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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 Views

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Club Views, is a club feedback tool designed to help you seek the views of your players, members, coaches and volunteers about all aspects of your club experience.

Club Views User Guide

From working with clubs, we know sometimes how the committee perceives the club experience may not always be the same as the players, members, coaches or volunteers.  By using the Club Improvement Tool and Club Views together you will get a 360 degree picture of how your club is performing.  This will help you to identify and reconcile and different perceptions of the club.

Getting feedback on the experience your club offers its players, members, coaches and volunteers is vital to help your club grow and develop.

But it’s not enough just to ask for the feedback. Responding to the feedback is all part of the process.  Find out more about how best to respond to both positive and negative feedback, and why this is important below.

Why is it important to respond to feedback received?

By responding to the reviews you receive, both positive and negative is a great way to demonstrate that you take the experience of your current and future players, members, coaches and volunteers seriously.

Evidence shows that responding to feedback makes people believe a club cares about their experience.  Potential members are more likely to join a club with a reputation for a positive experience.

Should I respond to all reviews?

Your approach to responding to reviews will depend on your own strategy, resources and the number of reviews your club receives.  Generally, it is best practice to respond to negative reviews.  Also, responding where you can show you have taken action (e.g. taken steps to correct an issue) or to clear up a misunderstanding or misstatement are helpful.  Just be mindful not to get into too much detail or minor squabbles.

Responding to negative reviews

Whilst it may be tempting to ignore a negative review, or even worse, get into a heated online discussion, don’t.  Follow the simple tips below to help turn a negative review into a positive experience.

A quick response allows you to give your view on the issue whilst it is fresh and also shows you care about the experience your club gives. This is a positive start.

Whilst all comments on Club Views are private, you should be polite and professional in your response. The response represents your club and therefore should reflect its values.  Being aggressive or defensive is unlikely to help whilst responding in an unemotional way demonstrates you are taking the review and reviewer seriously.

Genuine feedback should be important to your club.  So thank the feedback provider whether the review is good or bad.

Your response should deal with the complaint. Acknowledging what happened and outlining any actions you are taking to remedy this again shows you take feedback seriously.  This can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one for your players, members, coaches and volunteers.

If the review also has positives comments, highlight these.  But don’t focus just on these and ignore the negatives.

Responding to positive reviews

Getting feedback for your club is great, especially if it’s positive. Responding to positive reviews is a good idea. Think about thanking the reviewer for sharing their views and experiences and for letting you know all the hard work at in at your club has a positive impact. Be sincere though – it’s easy to identify a standard response – and you’ll sound more like a call centre than a community club.