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Get help to find what you need

Club Matters offers support and guidance to clubs in a wide range of topics.

To help find what you need, select the option below which best describes your current situation.

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Get started

If your club is new or in the process of being set-up, we recommend exploring our Start a Club section.

This section is split into the following topics:

  • Things to think about before starting your club
  • The rules and structure your new club will adopt
  • The facilities and funding you will need in place
  • Raising awareness of your club
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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Keep it up

If your club wants to maintain what it has, or check you’re doing the best you can, we recommend exploring our main topic areas in more detail.

Sign-up to workshops which cover key topic areas such as business planning, marketing, club structures, finances and tax.

Register for free for full access to our resources

Click on these boxes to access toolkits, online modules and interactive content. Have a look around to see which areas your club could benefit from.

For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Get back on track

My club is struggling on one or more areas and is looking for specific guidance.

We need help growing or maintaining our membership levels We need to manage our finances better We are looking for guidance on applying for funding We need more volunteers to help run our club We are unsure what good governance really means or how we can improve We don’t know if our club’s legal structure is right for us We need support with our facilities or lack of facilities We want to better understand our members and what they want from the club

Top Tips

1. Think about the best way to market your club to reach potential new members

2. Make sure your club is welcoming and inclusive to appeal to new members

3. Make your club experience extraordinary, so that your current members want to stay

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Marketing Inclusivity Members and Participants

Top Tips

1. Get into a routine of checking your club’s financial position and keeping records

2. Plan for the future and develop a budget, to help you keep costs on track

3. Get your income from a variety of sources, to stay sustainable

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Managing Money Budgeting Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Create a clear club development plan to show funders that you have realistic goals

2. Research the best funding for your club

3. Don’t forget the other ways to raise funds for your club, including fundraising, forming partnerships and gaining sponsorship

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Development Plan Funding Guidance Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Look beyond your current volunteer base - don’t just rely on those who already have a link to the club

2. Convey the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving a CV or boosting self-confidence

3. Improve the experience of your current volunteers to reduce the risk of them leaving

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Finding Volunteers Developing Volunteers Keeping Volunteers

Top Tips

1. Governance is all about having the right people, policies, procedures and structure in place at your club

2. Protect your club’s reputation by creating, communicating and following a robust set of policies

3. Have an effective committee with clear roles and responsibilities, skills and experiences

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Governance Policies and Procedures Effective Committees

Top Tips

1. Explore all the options available and consider seeking legal advice

2. Incorporating your club creates a separate legal entity and protects your committee and members from entering into contracts in their own name

3. Adopting charitable status or becoming a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) can provide benefits such as tax relief for your club

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club structures Incorporated Charitable Status CASC

Top Tips

1. Carry out risk assessments for the facilities you use

2. Hiring or leasing facilities is often the simplest solution if you only need to access them for a few hours each week

3. If you own your facilities, make sure you are clued up on business rates and energy saving measures to keep costs down

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Facilities Risk Assessment Managing Costs

Top Tips

1. The way people participate in sport is changing, you need to make sure your club is flexible and can adapt to modern lifestyles and demands

2. Seek feedback from your members

3. Every club can improve, keep trying to make your club’s experience even better by creating and following an action plan

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Understanding Your Members Understanding Your Offer Delivering a Great Experience Being Consistently Brilliant

Raise the bar

If your club is keen to develop and you want to improve your current offer, we recommend using our Club Improvement Tool.

The tool prompts you to think about how your club is performing now and where you would like it to be in the future. Based on your responses, the tool directs you to specific resources to help you reach your goals.

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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Clubmark

Clubmark is Sport England’s universally acknowledged, cross-sport accreditation scheme.

If your club wants to achieve Clubmark accreditation or you want to find out more, we recommend exploring our Clubmark section.

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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Club Finances

Funding Guidance

sports-club-finances

Funding Guidance

You have a great idea and you need some money to help make it happen. We know applying for funding can be daunting, especially if you have not done it before, but we hope this guidance will help you, not only with an application to Sport England but in other bids you may make.

Please note: This page contains a demo of the interactive Funding guidance we have developed, but you will need to log-in and follow the instructions below to view the full video.

Before you apply

Here are some things you should consider before you start applying for any funding:

Develop a plan

Before you start your search for funding, you should think about and plan what you want your club to achieve over the long term. Any projects should then be designed in line with this plan. A clear development plan puts your club in a strong position by showing that you have fully thought through what you are wanting to do and why. You can download a guide and template for creating a club development plan on our Planning pages.

Research the best funding for you

It is important to do research to find out what funding is available, who the funders are and what they are interested in supporting. The goal of your research is to find out those few funders whose interests are in line with your club and what you are wanting to do with the money. Sending the same requests to a wide group of funders who all want to fund different things is ineffective.

Funding streams are often changed or updated and some may be offered for the short-term only; it is important to check what funding bodies are offering at any particular time and plan accordingly.

Make sure you are eligible

You should also make sure you are eligible for their funding. Some funds are only open to clubs of a certain size or type, or will only fund very specific things. Your funding research principle should be: if you do not qualify, do not apply.

Financial planning

Think about how much money you will need and look for funds which are suitable based on the amount. Involve your treasurer, or someone who is comfortable with the numbers, in your financial planning. It’s important to be as accurate as you can be with your costings. Any funder wants your project to succeed and so are looking for a realistic budget that has been properly costed. Remember, something that is value for money is not always the same thing as the cheapest.

You will often have to provide a budget with your application. Our Club Finances pages can help you with this.

Get support and guidance

Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. It is a very good idea to involve more than one person in planning your project and writing your funding application. Different members of your committee or volunteers will have different skills and experience that they can bring to the process. Ask them for support.

It is also worthwhile to get someone from outside your club who is willing to review your application. They are more likely to pick up if you have missed any obvious information and tell you if you need to provide more detail in any sections.

Applying - understanding the questions

You’ve done the research and know what funding you want to apply for. Now it’s time to write a winning application.

This interactive video explores some of the common questions you will be asked in funding applications. It will help you think about what funders are looking for and gives you some tips on what you should consider in your answers.

View a short demo below, or click the button beneath it to access the full version. The transcript to the full version is also available to download at the bottom of this page.

Click here for full version