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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.

Developing Volunteers

Effective Communication

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Communication at the heart of everything we do. Doing this effectively can really help the management of your club.

Being able to communicate effectively is an important skill to learn.  It can make running your club a lot easier, helping you to engage with and motivate players, members and volunteers.

If you need help with becoming a more effective communicator think about the following steps:

Think about who you communicate with and plan what to say

If you are involved in the organisation of sport in any way, you will need to communicate with many people, including members, players, parents, officials, the media, sponsors, schools, suppliers, your governing body etc. The list goes on.

Be clear what messages you want to give to each and why. Consider:

  • Why are you communicating?
  • Who are you communicating with and what do they need to know?
  • What do you want to say and how is the best way to deliver this message?

Good communicators know that less is often more. Good communication should be efficient as well as effective.

Be a good listener

It can be easy to focus on speaking. However, to be a great communicator, you also need to step back, let the other person talk, and listen actively.

To listen actively, try to do the following:

  • Give the speaker your undivided attention
  • Look at the person and pay attention to his or her body language
  • Nod and smile to acknowledge points
  • Occasionally repeat back what the person has said to confirm understanding and show you are listening

Think about questions

Asking questions is a vital part of effective listening. A good question is brief, clear, focused, relevant and constructive. It often helps to prepare questions in advance to get you started and keep you in track.

There are many different types of questions that you could ask including:

  • Open questions. These do not invite any particular answer, but they do open up discussion and encourage people to share opinions. They usually begin with what, why or how. "Tell me" and "describe" can also be used.
  • Closed questions. These are questions that are generally answered with a yes or no response. They are useful in making a decision or checking understanding.
  • Fact finding questions. These questions are used to get more information about a particular topic.
  • Follow-up questions. These are aimed at obtaining an opinion or gathering more information to complete the picture.

When asking effective questions remember to give your audience time to think; a little silence can get you a much more thoughtful response.

Choose the right method of communication

Think about the message you want to communicate before you decide on the method of communication. With so many choices available, it is important to consider which is going to be the most effective way.

Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, using e-mail to send simple directions is practical. However, for a more complex task or one that involves emotion, it may be best to arrange a time to speak in person.

When you determine the best way to send a message, consider the following:

  • The sensitivity and emotional content of the subject
  • How easy it is to communicate detail
  • The receiver's preferences
  • Time constraints
  • The need to ask and answer questions

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