We have used feedback from our local clubs and groups to create an online resource of support and tools to help clubs.

The support is split into a number of sections, which contain general information, FAQs as well as national and local resources. Click on the tabs below to access the support sections.

If you have a question that is not answered by the FAQs, please contact us using the online forms within each topic and a member of our team will come back to you.

Management

Effective Club/Group Management

The success of a club will predominantly come down to the group of people who manage the club’s affairs; the club committee. The committee is ultimately responsible for ensuring that its members receive the best possible service and experiences. For this to happen it is important that the committee follows a structure that works and includes a diverse mix of people with the right skills and experience for each role. As a minimum, these roles should include:

> Chair – the person in charge

> Secretary – deals with administration

> Treasurer – handles the money

It is important to clearly define each role within the committee, including what is expected from the person in the role and how much time commitment is expected. It is worth noting what skills or experience would be suitable for a role to help identify the right people.

Another fundamental aspect of club management are the constitution, policies and procedures put in place to determine how a club and its members should operate. Having these in place and communicating these effectively to everyone associated with the club will play an important role in the running of the club and help to protect club members and officers. It is recommended to introduce the following:

> Constitution

> Safeguarding and Welfare

> Codes of Conduct

> Data Protection Policy

> Equity Policy

> Health and Safety Policy

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Marketing

Effective Club/Group Marketing

There are now a range of different methods to market a club, and it’s important a club evaluates these options before deciding on the best way of reaching their target group. Most clubs use a mixture of traditional marketing, such as leaflets and flyers, and digital marketing, advertising the club via the internet on social media, apps and websites.

Developing a marketing plan is one way to help a club focus on maximising opportunities to increase sales, sponsorship, membership and participant numbers. A club’s marketing is more likely to be successful when you’ve taken the time to identify what you want to do and when you want to do it.

Social Media Platforms

There are three main socail media platforms which are used, they are:

Managing your clubs/groups social media accounts

To ensure your clubs social media accounts are as beneficial as possible to your club it is crucial that you effectively manage your club’s social media accounts. The first and most important factor is time management, managing multiple social media accounts for your club does take up a lot of time and as a result that time needs to be used effectively and fairly. You don’t want to spend 5 hours a week creating and posting on Facebook a week meanwhile you are only spending 1 hour on Instagram a week, you want to spread your time out between all your social media channels to get the best out of them all.

Another factor of effectively managing your club’s social media accounts is knowing your target audience. It is important that you know your target audience and who you want to get your posts out to. Of course it sounds pretty obvious right? So for example, a Basketball club would want to attract those who are interested in playing Basketball or perhaps are interested in coaching the sport. However to really narrow down your clubs target market it is important you go beyond peoples interests and look into areas such as demographic and geographical area.

When managing your club’s social media accounts it is also important to think about the quality of content you are putting out. Whether it’s a photo, video or even posters always ensure it is of the highest quality possible, there is no point putting out five social media posts out every day if they are all poor quality as this will give your club a bad image online, always remember quality over quantity.

Staying on top of multiple social media accounts can be hard, having to post daily across multiple social media accounts especially. That’s why one of the best ways to manage your social media accounts is by using social media account management tools. These pieces of software are brilliant and often free, they allow you to schedule posts in advance across multiple social media platforms. This can save a lot of time and can also take a lot of stress of your shoulders of posting at certain times as these tools will do it for you. There are a wide range of social media account management tools you could try using such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Social Pilot.

Creating a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a plan which often runs hand in hand with a club’s overall objectives and aims for the year. A marketing plan is crucial for any club if they want to succeed. Marketing plans often contain six main steps, the six steps are:

1. Business Summary- The business summary should include a summary of the club, the location as well as the mission statement. On top of that, it is also important a business summary includes a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.

2. Business Initiatives- Business initiatives should be all about outlining the projects that are specific to marketing. When doing this part also describe the goals of those projects and how those goals will be measured by your club.

3. Target Market- The target market is arguable the most important step of a marketing plan, it is crucial for any marketing plan that the target market is identified before the marketing plan begins. So for example if the aim of your clubs marketing campaign is to get a 95% renewal rate on your current 12-month membership then your target market is your current signed up members.

4. Market Strategy- The marketing strategy is the key part of any marketing plan, this is the stage of the campaign where your club needs to decide what its offering which your competitors aren’t offering, in others words the clubs unique selling point. The marketing strategy should also include the 4Ps which I mentioned earlier.

5. Budget- This section may not apply to your club depending on finances however it is still something worth considering. It is important the when creating the marketing plan (should you have finances available for marketing) that your club decides what areas of the budget are going to spend where and on promoting what.

6. Marketing Channels- The final stage of the marketing plan is to identify what channels your club are going to advertise on and why. This is also a section to identify how you will measure the success of each channel (KPIs). So for example if you are running an email newsletter to encourage members to renew it might be that your club will measure the success of the channel if the newsletter gets over 20 renewals through the email campaign.

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Other Local Support

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Club/Group Structure

About Club Structure

It is important that your club is structured, from a legal perspective, in a way that best suits your needs now and in the future. A club structure can influence how a club is viewed by others (e.g. banks, funding providers, the public) and determines whether the club is treated as a separate legal entity (i.e. club members are not personally responsible for its debts). It is also important to consider that there are different rules and legal requirements depending on how a club is structured. Whatever structure or status a club chooses it is important for them to understand what the implications are, and it is advisable to consider updating the club’s constitution to reflect the structure of the club.

There are two main types of organisational status, unincorporated and corporated. Unincorporated includes company limited by guarantee, company limited by shares, community benefit society and charitable incorporated organisation.

 

Unincorporated are generally suitable if: ​

> Small local club​

> Don’t own assets (property etc.) ​

> Don’t take on any contracts​

> Not involved in high risk sport​

> Protected fully through 3rd party insurance

 

Corporated are ​generally suitable if:

> Employ staff​

> Apply for finance (loans or grants) ​

> Own assets​

> Entering contracts​

> Taking on a lease​

> Buying buildings

 

Choose the appropriate structure for your club​

> Do it once, do it right​

> Register with HMRC if liable to Corporation Tax​

> Get the right Directors​

> Ensure your details are correct and up to date​

> Use the correct details on correspondence / contracts etc.​

> Know your ongoing obligations e.g. annual accounts, annual return

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Club/Group Funding

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.

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Think Active Support

Local Authority Support

Other Local Support

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Safeguarding

Safeguarding and Protecting Children

Across the UK a wide range of children are involved in a wide range of sports activities from community participation to national and international level. However, research suggest that 58,000 children are at risk of abuse. Young people are normally abused by people they know or trust from inside or outside their family and can be both adults or other young people. Within sport and physical activity, we have a responsibility to safeguard these young people from potential abuse.  This can be done in a variety of ways, such as ensuring that a clear safeguarding policy is in place, that volunteers have had DBS checks and that everyone has sufficient training on how to spot the signs of abuse.

It is important that this is an area that people talk about, and are aware of among other things that are being prioritised within the clubs environment, this is often an area that goes unspoken about, due to the taboos that exist but it is important for us to break these down and provide knowledge and training to ensure that the issues are identified and dealt with as and when they arise.

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Local Authority Support

Your local sports development local authority team may be able to help you with advice in and around some of these areas, here is the standard advice:

> Speak to your clubs safeguarding officer if appropriate

> Report/speak to your NGB safeguarding officer if appropriate

> Contact your local authorities adult safeguarding team

> Contact your local authorities children’s safeguarding team

> Contact your local authorities children’s social care team

> If there is an immediate concern which requires urgent response, contact the police to report the incident

Potentially refer to safeguarding officers for further advice

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Recruitment of Members

Recruiting and Retaining Members

Attracting new members and retaining existing ones is the most common challenge faced by sports clubs, due to changes in lifestyle and the number of alternatives now available for someone looking to become fit and active.

To overcome these challenges, and stand out from these competitors, it is important that clubs truly understand their members so that they can offer a service which meets their wants and needs. It is important for clubs to bear in mind that the club exists for, and because of, the members, players and participants of the club.

People participate in sport for different reasons. Once a club identifies and understands these motivations, they can us this knowledge to begin to build a positive club environment and therefore experience. By providing this positive experience you will give your existing members a reason to keep coming back, as well as attracting potential new members through word of mouth.

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Other Local Support

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Club/Group Finance

Club Finance

It is important for clubs to manage its finances competently by having a financial plan or business plan both short and long term. Short term, it is important to evaluate income and costs for the coming year, allowing the club to stay focused on their everyday finances. Identifying the club’s income and costs over a longer period will help when planning for the future, and in particular any significant projects they wish to undertake (such as funding for facilities or equipment).

A financial plan is a decision making tool​:

> it sets out what actions you will use to implement your strategy and achieve your clubs’ objectives and vision​.

> It spells out what needs to be done, by whom and by when​.

> Lastly, it focuses on how you are going to achieve rather than just what you are going to achieve. Understanding the realistic likely sustainable income, the club can generate is a vital part of good financial management.

To ensure the clubs income is sustainable, it is important for it to be generated from a variety of sources (e.g. membership fees, sponsorship & fundraising, grant funding etc). It is also important to manage the cash flow of the club by recording all money in and out of the club using a reliable method such as cash sheets or cashbook, a spreadsheet or budgeting tool.

The following tool on the Club Matters website can support you to develop a financial plan: https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/club-finances/

Potential Income Streams

Some potential income streams for your club are listed below:

> Membership and affiliation

> Weekly subscriptions

> Match fees

> Event fees

> Sponsorship

> Merchandise

> Kit and off pitch wear

> Donations

> Fund raising weekly activity

> Bar revenue

> Social events

> Sponsored events and activities

> Internal club events or festivals

> Sponsored kit and equipment

> Grant funding applications

Budgeting

The first thing to look at may be how to budget, some questions you will need to ask are:

> How does that meet the club’s agenda?

> What are the expenditure items?

> What income is there?

> What are the risks?

> How will the budget be profiled/phased/cash flowed?

For more information on how to budget correctly, click here

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

Recruitment of Volunteers

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Let’s face it volunteers are the key to a successful amateur sports club. Most clubs are run by a small pool of volunteers who bring passion, drive and ambition to clubs, to keep them running and improving. Remember volunteers aren’t just coaches or referees, they’re those that hold committee members positions, they are those parents that offer to wash the kit, the wife of the chairman who makes the tea on the Saturday. It could be someone who just helps now and again. Without them clubs are nothing, even big professional sports clubs such as premier league clubs have volunteers, that offer to clear the pitches of snow in bad weather. Sports volunteering is worth millions to British economy and is the most popular sector in which people are likely to volunteer.

Things that you need to consider for volunteers is the four R’s, recruit, retain, recognise and reward, as well as what organisation can support you and what resources are available to ensure all club volunteers has an excellent voluntary experience.  These people that offer their time usually get put upon quite heavily, taking on one role then quickly carrying out three or four different jobs. It is important that we consider the needs of the volunteer at the heart of what they do, what are their motivations for volunteering? Are their needs being met if we can truly understand this then the support we offer to the individuals can be a lot more appropriate and tailored to them individually, which will in turn encourage them to continue giving up their time and making a difference for a longer period of time.

FAQ

National Resources

Local Resources

Local Support

If you need more support, please contact your local authority Sports Development Officers:

 

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

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