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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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Is your club looking to recruit new volunteers but not sure where to start?

The first step is to think about why your club needs new volunteers

There are many great reasons why clubs want to recruit more volunteers, such as to:

  • Help achieve the club’s vision and follow its development plan
  • Manage and support increasing numbers of members
  • Reduce the burden on current volunteers, to improve their experience and help keep them at the club
  • Involve more of the local community and create a diverse, sustainable pool of volunteers

Whilst you are thinking about recruiting new volunteers, you should consider the experience that current volunteers have at your club. Check out our Keeping Volunteers page and Sport England's Make Your Volunteering Experience Meaningful guide to help your club provide an enjoyable, rewarding volunteer experience.  You could also use a skills matrix to check that you are making the most of your current volunteers’ skills and experiences before you start looking for new ones.

Secondly, consider what motivations and barriers potential volunteers might have

People choose to volunteer for lots of different reasons. Your club’s ability to attract volunteers will depend on how well you understand their motivations. Similarly, if you can appreciate some of the barriers preventing people from offering their time, you stand a better chance of overcoming them!

Now you are ready to explore the different ways of finding new volunteers:

Look within your club

A good place to start is by looking within your club, not your current volunteers, but at your members, players and parents and their wider networks. Asking these groups of people if they are willing to offer some time is a quick and easy way to boost your potential volunteer pool. Many people don’t volunteer simply because they’ve never been asked to!

Top-tip: Two thirds of current volunteers got involved because they heard about an opportunity through friends and family, so don’t underestimate word of mouth as a way to find new volunteers.

Look outside your club, to the wider community

Broadening your search to include the wider community can bring in fresh perspectives, skills, experiences and make your volunteer pool more diverse. Our How to Attract New Volunteers Guide has some ideas to get you started with recruiting outside of your club.

Top Tip: Don’t forget that a personal ask is just as important when recruiting from your local community too!

Other organisations here to help you

There are a number of organisations and programmes that can help link your club with potential volunteers. 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 works to link organisations with youth volunteers.
  • vInspired: Half of 16-24 year olds would prefer to volunteer in something sports based. This is a huge group of potential volunteers. vInspired works to link organisations with youth volunteers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • National 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.
  • County Sports Partnerships: They may also be able to provide support and guidance about working with schools, colleges and universities in your area.

Top-tip: Almost 36% of potential volunteers look for opportunities online, so make sure your website and social media pages are up-to-date and specify that you are looking for volunteers!

Recruit 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.

Top-tip: Visit the Child Protection in Sports Unit’s website for more information on how to recruit in a safe way.

Once you have recruited new volunteers you will need to focus on providing them with an excellent experience, to keep them at your club and help them to develop the skills they need.