Club Funding

When it comes to improving your club, funding is always an important aspect that can help your club develop and improve. This could be anything from gaining funding to run a project to increase your membership, buy needed equipment or improve your club facilities.

Potential funders will need to see what impact their funds will have, this could include how the funding will have an impact on increasing the number of participants taking part in your sport, how the funding will improve the quality of provisions in your local area or how a specific project is going to engage and reach a target audience.

When looking for funding it is important that your club can demonstrate the impact that additional funds will have on your club by creating a business case for the funding. Potential funders will also want you to demonstrate the sustainability of what you are proposing to fund. Secondly, think about whether you really need funding, is it funding you need, or can the needs be met through commercial investment/sponsorship or fundraising. Sport receives funding from a range of sources which include:

1. Membership fees – these are the basic income for most sport clubs

2. Monies raised by membership – there is a range of ways that clubs supplement their income. Many clubs charge team members ‘match fees’ whenever they play a game. Team dinners, dances, raffles all make a profit for clubs.

3. Earned income – this may come from several sources. For example, money from bar and catering operations, especially with larger clubs.

4. Grants – are a large part of the income for amateur clubs. Local authorities provide grants to help pay for running costs of clubs or often provide facilities at reduced rates. The Sports Council can also provide grants to help clubs update or extend their facilities.

5. Sponsorship – Sponsorship may range from a local business/supplier donating a set of strips to paying for the costs of matches in a specific league all season. These businesses usually get free advertising on shirts, in match programmes or around the ground in return. Generally successful clubs find it easier to get sponsorship than those less successful.

Professional clubs tend to get funding from the same sources as amateur clubs although grants from the Sports Council or National Lottery are only available under exceptional circumstances e.g. setting up a coaching programme for youngsters. Professional clubs also get added income from spectators, media interest and prize money.


What are the key sources of funding available to my club/group?

Please see the national resources section here for more a list of potential funding opportunities.

How can my club publicise itself better?

Local newspapers, social media, press release, online sports club and physical activity directory. Think Active can help promote your sports club/group. Take a look at the Marketing support material here for more ideas/guidance.

Can my club/group get funding from Sport England?

Yes, Sport England offer a few levels of funding depending on the size and nature of your project/group. For more information please go to their website.

What do I do if I am told to contact my local Active Partnership?

It will often be a letter of support that Think Active can provide, however be prepared to handover some information on the project and help us understand the key objectives, deliverables and timescales.

Use the contact form at the bottom of the page to get in touch, please provide us with the following infrmation:

> Grant you are applying for

> Amount you are applying for

> Details of your project

Where can I get sponsorship for my club?

Many businesses (large and small), are keen to engage in sponsorship opportunities in their local communities. Building relationships with local businesses can benefit everyone. Sponsorship is an excellent way for your club to raise revenue while raising the profile of the organisation that is sponsoring you. It is important to think about sponsorship as a two-way relationship. Your club needs to offer the company that you are approaching something in return for their cash. Speak to local companies that might have a pre-existing relationship with your club.

For more information on how you can create a relationship with local organisations or business click here.

What should I put together for sponsorship?

The key to getting sponsored by a local organisation or company is seeing it as a two-way relationship. You need to think about what you would offer the business in return for their sponsorship. Successful sports fundraising often involves writing a lot of fundraising letters to a lot of different companies. You can however give your sponsorship request a much better chance by using the sample sponsorship letter below and following a few simple guidelines:

1. Pick a company that has some relevance to your club – This might be by what they sell (i.e. sports equipment), who they know (i.e. business or family contacts) or where they are (i.e.  the garage next door to the sports field).

2. Do your research – Find out about them. What do they do? How do they market themselves? Who are the key personnel and managing director or other decision makers?

3. Use your contacts – If you can, approach a company where someone can prepare the ground for you. Nothing beats a personal contact in getting your foot in the door!

4. Know your stuff – Be friendly but professional and business like. Know exactly what you are asking for and what it will mean to you and the potential sponsor. Be specific and know what sum you plan to ask for. You may like to have a fall-back position or a range of lesser options, but one simple request is usually best.

5. Overdeliver your side of the bargain – Getting the sponsorship is not the end of the deal. Your job now is to continue to help the sponsor feel involved, respected and informed of progress. At the very least a monthly update on your club’s progress.

6. A picture tells a thousand words – Take pictures at every opportunity and send them to your sponsor. What better way to show them what they are getting for their money. Encourage them to use them in their company marketing. Make your team a real part of the sponsor’s business.

For more information click here.

Where to apply for funding for individual members, like juniors that have succeeded and are going forward to training and competition for Regional, Nationals?

TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) is a Sport England funded partnership between talented athletes, education institutions and national governing bodies of sport. Athletes are nominated by their national governing body each year. Speak to your National governing body to find out how athletes are nominated. Find out more here. 

SportsAid helps the next generation of British sports stars by giving them financial support and recognition during the critical early years of their careers.  These athletes are typically aged 12 to 18 and the grant awards help aspiring athletes to train harder and compete more effectively so they can progress up to the senior and/or international level of their sport with hope for future Olympic and Paralympic success. SportsAid are funded by the charity’s partners, donors and fundraisers. Grant Applications to SportsAid are normally managed by the National Governing Bodies of Sport nominating athletes from their various performance and development groups. Find out more here. 

The GLL Sport Foundation is an organisation operated by Charitable Social Enterprise GLL to support talented athletes across the UK. The foundation will support athletes that comply with one of the following:

1. live within an area where GLL or partners manage sport and leisure venues

2. be educated within an area where GLL or partners manage sport and leisure venues

3. be affiliated to a sports club that has a training base at a GLL or partner managed sport and leisure venue

4. use a GLL stand-alone centre/’BETTER Gym’ as your strength and conditioning venue

Find out more here. 

Can we apply for funding to cover day to day running costs of clubs?

Generally, no but some activities are aimed at vulnerable groups may be able to secure start-up costs.

Where to apply for funding for facility improvement, coaches, equipment etc?

Sport England offers two funding streams that are suitable for clubs, these are:

> Small Grants – National Lottery funding to make awards from £300 to £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people get active. Find out more.

> Community asset funds – New capital fund dedicated to enhancing the spaces in your local community. Find out more.

If you haven’t found the answer to your question above, please complete the below form and we will get back to you shortly.