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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

Developing Volunteers

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Helping your volunteers to develop will keep them motivated and committed. It will also give them the skills they need to run your club effectively.

On the Finding Volunteers page we explore the different motivations people have for getting involved in volunteering. One of the main reasons, is that people want to use their existing skills, or see volunteering as an opportunity to develop new skills.

Research shows that there are many skills an individual will develop through volunteering, all of which are useful in other situations - whether that’s at work, at other volunteering opportunities or in day-to-day life. If you are able to clearly identify and communicate the skills a volunteer is developing, it will help them see the personal benefits they’re gaining from the opportunity and keep them engaged. And your club will benefit too!

Below are some of the key ways a person can develop by volunteering at a sports club:

Confidence and self-esteem

Research shows that people who volunteer have higher self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing.

Top-tip: Encourage your volunteers to reflect on how they felt when they first started in their role and show them how far they’ve come since then. People often forget to take a step-back and won’t realise quite how much they’ve achieved, even if it’s just been in a short space of time. Use our Volunteer Progress Review template for example questions you can ask your volunteers when you are checking-in with them to discuss their experiences and personal development at your club.

Leadership, mentoring and coaching

Whatever role a volunteer takes on at your club, chances are they will be responsible for a particular things and this is likely to include supporting and working alongside others, whether it involves line-management or not. They will be developing leadership skills, such as prioritisation, time-management, delegation, trustworthiness and self-motivation. As well as, soft skills like problem-solving and adaptability. Top-tip: Take the time to discuss with your volunteers what they are looking for from a role; for example, if there are particular skills they would like to develop or improve upon. Check-in with them regularly to see if they’re happy with how they’re developing. This way you can help create a meaningful, valuable experience for your volunteers.

Communication, relationship-building and teamwork

All volunteer roles within a sports club involve supporting others, providing updates, discussing issues or keeping in touch with other groups involved with the club (for example, sponsors).Communication, relationship-building and teamwork are all transferable skills, which means they can be put into practice in other roles or environments and are therefore highly sought after by employers and other volunteering opportunities alike. Not to mention that they’re useful skills for your club to be able to call upon!

Top-tip: When discussing skills with your volunteers, focus on their personal strengths, and ensure the conversation is a positive one about any areas they are looking to develop further. Also think about any other roles or projects they might like to be part of.

Check out Sport England's Making Your Volunteering Experience Meaningful Guide for key considerations on how to provide a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience to all of your volunteers.

Taking the time to show your volunteers how they are developing will help keep them at your club as they feel valued and supported. In turn, this will help you find new volunteers, as they share their experiences with those around them.