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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 People

Keeping volunteers

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Volunteers are more likely to stay at your club if they have a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience and are confident with what they are doing

Research shows that sports volunteers give more time per week and volunteer more frequently than the average volunteer. How great is that? We’re sure you’ll agree that we should be celebrating how fantastic these people are, making their experience as fun as possible and recognising their incredible commitment.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. In fact, sports volunteers are far more likely than volunteers in other sectors to quit – largely because they feel undervalued, unrecognised or because they’ve had poor experiences in an unorganised environment.

So, what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen at your club? Take a look at the ideas below on how you can provide a fantastic experience at every point along a volunteer’s journey. It doesn’t have to be lots of work, and it is often the little things that make the biggest difference.

Providing a great experience won’t only help keep volunteers at your club, but they’ll also become your best ambassadors for recruiting volunteers in the future:

Give new volunteers an induction

Welcoming your new volunteers is vital to making a good first impression. A well-planned welcome process, or induction, can help a new volunteer feel supported, informed, valued and can enable them to make a contribution straight away. Use our Induction Checklist to structure your introductions and make sure you don't miss anything out! Top-tip: Ask your current volunteers to think back to when they were new and suggest ideas to help others feel welcome and supported.

Manage your volunteers with clear roles and responsibilities

If volunteers are clear about their role and responsibilities they are more likely to feel confident about what they should be doing. Use a Role Outline to describe what the role is, what is expected and where possible the time commitment expected. And importantly show how the role will make a difference. We have templates available for the following roles, which you should adapt as necessary for your club: Chair, Head Coach, Team Manager, Treasurer, Welfare Officer, and Secretary. Be creative with your roles; think about skills rather than jobs, and use our Blank Template to design your own roles. Top-tip: Having a volunteer co-ordinator who can check that everyone knows what they should be doing and be the main point of contact can be a great way to manage and support your volunteers effectively. Check out our Volunteer Coordinator Role Template to get an idea of what this role could involve at your club.

Connect regularly with your volunteers, to see how they’re doing and motivate them

Set aside some time to communicate with, and more importantly, listen to your volunteers will help them remain committed and motivated to your club. It will allow you to all be working towards your shared club goals together. Volunteers may have different ways they prefer to stay in contact. It’s a good idea to check what works best. Ways to stay in touch with your volunteers include:

  • Social media. Facebook or Twitter (or other Social Media sites) can be great ways to keep your volunteers updated, as well as, interacting with them on a range of topics.
  • Meetings. Informal meetings, as a group or individually will give volunteers a chance to ask any questions they may have, and suggest new ideas and projects.
  • E-mail. The majority of volunteers will have email addresses so this is a great opportunity to keep them updated and help them stay in touch with each other.
  • Social events. This is a great way to informally engage with your volunteers and participants. It is a great place for them to meet other volunteers, and it's fun too!

Recognise your volunteers to show they’re valued by the club

As simple as it may sound, thanking volunteers for their time and effort is often forgotten about or overlooked in sports clubs. You could do this in a formal or informal way. Some ideas include:

  • Volunteer award evenings
  • Volunteer recognition in newsletters, or other club communications
  • Personal thank-you letters
  • Regular ‘shout-outs’ at the end of activity sessions

A successful volunteer programme is a team effort, so share with any paid staff, Board members, members, athletes and parents about the vital role of volunteers, and the difference they are making to the club. Use our Volunteer of the Month template for a quick and easy way to recognise your volunteers on a regular basis.

Recognising Young Volunteers

If you have young people volunteering with you, a great way to recognise their efforts is through vInspired awards. vInspired is a charity which pairs organisations, including sports clubs, with young volunteers (14-25 year olds). Through vInspired, young volunteers can work towards their V10, v30, v30 and v100 awards, showing how many hours they've spent volunteering, which look great on CVs and as a discussion point in job interviews.

So, if your club currently has 14-25 year olds volunteering with you, or it could do in the future, you can sign-up with vInspired as an award provider. If your young people also sign-up with vInspired, they can start working towards their awards.

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.

Helping your volunteers to develop their skills is a great way to show you value their time and commitment to the club. If your volunteers are engaged and feel valued by your club, they are more likely to tell their friends and family how great it is, helping you find new volunteers in the future.