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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 Marketing

Market Research

club-marketing-header

It can be very powerful to use research, feedback and statistics when you are marketing your club.

Market Research Image

  • You should carry out research to find out more about both your potential and existing "customers" - these could include members, participants, volunteers, parents, sponsors, and partners.
  • This research can help you understand the type of people that are involved in your sport and what's influencing them to take part. You can use this to focus your marketing activities on reaching these individuals and encouraging them to be part of your club.
  • Use the information to improve the targeting and effectiveness of your club's marketing activity.

Research already out there

Before you start, you should see what research is already out there. Sport England has lots of research available on who's doing sport and activity and where. They also study what inspires people to get active - and to keep at it. They have insight available on specific groups, such as young people, women and girls, and disability, as well as tools to help you understand what's happening in your local area.

Your National Governing Body (NGB) may also have research available specific to your sport.

Do your own research

You may want to carry out your own market research to help you with your marketing. Research can help you answer important questions such as:

  • What is important to your members and volunteers
  • What other activities are competing with your club?
  • Why has membership fallen in the last two years?

You can collect this information by asking people directly, either informally at your club through ongoing feedback conversations or via more formal surveys, feedback forms, interviews or at member's forums. Check out our Understanding your Members section for more guidance.

Getting started with a market research survey

  • Decide what information you want to gather from the survey and how you will use the information. Doing this can help you structure the survey so you can collate the results in the most simple and manageable way.
  • Use logic. For example, before you ask someone how much they would pay for a new club kit, ask them if they have previously bought one.
  • Keep questions and sentences short and easy to understand.
  • Avoid asking 'open' questions that can be misinterpreted or ignored. Be specific.
  • Use ratings for example, ask respondents to give marks out of five, keep it consistent.
  • Test the survey on a small group of trusted people before its goes live, you might gain some good feedback
  • You can choose from a variety of pre-written questions or customise your own. The Club Matters Club Views Tool gives you the opportunity to develop an online survey for your club. It is free, quick to set up and lets you slice and dice responses to reveal what people really think of your club.