The Grow Your Club guides – inspiring case-studies and easy-to-use templates and tools to help you grow your club
These guides are based on SMN’s renowned Grow Your Club workshops which have been attended by representatives from more than 4000 community sports club across England, Wales, Ireland, Denmark and Scotland. Packed with inspiring case-studies and easy-to-use templates and tools readers will have access to best practice from across community sport on how to develop more vibrant, visible and viable clubs, attract more people to your clubs, generate more income and welcome more volunteers.
All this information is brought to you in a way which we are sure will help spur readers into action! The Guides can be used either as a support to workshops or as standalone tools. We also like to think they are an entertaining read. Like the workshops the Guides are full of case-stories from clubs, just like yours. Most importantly, it is just plain good advice. We offer quick, simple, but effective answers and strategies that are tried and tested, in a format that can be used again and again.
Leadership and management of your sports club
How to create a change-friendly culture
Very few clubs do not have a programme which supports coaches who want to develop new skills. That is not the case with the volunteers who are involved with the actual development and running of the club. Very few clubs actively look at how they can improve their leadership and management and, say, develop more efficient decision making (just look at the time it often takes to make even the simplest decisions in clubs).
Hopefully, this guide can help you to improve the leadership and management at your club. This is not an exact science and each club and environment is different, so you will have to adapt the advice given here to your specific situation. .
More players at your sports club
In order to attract more players community sports clubs must become more welcoming and focused on the players and their welfare and ensure they are having fun and feel engaged. They must listen to people lives, communicate with them on their terms and in their language and ensure that they are more than just a sports club.
We have been studying best practice across sports clubs across the UK and in many sports and we have found some, often simple, ways to get more people to play sport, in this case, football.
This guide will give you some thoughts, tools and to-dos on how to attract and retain more players of all ages, shapes and talent .
More volunteers at your club
How to recruit and retain skilled volunteers
But the good news is that we also experience many well-run clubs with a good structure, innovation, communication and motivation in place successfully recruiting and retaining skilled and passionate volunteers.
So, how do you develop a culture which welcomes new people into your club and ensures that everybody feels engaged and involved? This guide will cover how your club can develop a volunteer-friendly culture and approach that will help you grow and become a place that everyone will want to become involved with..
Generating more income
From fundraising to income generation
The key is to look at the whole operation and ambition of your club and then identify and implement projects which can help grow your income to match your requirements, including generating cash reserves for replacements and developments. The creativity and commercial awareness of a number of community sports clubs who are ensuring their sustainability will be shared.
This guide will give you plenty of thoughts, tools and to-dos on how you can develop better income generating strategies and initiatives that are right for your club. In your environment, with your skills and contacts and aligned with your mission. It will help you move from a fundraising culture to one of income generation where you provide real benefits that people will pay for and has value to your customers (members, guests, supporters, sponsors)…
Dozens and dozens of proven ideas on how to generate income and concrete advice on how to implement the most appropriate ones.
A connected club
Improving your club’s internal communication
If the u-8s coaches rarely engage with their u-11 colleagues and the various age groups use a variety of communications platforms and the Facebook page and website is only updated by a handful of people and there is no club newsletter and so on…yes, then it is almost impossible to develop a real feeling of ‘one club’.
But, we also appreciate that as a volunteer, you have limited time and resource to dedicate to all this communication stuff, however important it may be. The guide cover how to analyse the current content and channels of your internal communication, which channels to use for what purpose, what content to put on the various platforms and how to streamline the way you manage your internal comms..
A connected club Raising the profile of your club
How to grow your profile across the community
Successful clubs do engage and communicate with users, members and other stakeholders using a number of tools, often involving members and their networks, thus reaching much wider audiences at almost no cost. They embrace the changes and work with them and not against them.
This guide cover how to use social and mobile media to communicate with members, sponsors and supporters. Participants will be introduced to SMN’s unique tool 5COM: Linking up COMmunity, COMmunication, welCOMing, COMfortable, and COMputers which enables them to connect all their promotional activities. They will learn how to develop Partnership Promotions with external non-sport partners from the Police to Housing Associations.
The guide will help illustrate how a higher profile will help them to attract more members, volunteers, supporters and sponsors – and also how they can attract more support for their various events and projects by telling the world about the good work they do. .
Your club as a community hub
How your club can grow by becoming a partner with your community
This guide will help you to become well connected to your community and find a common purpose between your partners and yourself. You will be given advice on the best ways to work together, benefitting both parties and on how to make it easier to understand each other and benefit from doing so. It will also cover how you can best assess your potential for working with community partners – what are your assets, relationships and skills?
Readers will be introduced to the 12 Steps for Creating Shared Value, which they then can implement straight away.
Running an Open Day and Community Launch
How to run events which will open up your club and bring the community closer
Open Days and Community Launches can be great ways of bringing new people to your club and engaging with the community around you.
An Open Day can be a fantastic opportunity to build relationships with your community, attract new people to your club and provide existing members with another, great experience.
A well-run Community Launch is a great way to showcase your club to partners, funders, stakeholders and others with a wider interest in your club and its work in the community
Both types of events need both planning and creativity if they are to be successful. Unfortunately, we have experienced clubs where little thought went into their Open Days and they end up being boring and not particularly useful.
This guide will provide you with real-life advice and ideas on how to run vibrant and visible Open Days and Community Launches which will raise the profile of your club and get more people and partners to appreciate the work you are doing.
What people say
An excellent workshop last night in Ewloe. Really, really enjoyed it and also gave me and our club a lot of ideas and also what to think about moving forward
Absolutely fabulous evening – a great opportunity for all football clubs across Wales
Many thanks for your inspirational workshop last night
SMN is a hands-on enterprise which has developed a number of innovative concepts, we speak honestly, encourage creativity, have an eye on the bottom line, we make community sport better and we (we have been told) are fun to work with!