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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.

Volunteers

Finding Volunteers

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Does your club always rely on the same small group of volunteers to survive?

With more well organised people involved, the time commitment of those currently helping out can be significantly reduced. It is a case of 'getting more to do less'.

If your club is in this position think about:

What do you need volunteers for?

Involving new volunteers can bring significant gains to your club including additional support, ideas, enthusiasm and knowledge. There may be many reasons why your club needs more support including to:

  • Manage and support increasing numbers of members
  • Reduce the burden on current volunteers
  • Replace volunteers who are leaving or retiring
  • Help achieve the club's goals and objectives
  • Make the club more sustainable
  • Get more of the local community involved

When trying to determine why your club needs more volunteers it is important to be specific. Set out clearly what you need more volunteers for, what are the roles or tasks you need doing and what skills or experience is required.

What skills and experience do your current volunteers have?

Before you look into getting new volunteers look at the current skills and experience of your volunteers and what tasks or roles they fulfil. If you don’t know what your volunteers' skills are then ask. You should then record these, together with the skills and experiences you need at the club on a skills matrix.

This will help you to identify where you have gaps in your volunteer pool. Once identified, you can start to prioritise the roles which are more important to fill first and the skills and experience of the volunteers you need.

Remember, even though you may have all the roles filled at your club, your volunteers may be over burdened. Dividing roles between a few people may help and breaking down roles into smaller, less time intensive tasks makes it easier to attract new volunteers.

Are you using your existing volunteers in the best way?

Once you have completed your skills matrix, review it to make sure you are using your existing volunteers in the best way. Questions to think about include:

  • Who is doing what? Is it the best use of their skills?
  • How long does a role take? Are there better ways to do this? Does this need to be broken down into smaller tasks and involve people?
  • Are there other roles a volunteer would prefer to do?

Where do I find new volunteers?

Finding new volunteers to give up their time to help out at your club may feel daunting but it isn't a time consuming or difficult task. A good place to start is by looking within your club, not at your current volunteers, but at your members, players and parents and their wider networks. You can find many untapped skills that will be very useful to support the running and development of the club.

Simply asking members (or parents of junior members) for their skills and willingness to volunteer when they join or renew their membership is a quick and easy way to boost your potential volunteer pool.

If you do decide to look outside your club the how to attract new volunteers guide, will give you some ideas to help get started.

What motivates volunteers?

Volunteers in sport come in all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds. They have different skills and experiences and not all will be sport enthusiasts. They also give their time to sport for different reasons – some are parents with children in a sport club, some are people who don’t want to go running, walking, swimming etc. by themselves, others are sport enthusiasts who don’t want to play but want to be part of their local club.

Others may be local businesses e.g. local plumbers, electricians, accountants, web designers etc. who want to put something back into their local community.

Thinking about what motivates volunteers will make it easier to attract and retain them.

Who can help me to find volunteers?

If you need to look outside of your club for volunteers, there are a number organisations and programmes that can help. These include:

  • Join in. This is a registered charity that helps UK grassroots sport clubs attract more supporters and volunteers from their local communities.
  • vInspired. vInspired is a youth volunteering charity that connects young people with volunteering opportunities at organisations across the UK.
  • Local volunteer centres. Volunteer Centres are local organisations that provide support and expertise within the local community to potential volunteers, existing volunteers and organisations that use volunteers.
  • Sports Volunteering Network. This connects your club with your local County Sports Partnership who can support you with your volunteering needs.
  • Governing bodies. Your sport’s governing body can help you find out about volunteer schemes that help to train, reward and recognise volunteers within sports clubs.
  • Schools/colleges/Universities. As well as taking part in sport, many young people are keen to give up some of their free time to offer support to their local sports clubs. Your local County Sports Partnership  may also be able to provide support and guidance about working with schools, colleges and universities in your area.

How can I recruit volunteers in a safe way?

The majority of people who want to work or volunteer within sport are well motivated and without them sports clubs and organisations could not operate.

Unfortunately some individuals are not appropriate to work with children or vulnerable adults. It is therefore essential that you have effective recruitment and selection procedures for staff/volunteers to help screen out and discourage those who are not suitable from joining your club.

Check out the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's video - keeping children safe in sports (confidentiality and safer recruitment). Finally, once you have recruited volunteers you will need to make sure you keep them engaged with your club and help them to develop the skills they need.