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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

Leadership

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Effective leadership will help your club to have a clear vision.

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Without good and effective leadership, organisations can move too slowly, stagnate, and lose their way. Whereas effective leadership in your club can:
  • Help provide direction for the club
  • Motivate and inspire all club members
  • Address and manage conflict
If you or your club need leadership skills, download the what makes a good leader guide to have some top tips ready when you need them most.

What makes a good leader?

All of us can learn how to lead more effectively. The following are some skills a leader may need:

  • Delegation. Leaders often find themselves needing to delegate work on a project or within a business. The delegation page and guide can give you more help here.
  • Direction. Leaders must provide direction for future activity. To do this they tend to look at the big picture, understanding how different projects or initiatives interact with one another, and setting out what needs to be done to achieve goals. This is an important part of ensuring a club continues to grow in a focused manner.
  • Motivation. Effective leaders in a club play an integral role in motivation. This can be motivating volunteers, establishing trust and loyalty among members or providing encouragement to help people reach their full potential. Motivation is a fantastic attribute for a leader.
  • Conflict resolution. Addressing conflicts and developing solutions is vital to ensuring that clubs survive and thrive. Leaders need to be able to establish the root cause of problems, the needs of all parties involved and steps to find a solution.
  • Communication. Good leaders will ensure that people are informed appropriately about matters. When people are informed, they feel more involved and valued.

Different styles of leadership

Everyone has their own style of leadership. Some people like to make decisions themselves and direct others to follow (dictatorial), others like to consult more and reach an agreement (consultative). Some advantages and disadvantages of each are below.Advantages of a dictatorial approach to leadership

  • Fast decisions are possible - useful in crisis situations
  • New and inexperience members feel safe - they are told what to do and don’t have to take on too much responsibility themselves

Disadvantages of dictatorial approach to leadership

  • Lack of contribution from members can be demotivate members
  • Members do not have the opportunity to use initiative, solve problems or generate new ideas

Advantages of a consultative approach to leadership

  • Allowing members to share views/ideas makes them feel valued and involved
  • Can be motivational and improve a club's sense of unity

Disadvantages of a consultative approach to leadership

  • Can take too much time discussing and considering everyone’s opinion
  • Decisions can be delayed or postponed because it is hard to come to an agreement

Remember, sometimes taking a different approach may be needed if you are not getting the results you want.

Areas to improve

Below are common leadership and management areas which can be improved. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I give appropriate feedback? Are you giving honest feedback in a way that will be understood and acted upon by individual team members?
  • Am I too hands off? It can be good to allow your team the freedom to express themselves and use their imagination, but make sure this will this is within a framework of reference.
  • Am I too friendly? Of course we want to be seen as friendly and approachable but sometimes we have to make tough decisions - just think about the balance and set clear boundaries.
  • Do I define goals? Projects and tasks can get completed (or not, as the case may be) in the wrong order. Make sure you define clear and realistic goals with deadlines.
  • Do I understand individual motivation? Understanding what motivates people will help you get the best out of them.
  • Are the right people doing the right roles? Having the right people in the right roles will make running your club a lot easier. The roles and responsibilities pages will give you more ideas.
  • Do I set a good example? A good leader should be a role model for the rest of the team.
  • Do I delegate effectively? It might take some effort up front but if done well it will be worth it. Visit the delegation page to learn more.
  • Do I understand my role? If you are not clear on your own role, how can you lead others and make them clear in theirs?

Discover

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