Here are 5 key tips to help your club generate additional income.
Growing your membership
All clubs need to have a strong membership base. Membership income is one of the main income streams for your club, therefore it is important that your club focusses on this and actively attempts to grow your membership numbers.
Most of your members will be participants however some will also be parents, as well as general supporters of the club. You will need to understand who your potential members are, what their individual ‘wants and needs’ are and actively communicate with your potential members.
Open days provide an excellent opportunity for you to recruit players at every age group. Ensuring a positive experience for attendees of these events will positively impact the number of new players you are able to recruit. A few things to consider to help maximise the impact of your open days are:
Personal Data – capturing people’s data (name, contact details, interest in the club) is important to be able to communicate with attendees before and after your event. This will increase your chances of being able to convert them to future players in your club, so ensure that you have a system in place which allows you to take details of those taking part. Please consider GDPR guidelines around the use of personal data.
Coaching – a positive coaching experience is an essential part of maximising the numbers of players that will return to your club after the event. An emphasis on fun, inclusive group sessions will give the best chance of converting visitors into members
Parents – parents can often be the missing link between young people attending an open day and going on to join a club as a member. Parents could also become your club’s future volunteers, coaches and committee members so it’s worth investing time into ensuring they receive a positive experience from the start and getting to know them.
Just as important is retaining your members. A few key considerations to ensure members stay actively engaged in the club and feel like they are a part of the club are:
Participants – it’s important to understand that the needs for each participant will differ, so what is offered will need to vary (one size doesn’t fit all). The performance rugby player will want to have experienced coaches, wide-ranging facilities and a competitive team to join. The social rugby player will want to have fun and benefit from social activities through the club. Some may simply want the club to be welcoming for families.
Parents – ensure you communicate clearly to parents of junior members if your club offers memberships and benefits for family members. These benefits could include access to social events, newsletters, or fitness classes for parents.
Social members – it’s important to understand what you can offer to a non-participant. Creating a membership package that is appealing and beneficial to social members will help not just attract new members but retain them too.
Hiring out your facilities is an extremely effective way of raising funds for your club. You can target local businesses to rent out your clubhouse for work events or corporate days. There is also never a shortage of birthday parties or Christmas dos with many of them looking for venues to have their event. If you have an all-weather playing surface, you can even look at hiring these out for external 5-aside leagues.
Consider your membership base as an effective ‘way-in’ to local businesses, many of whom are likely to work at companies looking to host social events. Marketing these facilities to members, particularly in the Autumn when Christmas bookings are being made, can prove lucrative.
Although it may take a bit of an initial cost to give your clubhouse a lift, this is a beneficial investment with potential for plenty of additional revenue to be made from venue rental costs and additional drink purchases too.
Create a club shop
If your club has a loyal following of supporters, creating and selling club merchandise could be very worthwhile. Loyal fans are always eager to showcase their love of your club and sporting an item of clothing with your club logo on is one of the most popular means. Although this requires a level of initial investment, it can lead to long-term profit. As well as in-person, you can also run and sell your merchandise through your club website. Pitchero club websites come with a simple payment feature allowing you to sell merchandise online and have the revenue come straight into your club bank account.
Kit can be one of the most expensive aspects for not just your club, but also for your members. It’s worth considering a second-hand kit sale if there are several members leaving or not returning to your club for any new members who may want to join. Just make sure the kit is in good enough condition!
By applying a digital focus to fundraising, this can help boost your short-term income for your club. The rise of social media provides community clubs with new and innovative ways to communicate your messages and connect with your supporters.
Here are a few ways how you can use digital platforms to fundraise for your club:
Running online quiz events – you can do this yourself by using Skype, FaceTime or Zoom to hold a virtual pub quiz. By setting up a JustGiving page, you can ask guests to make a donation to take part.
Running online auctions – If you or any club members have several auction items or prizes, for example signed memorabilia, these can be utilised to generate some extra cash for your club. Consider an online auction using the following site
Promoting through social media – social media has the power and the reach to help promote any fundraising initiatives you are undertaking online or in your local community.
By organising fundraising events at your club or within the local community, you can help boost short-term income. This can also help attract a new crowd of people from within or surrounding your community.
Charity game days – set up a fun day of events for friends and family of the club and also encourage a new group of people to attend. You can provide food, play short games and even set up a crossbar challenge or conversion kick competition with prizes for winners. Charge for tickets and then put the profits towards your club.
Rugby quiz night with an evening raffle – Host a quiz night at your rugby club or local pub (if you don’t have the space at your club) to get your members and local community together. Pre-sell your tickets or sell tickets on the door and include an evening raffle to make your fundraiser even more lucrative and put the profits towards your club.
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