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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

Generating Income

sports-club-finances

Having a realistic and clear understanding of the likely sustainable income your club can generate is a vital ingredient of good financial management.

Finances Generating Income

A great way of ensuring your income is sustainable is to get it from a variety of sources, including:

  • Membership fees
  • Sponsorship
  • Fundraising
  • Commercial activities
  • Grant funding

Membership fees

Many sports clubs rely heavily on income generated from membership fees, so it’s important to get these set at the right price. Ideally your membership fees should cover the day to day financial running costs of the club. Additional income generated can then be used to improve and develop your club and to build up a sinking fund to cover unexpected events.

Below are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about your sports club's membership fees:

  • Have you researched to see if your subscriptions are competitive with other local clubs or activities?
  • Do your fees reflect the value of what your sports club offers? For example, the playing opportunities, coaching, facilities, social activities, etc.?
  • Is there scope to increase the fees, or should they be reduced to attract more people?

Remember, raising membership fees can be an emotive issue so make sure your members know exactly what they are getting for their money and also let them know how your club is funded overall. Often a rise in membership fees is more acceptable if members are more informed about the financial position of the club.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship can be a great way to generate income and form a partnership with a local business or organisation. Sponsorship isn’t free money however. It requires time and resources to be successful and it should be seen as a two way mutually beneficial relationship between your club and the sponsor.

Think about the different types of sponsorship a company could offer your club including:

  • Sponsorship fee e.g. for sponsoring the club kit, match, equipment etc.
  • Provision of resources e.g. volunteers to help out at the club for the day or at an event
  • Provision of products or services e.g. an electrical company providing energy efficient lighting or a local builder providing some facility maintenance work.

Find out more about sponsorship, including things to think about before engaging with sponsors, on our Sponsorship and Partnership Marketing page.

Fundraising

Raising money from fundraising and social events can be a great source of income as well being an excellent way to bring your members together. By involving members other than the committee to organise events you can give them the opportunity to feel they are doing their bit to support the club.

The list of events you could run is endless and often the more imaginative the better. See our A-Z Fundraising Ideas toolkit for inspiration! If you have any new ideas or have run successful fundraising events in the past, contact us and we'd love to add them to our toolkit.

Commercial activities

Commercial activities, for example selling products (e.g. kit or refreshments) or services (e.g. facility hire) can be a great way to generate income from both inside and outside your club to support it financially. If you are thinking about setting up a trading subsidiary, check out our CASC guidance.

Look within your club

Think about what your players, parents and social members want. If you’re not sure, ask them.

How can you get them to willingly spend more money at your club? For example, could you encourage more people to visit by making the club more family friendly, or can you encourage parents to stay throughout kids’ sessions by offering free wifi and selling refreshments?

Look to your local community

Outside your club think about what else is in your community. What else is on offer that you can provide as good or better? What doesn’t your community have that it needs? Can you meet this?

Also, think about whether you can work in partnership with a local organisation to send potential customers to you (and vice versa).

Look at your facilities

If your club has its own facility, then consider whether you can generate additional income from these by hiring them out to the local community e.g. businesses for meetings or conferences, families for birthday parties and social events or community groups. With more people using your facilities, promotion and awareness of your club will also increase.

Generating Income Facilities
A video, like this Bushey Sports Club Facilities Hire video, could be used to demonstrate the facilities that you have to offer the local community.

If you are generating commercial income, depending upon the activities you may need to think about a number of different areas including Tax, Club Structure and Insurance.

Grant funding

If your club needs financial support for something more than day to day expenses, for example help to improve your facilities, buy equipment to make your sport more accessible or to develop a new sports programme in your local area then grant funding may be available.

There are a number of different national and local funding programmes that your club may be able to access. The links below give you a great place to find funds that may be able to support your sports club including:

  • Sport England has a number of different funds open at any one time, ranging from small grants of a few hundred pounds to significant support for facility improvements.
  • National Governing Body.  Your governing body may have funding available (cash and in kind donations) to support the development of your sport locally. Each sport is different so make sure you know what yours offers
  • County Sports Partnerships and Local Authorities. These are a great for finding out about local funding available, including coaching bursaries, facility improvements and other community grants.

In addition there are other, subscription based sites that provide information on a vast array of funding opportunities. A quick internet search will list the most popular.

To find out more, access our Funding Guidance.

Community Shares

Community shares is a unique form of share capital that offer shares to members, supporters and members of the community that can be withdrawn and can pay a small amount of interest on investment at the discretion of the management committee. The sale of shares is a good way to raise capital and to encourage participation in the running and management of the club. You will need to make sure your club is structured correctly to offer community shares.