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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

Marketing Strategy

club-marketing-header

A marketing strategy is a plan of what and how your club is going to promote itself.

Marketing Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy to manage your efforts will help you to think about what makes your club different, and how you can get the right message out to the right people.

Having a plan in place helps you to concentrate on maximising opportunities for increasing sales, sponsorship, membership and participant numbers.

You’ll find your marketing is more likely to be successful when you’ve taken time to identify what you want to do and when you want to do it.

In its simplest form, there are four main areas for you to consider:

What is your offer?

It is important to be clear on what you are offering and to whom. This is what you are trying to 'sell' or promote to both new and existing 'customers'. Start off by thinking about who your ‘customers’ are. These are the people you want to attract to your club. They could include members and participants, volunteers, coaches and officials, parents, funders. Write down a list of all your customers, both existing and those you want to target in your marketing efforts.

You then need to think about what you offer each of these groups of people. Think about the 4Ps of marketing and ask yourself the questions below.
Marketing Mix

  • Product

    - What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of your club? What makes you different to others?

  • Price

    - How much does it cost for someone to be part of your club? Is this price right for your target audience? Can you offer different prices for different services or memberships?

  • Promotion

    - Is your club well known in the local community? Do your current members promote your club on your behalf?

  • Place

    - Are you easy to find? Do your facilities meet the needs of your offer?

 

You should carry out some research to make sure what you are offering is what the people you want to be part of your club are looking for.

Check out our Understanding your Members and Market Research sections for more guidance on carrying out this research.

What do you want to achieve?

When developing a marketing plan you should identify the objectives that underpin your overall goals and club vision. These objectives should be ‘SMART’: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Club Marketing

A general objective from your marketing might be:

"Attract more members"...



...but a SMART objective would be:

"Increase our junior membership by 20% over the next year."

How do you get there?

You need to develop a framework which outlines exactly what you will do and when. Think about the different options you have for reaching these people. There are lots of marketing channels to choose between such as websites, social media, posters, newsletters, press and media. Check out the Marketing Options section to find out more about each and find out if it is the right option for the message you are trying to promote.

Remember to consider any costs of marketing. These should be factored into your club’s overall budget.

Download our Marketing Plan Template to help get you started.

Don't do it alone, get other volunteers involved and play to people's strengths- think of those volunteers who are social media savvy or budding journalists.

How do you know you are there?

Progress should always be monitored to ensure your efforts are not wasted. Identify how you will know that your plan has been a success. Put timescales and measures for success against each activity in your action plan. Make sure that these are realistic, and set yourself measures to make sure you are on track. Remember, don’t be afraid to change tactics if it's not working.

To find out more on this topic, access the Developing a Marketing Strategy online module or see if there is a workshop taking place near you.