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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 People

Keeping volunteers

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Volunteers are more likely to continue to support your club if they have a positive experience and are happy and confident with what they are doing.

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  • This applies equally to existing volunteers as well as those that are new to your club. The following steps will help you to get volunteers embedded into your club and keep them there.

Be welcoming

  • Welcoming new volunteers is vital to give them a positive experience right from the start. This may be the first time they will experience how your club runs and first impressions count. A well planned welcome process (sometimes called an induction) can help a new volunteer feel supported, informed, valued and can enable them to make a contribution straight away.
  • Ask your current volunteers to think back to when they were new and suggest ideas about what would have made them settle into their role more comfortably.

Be clear about roles and responsibilities

If volunteers are clear about their roles and responsibilities they are more likely to feel happy and confident in what they are doing. Make it clear what the role is, what is expected and where possible the time commitment expected. Having a role description may feel formal, but when done in the right way it will support the volunteer in their role. At the bottom of this page you can download example role templates: Chair, Head Coach, Team Manager, Treasurer, Welfare officer, and Secretary will help you get started.

Understand your volunteers

Knowing who your volunteers are and understanding their motivations will help you to communicate, support and recognise them appropriately. It only takes a few minutes to get to know your volunteers better. Consider the following steps:

  • Take account of all roles. Make sure you recognise everyone that helps out at your club, not just those in the main committee roles. Include those who volunteer at annual events or who help out at specific times of the year.
  • Keep a record of people that help out. Keep a record of people that are volunteering. This will ensure you do not forget anyone’s contribution and can also help identify needs when looking to recruit in the future.
  • Share this with the rest of the club. Letting the rest of your club members, players and participants know how much hard work is required “behind the scenes” to make your club activities happen will ensure volunteers are recognised and may encourage others to volunteer.

Talk to your volunteers

Communicating with, and more importantly, listening to your volunteers will help them remain committed and motivated to your club. Volunteers may have different ways they prefer to stay in contact. It’s a good idea to check what works best. Ways to stay in touch with your volunteers include:

  • Social media. Facebook or Twitter (or other social media sites) can be great ways to keep your volunteers updated as well as interacting with them on a range of topics. For more on social media click here.
  • Meetings. Informal meetings, as a group or individually will give volunteers a chance to ask any questions they may have.
  • E-mail. The majority of volunteers will have email addresses so this is a great opportunity to keep them updated and help them stay in touch with each other.
  • Social events. This is a great way to informally engage with your volunteers and participants. It is also a great place for them to meet other volunteers.

Motivate your volunteers

Keeping your volunteers motivated to continue to help can often be the most difficult of tasks. It is often a lack of motivation that means volunteers stop helping rather than not having the time or skills to complete the tasks required. It is recognised that volunteers feel motivated when:

  • They feel effectively recognised for their hard work. So plan to recognise volunteers regularly and in a way that means something to them
  • Their role as a volunteer isn't a burden or overly time consuming. Make sure you break down volunteer roles into manageable tasks and delegate or share key volunteer roles between several members
  • They have a genuine interest in their role and feel challenged.
  • They enjoy the social aspect of volunteering. Organise regular volunteers’ social events and consider introducing a buddy/mentor system for new volunteers

Recognise your volunteers

Recognising the hard work volunteers do, in a way that means something to them personally will make volunteering a rewarding experience and keep volunteers at your club. You can do this in many ways. Some ideas include:

  • Volunteer award evenings
  • Volunteer profiles shared around the club (e.g. in a newsletter)
  • ID badges or t-shirts
  • A thank-you letter
Simply taking the time out to thank your volunteers regularly will also go a long way to show your club recognises their contribution.

Recognise your youth volunteers with vInspired

vInspired is a charity which pairs organisations, such as sports clubs, with young volunteers (14-25 year olds) who are seeking volunteering opportunities. Alongside this, vInspired offers awards to the young people in recognition of the time they've spent volunteering.

Through vInspired, young volunteers can work towards their V10, v30, v30 and v100 awards, showing how many hours they've spent volunteering, which look great on CVs and as a discussion point in job interviews.

If your club currently has 14-25 year olds volunteering with you, or it could do in the future, you can sign-up with vInspired as an award provider. If your young people also sign-up with vInspired, they can start working towards their awards.