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Key Volunteer guidelines

Key Volunteers manage volunteers and/or processes in specific areas of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, often in conjunction with a team of other Key Volunteers and Event Staff. Key Volunteers must be comfortable communicating with and leading people. They help organize and improve their area, and they commit additional time to the event for pre-race meetings and race weekend set-up. Key Volunteers play a critical role in the success of the event, and their enthusiasm, support and dedication make race weekend a memorable experience for 45,000 race day participants.

Characteristics of a Key Volunteer: “TEAM LEAD”

The acronym, TEAM LEAD, describes the expectations we set for our Key Volunteers.

TEAM: Together, we can produce far better results than we can individually.

  • Train/Teach: Clearly define goals and expectations for volunteers and ask for input to encourage team spirit.
  • Energize: Create a positive environment and encourage volunteers to have fun.
  • Appreciate: Regularly say “thank you” and provide positive reinforcement.
  • Manage: Delegate and communicate clearly. Make sure volunteers always feel comfortably busy.

LEAD: Be prepared, proactive and responsible while empowering others.

  • Listen: Listen with compassion and caring, and treat everyone with respect and dignity.
  • Excellence: Seek a world-class standard, strive to improve and focus on service.
  • Adapt: Be open to and ready for change. Always remain calm.
  • Discover: Find your voice while inspiring others to find theirs.

General guidelines

To help make this year’s event a successful and positive experience for everyone, we ask that all Key Volunteers follow these four simple guidelines:

  • Arrive on time. Your team captain will confirm your check-in time, location and next steps.
  • Wear your volunteer uniform and credential at all times. Key Volunteers will receive event gear/merchandise to wear during their shifts (uniforms differ depending on the volunteer’s area and role). The primary purpose of this gear is to identify you as a Key Volunteer. You must wear the uniform and credential provided for the 2014 Chicago Marathon during your shifts. Any prior year or other event merchandise will not be permitted.
  • Remember that you will appear as an official of the event due to your branded uniform and important role at the event. Keep this in mind and always conduct yourself in an appropriate and respectful manner.
  • Enjoy your time as a volunteer and have fun. You are one of the reasons that volunteers enjoy the event and love coming back every year. We highly value your kindness, dedication and commitment to this world-class event.

What should I do if…

Sometimes unexpected situations arise when working with volunteers, and the appropriate course of action is not always clear. Please review the questions and answers in the What should I do if? page on our website.

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