The thriving clubs pillar focuses on the financial management and marketing of your club. Tips of financial best practices and ways to market your club to generate revenue.
Marketing and communication | Communicating with your club | Sponsorship | Fundraising | Grants
Club accounts don’t need to be complex, nor does your Treasure have to be an accountant. However your committee or board does need to understand the financial responsibility you hold when managing the financials of your club. They also need to understand how to read financial reports circulated and presented at monthly meeting. There are two main areas your committee needs to focus on:
planning and budgeting
Planning and budgeting
Without planning and budgeting your club will not know what they can spend or when to spend it. The Committee is responsible for preparing an annual budget to direct the club’s activities in the new financial year. The budget should predict what will be coming in (cash flow) and what will go out (expenditure). This will assist the club in planning for club activities and working towards achieving long term goals.
Once a budget has been adopted, you are still responsible for managing the club’s money, by tracking the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’. A Club Treasurer should be providing the committee with the following reports monthly:
- Profit and Loss Statement - for the respective month and year-to-date
- Balance Sheet (&/or Bank Statements) – a summary of what cash you have available, the value of the assets you own and any monies to be received or to be paid
- Receivables List – list of outstanding monies others owe the club
- Payables List – list of monies the club owes to others.
Best practise for financial management:
- constitutional requirements of financial reporting
- bookkeeping system/software that is easy to use and manageable by the Treasure
- a suitably experienced Treasurer – they don’t have to be an Accountant, however have an understanding of finance. Remembering to put the right person in the role
- club bank accounts
- cheque signing authorities – at least three committee members, two a minimum for signage
Marketing and communication
Know your brand and the image you want to portray to the community. Your branding should align to the club’s values and long term goals set out in the constitution. These values and image is what will either attract members and sponsors or keep them away.
Marketing your club
Word of mouth is your best form of marketing! The behaviour of your members, players, coaches and volunteers on and off the field, is the best way to market your club. For the local community to see your club as an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment, you need to ensure your codes of conduct are upheld and you are showcasing the values stated in your constitution. This is where the marketing of your club starts. In the digital world, the cheapest most effective way to market your club is via:
- social media
- local, state and national ‘Find a Club’ directories.
Websites need to be easy to use and updated by a dedicated volunteer. They are a great place to provide information to members and non-members who Google your club:
- club information (Values, policies, codes of conduct)
- club News
- registration details
- contact details.
Social media can be used with or without a website, depending on what best suits your club. You can also select to make your social media accounts public or closed groups to limit access to the wider community and protect the privacy of your players, coaches and members.
Find a Club directories are one of the simplest ways for new member to find you. In most cases they will google your state sporting organisation to find out how their child can play your sport. Keep this information updated.
Communicating with your club
Your communication to the members and sponsors needs to be clear, simple and consistence throughout the season. You don’t need to be on every communication channel to be inclusive, pick what is manageable and platforms your volunteers and members are more likely to use.
Clubs have been moving towards using platforms that are easier to manage that can incorporate a number of functions including events, team shop, online registrations and news. Platforms like TeamApp have been designed with sporting clubs specifically in mind.
Committee Members should be provided with generic club email addresses to communicate with members and sponsors. This shows professionalism, organisation and they can be easily passed on to the next person in the role (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial revenue for your club is required to be sustainable and to achieve the long term goals set by your club. Commercial sponsorship is a great way to achieve these goals and creating long lasting partnerships in your local community.
When looking to attract a new sponsor it is vital to ensure the club has a clear direction, plan and purpose for a commercial sponsorship to work and both sides of the deal are being met. Potential sponsors should align with your Club’s values and be a positive reflection of your Club’s branding and image in the community.
Five steps to attracting a new sponsor:
- identify potential sponsors
- research potential sponsors
- engage with the right person
- tailor your proposal and be willing to negotiate
- nurture and deliver on the partnership.
Regarding point five: 'nurture and deliver on the partnership' is extremely important if you would like your new sponsor to return for the following year. Build a relationship with them.
Junior sports clubs are encouraged to have their own sponsors separate from senior sporting clubs, to ensure no alcohol or gaming sponsors are assigned to junior members. There are plenty of healthy options and local businesses that can provide sponsorship without the negative messaging from commercial alcohol and gaming.
The point of fundraising for your club is to avoid additional costs being passed onto members. Although who do we normally target all fundraising activities to? Our members! So essentially they are still paying the additional costs, just not through “club memberships”.
Fundraising should be a way to engage the wider community to get involved with your club. Build relationships, the same way you would if trying to find a sponsor. In-kind donations are great for raffles and spot prizes and a great way to showcase a local business and their products.
Traditional fundraising activities include:
- meat trays/raffles at local licenced venue
- cake stalls at home games
- car wash in club carpark
- sausage sizzle at home games or Bunnings.
Get creative with your fundraising and host events that include other groups, clubs or businesses. Fundraising should be FUN for your volunteers, so the sky is the limit when planning an event.
Examples of fundraising events to engage the wider community include:
- outdoor movie night
- barefoot bowls
- virtual challenges (e.g. bike ride)
Your Club’s canteen and bar are essentially your biggest fundraising effort. Here are the top 10 tips for making the most out of your canteen and bar:
- no freebies – everyone pays for their food and drinks
- provide procedures and operational guides for volunteers
- do regular stock inventory
- implement a point-of-sale software to provide acute financials, stock reports and cash-free options
- decide before the season starts on core products to be sold
- create meals of the day (e.g.g muffins, club burger, smoothies – this helps to use leftover fresh produce to reduce waste)
- provide healthy options for members and visitors to purchase
- bigger is not always better – incorporate ways to reduce waste and sell smaller portions for the same cost
- use signage/posters to advertise the club specials for the day
- promote your canteen & bar as fundraising tools and highlight when targets are met (e.g. “Thanks to the sales from the canteen this season we were able to purchase new equipment for our Under 7’s team”).
Applying for grants is a sure way of creating revenue for your club to achieve short and long term goals of the club. Grant funding in sport and recreation is designed to increase overall participation in the local community, this includes funding available for facility upgrades and lighting projects. Grant funding is not designed to fund the daily operations of a club or group. As part of the being sustainable, your club needs to be able to support its own expenses to operate day-to-day.
Applying for grants should be part of your overall strategic plan. You should have a clear direction of what you need to apply for and how much you need to achieve the goal/project. The City of Canning in partnership with Grants Guru has a dedicated grants website, specific to clubs and groups in our community. The Grants Guru website provides:
- information about grants
- grant tips
- grant support
- grant planning
- current grant opportunities.
By creating a profile for your club you can save favourite searches and be notified when new opportunities arise.
The City of Canning is committed to providing grant funding to the local community. Our Grants Team works proactively to ensure the grant funding available is capturing to latest trends in the market. Please see the City’s website
for all funding details.