10 Top Tips to Setting Up a Club

Membership Clubs prosper when Members give free time to keep on top of the admin, which includes:

  • collecting in subscriptions or fees,
  • accounting for money received and spent,
  • arranging insurance,
  • booking facilities,
  • organizing the Club’s meetings or socials,
  • buying kits or equipment,
  • recording Club results or outcomes and
  • advertizing the Club’s existence.

So how can you get your Club running smoothly? Here are 10 top tips to help you try:

  1. Check if there is a governing body to which the Club can subscribe. For example, the ASA for swimming clubs in England. Governing bodies usually offer Member Clubs some important benefits, such as standard Rules for Clubs to tailor and Insurance for Club activities. Search online for a governing body for your Club!
  2. If there are going to be lots of Members, write down your Club Rules. Make Membership contingent upon agreement to abide by the Rules. There are some examples of standard Rules online that you can amend to suit your particular Club. Make sure your Rules are written in simple language and are legal.
  3. Be clear about how and who can join your Club and how they can go about doing so.
  4. Ensure your Rules include steps your Club may take to exclude a Member.
  5. Share out the tasks and avoid trying to do everything yourself. You will run yourself ragged and end up resenting the Club for soaking up your time doing admin rather than participating in the Club activities you expected to enjoy and participate in.
  6. Stay legal. If your Club is retaining personal data or includes children or pays people to do stuff make sure you know the law and your obligations to avoid landing yourself or other Members in hot water.
  7. Take proper care of Members’ cash. Get a separate bank account for the Club. Ask the bank if they offer free banking for ‘not for profit’ Clubs. Don’t use your Club’s money for anything other than to support and facilitate the Club’s aims and activities. Make sure you share the Club’s bank statement regularly with Members – financial transparency is key to building and maintaining Membership trust.
  8. As the Club grows, create a small Committee to help run things and make sure your Rules say the Committee can make decisions about Club business on behalf of all Members. Make sure everyone who joins the Committee actually does practical work to help keep the Club running, and avoid people who think that just turning up for Committee meetings is all the work they have to do.
  9. If you decide to use a Committee, ensure the Chairperson is pleasant, well respected among the Membership and has the ability to act in the Club’s interests, not their own!
  10. Don’t put up with people on your Committee who do nothing. Not only do they reduce the quality of the Club’s administration by not doing what is needed, they also waste everyone’s time by having a say in other Committee matters. Finally, a lazy Committee Member will block someone else coming on to the Committee who will actually get on with the voluntary work expected of them.

A well-administered Club is one likely to attract and retain fee-paying Members, so do try to follow these top tips when setting up or running your Club.

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