within the last 24-months. Only hours logged inEventingVolunteers.com will qualify towards this benefit.
The Digital Membership will offer qualifying participants several benefits. Digital Members will have full access to the USEA’s online resources, including access to the Member Rewards Program, digital issues of the award-winning Eventing USA magazine, subscription to all USEA eNewsletters, and access to online competition and educational videos. Digital members will also have voting rights with the association and the ability to make their voice heard in advocacy for the sport of eventing. Participation in USEA Educational Activities, like clinics, seminars and camps, is another perk that Digital Members are encouraged to take advantage of, as they provide a great opportunity to increase your knowledge base and meet new people that share your love for the sport.
If you are interested in volunteering to start accumulating 10 hours of service towards your 2024 Digital Membership, visit EventingVolunteers.com for a full listing of participating events. To learn more about the range of membership opportunities available through the USEA, please visit useventing.com/membership or contact Jennifer Hardwick, Senior Director of Membership Services, at [email protected].
The VIP Program shall be limited to volunteers in the eventingvolunteers.com program; shall be limited to recognized events listed in or as part of the USEA Calendar; and shall exclude any person associated with the event that is named as an administrator in the program or given access to change, add, or subtract hours volunteered by themselves or others. Also excluded from the program are officials, regardless of whether paid or not, if they are performing an official duty (including but not limited to technical delegate, judge, ground jury member, etc.).
It is the intention of the VIP committee to reward the “boots on the ground” volunteers and offer hours-tracking directly supporting the running of the events themselves, as long as no financial compensation takes place. It is the committee’s determination that rewards or incentives for volunteering given by events and/or sponsors (including but not limited to: vouchers for services like cross-country schooling, apparel, raffle tickets/prize drawings) are not considered payment, but tokens of appreciation and incentives for recruiting volunteers.