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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 Management

Effective Committees

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Get your team in place

A club’s success is largely down to the work of its committee, the group of people who manage the club's affairs. The committee exists to serve the club and to ensure that its members receive the best possible service and experiences.

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To help your committee to be as successful as possible, make sure it follows a structure that works and is made up of a diverse mix of people with the right skills and experience.

If you're a new club

One of the first jobs for a new club is to elect a committee, normally at the first meeting. Electing a committee may sound rather official and off-putting but is actually relatively straightforward.

  • Decide on the right committee structure that meets the needs of your club now and in the future.
  • Think about who are the right people to be on the committee. Who has the right skills and experiences for the committee roles? Ask them to get involved.
  • Try and ensure that people have agreed to put themselves forward for designated roles before the meeting, it can prevent embarrassing silences!
  • Consider the make-up of your club membership. Make sure your committee represents the diversity of your members.
  • Where possible make sure each committee member only has one role so they are not overloaded.

Have a look at the Ilkley Cycling Club Case Study for some inspiration from a club that started off small and has grown into a large, successful cycling club.

Get the structure right

At minimum, a committee will normally comprise:

  • Chair - the person in charge
  • Secretary - deals with administration
  • Treasurer - handles the money

Beyond that your committee structure depends upon your club and it is important to find a structure that will work best for you.

  • Make a list
    Look at all the tasks and responsibilities your club needs to do to undertake your sport and run the club. There will be a lot! Group these and consider committee roles for the key areas.
  • Divide and conquer
    Keep your committee manageable and if you need lots of roles, create sub-committees focusing on particular areas. For example you may have a finance sub-committee or a fund raising sub-committee.

Your National Governing Body may have recommended committee structures for your sport.

Roles and responsibilities

Once you have a better ideas of how your committee will be structured and the key roles you need, make sure these are clearly outlined with the areas each role will be responsible for.

  • Be open about what the role is, what is expected, and where possible the time commitment expected.
  • Note what skills or experience would be suitable for each role to help identify the right people. Sometimes all you need are enthusiastic and committed people!
  • The role outlines included in our download section are a great starting point which you can use and adapt to suit your club.

The Club Matters support is well aligned to offer support for the different roles. For example, you can recommend that your Treasurer explores our Club Finances section, whereas your Welfare Officer should start looking at Safeguarding and Welfare.

Skills, experience and diversity

When appointing new committee members, it's important to take their skills and experience into account for the role they're going to take on. You may find that you need to recruit externally, rather than relying on your current volunteer base. You should aim for a diverse committee, as having a variety of viewpoints will push your committee to challenge each other and reach the best decisions for the club as a whole.

    • Use a skills matrix
      Listing your members’ skills and experience will help you identify your club's strengths fill any gaps when appointing new committee members. Ask people when they join what their skills are and what they enjoy doing or survey your existing members to find this out.
    • Development
      Consider what training or support volunteers will need to improve or maintain their skills and experience or boost confidence. Use the Club Matters workshops, online modules and toolkits to help out.
    • Diversity
      If all your committee members share the same demographic profile (for example, are all the same age, gender, race and so forth) they are more likely to have common viewpoints and not be reflective of your club in its entirety. It may discourage members in the club who don't fit that profile from feeling like the club is inclusive or that their opinions are being considered at a committee level. Having a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints pushes the committee and creates a more sustainable club for the future.

Independence

To follow good governance practices, at least three of your club's committee members should be independent, which in this case means not related or living together. This reduces the risk of decisions being made or swayed by a group that has a common interest that doesn't necessarily reflect the club's best interests.

Conflicts of interest

Committee members should declare any potential conflicts of interest which might affect their role. To find out more about what a conflict of interest is and how your committee can recognise, record and manage any that arise, visit our Conflicts of Interest page (coming soon!).

Keep it fresh

Your club should be regularly electing new committee members, or at least asking existing members to stand for re-election, as an opportunity to develop or bring in new skills, experiences and perspectives. Although there is no mandatory requirement, it's advisable that committee members serve no more than 9 years in total.New committee members are typically elected at your club's Annual General Meeting (AGM). Remember to refer to your constitution as there should be rules in place around the recruitment of officers. For example, make sure you know whether nominations for new committee members have to be taken in advance or if you can take them at the meeting. (Most AGMs require a proposer and a seconder for each nomination).

You might also look for new committee members if:

  • Some of your committee members have left or are intending to leave
  • Your committee needs further skills and experience, eg. in areas such as governance, finance or marketing
  • You generally feel that your committee needs reinvigorating

When appointing new committee members, you should make sure that you take skills and diversity into consideration.

Check out our Effective Meetings page for an overview of the key types of meeting your committee will hold and how to run these effectively and successfully.