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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

Managing Costs

sports-club-finances

Working hard to save money can be a more sustainable approach to improving your sport club's finances.

sports-club-finances

  • As well as looking at ways to raise money it is important that your sports club looks into how it can save money as part of managing your finances.
  • For clubs with their own facilities there is a greater opportunity to save money. However, all sports clubs can look at their expenditure to see if they are getting the best deal, or whether there are different ways of doing things.
Find out more about managing costs below:

Clubs with facilities: Reducing energy costs

Research has shown that up to 20 per cent of a club's annual energy costs are wasted through energy inefficiency. This is a great place to start then when looking to reduce your club's costs. The following approach may help:

  • Know what you are using. Get a clear understanding of what you are spending on your energy bills annually. Keep a track of these so that you can highlight any sudden rises or changes in the bills.
  • Know what you are spending. By looking at your previous energy bills work out what your club’s biggest costs or overheads are. These are the areas you will want to look at reducing.
  • Plan your actions. Once identified plan actions to reduce any bigger costs. Some of these could be quick fixes that can be introduced immediately - for example installing energy saving light bulbs. For further impact your club may decide that it is more financially viable to look into other long term solutions - such as installing sensor activated lighting). Over time the cost of installing these should be made back by the savings that you make.
  • Get the right deal. Continue to monitor your energy usage and costs to ensure you are able to save as much money as possible. Make sure you are getting the best deal from energy suppliers - there are many online comparison websites to help you do this.

The Sustainable Clubs website has further information and ideas.

Clubs with facilities: Business rates

As well as energy costs, another big expense for clubs with facilities is Business Rates. Some local authorities offer discretionary relief for sports clubs, however many of these schemes are being removed.  If business rates are a significant expense for your club you may want to consider changing how your club is structured. See our Club Structures page for further information.

Clubs without facilities

Even if your club doesn’t have its own facility you can still look at ways to manage your costs more effectively.

  • Look at what you spend - To start saving money, the best place to look is where you spend money. Your budget and last years’ figures are great places to start. Look at the largest balances first to see if you can make savings here.
  • Ask yourself could we do this differently - Just because you have always done something the same way doesn’t mean you can’t change. Think about your expenses, could you switch to a different supplier, or do you need to spend the money on that item?
  • Ask for a discount - Asking for a discount can work surprisingly well. Politely enquiring whether that is the best price can see your club save on a range of goods and services.
  • Use free services - Many online resources offer free simple services and then charge when you need more complex support. You can take advantage of this Freemium model, but make sure you know what services are free and what the costs implications are for paid services so you don’t get caught out.
  • Consider bartering - Is there something your club can offer in return for goods and services?
  • Ask your members - You’re members may be happy to provide services / skills for free (e.g. website design) or at a discount, or may know someone who can help. Just make sure you are clear on the club's requirements and expectations and manage this accordingly to avoid any disputes. You will also need to make sure there are no conflicts of interest if you are engaging members, friends or family to do work at the club.
  • Ask around - Your National Governing Body may have discounts available to affiliated clubs or recommend preferred suppliers who can help and other clubs may be happy to share where they have found good deals, especially on kit and equipment.

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