Running a sports club can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be expensive. So what costs are usually involved and what funding options are available?
Setting Up Sports Clubs – What Costs Are Involved?
Before you set up your club, it’s important to assess how much it’s likely to cost to run, so you can find the most appropriate funding sources. Here are just some of the expenses you’re likely to incur.
No matter what type of sports club you’re setting up, you’ll need appropriate facilities. Unless you’re planning to make a huge financial investment by buying and developing a building or land for your club, you’ll need to investigate how much it will cost to rent the facilities you need for each session.
Equipment and Kit Costs
Even if the facilities you’re hiring come with most of the equipment you need, you’ll probably have to buy some. If you’re operating a hockey club, for example, you might need hockey balls, goalkeeping kits, hockey sticks and bibs. You may want to buy your own club kit too.
All sports clubs need qualified coaches and you may need to pay for them. Even if your coaches are volunteers, there will still be costs involved. They’ll need to have DBS checks, for example, and attend regular coaching courses.
Taxes and Insurance Premiums
Your club may be liable to pay taxes, depending on its size and organisational structure. Sport England’s ‘Club Matters’ website contains some handy information about tax.
You’ll also need specialist liability insurance for your club and any events you’re holding. Your coaches must be insured too.
Most national sporting organisations require clubs and athletes who wish to take part in their competitions to be affiliated with them. They charge fees for this, but often provide benefits, like insurance cover, in return.
You’ll need to budget for entry fees and travel costs when your team or individual members participate in competitions. If you plan to hold tournaments at your club, you’ll need to pay for any costs involved.
Club Awards Nights
If you want to hold awards ceremonies to recognise the efforts of your players and volunteers, you’ll need to hire a venue. Thankfully, it’s easy to find affordable trophies.
How to Finance Your Sports Clubs – Funding Options
If the costs involved in running a sports club are making you think twice about it, don’t worry. There are many ways in which you can fundraise for your club.
Most sports clubs charge annual, monthly or weekly membership fees. Some charge one-off joining fees as well. You can also charge entry fees for any tournaments, special events or training camps that you hold.
If you want to boost your club’s bank balance, holding a fundraising event can be a great way of doing it. From quiz nights to sponsored ‘keepie uppies’ competitions, there are plenty of options you can choose from. You could even put on a glitzy dinner and dance, featuring a fundraising auction, and combine it with your club’s awards ceremony.
Crowdfunding means raising funds online and there are a number of platforms that you can use, including Crowdfunder and JustGiving. Crowdfunding works well for clubs with strong social media followings and is often most successful when raising funds for a particular item, such as a new kit.
Local businesses are often happy to sponsor sports clubs in return for advertising. You could ask companies in your area whether they would be prepared to pay for your kit, some of your trophies, or even your club’s minibus, if their logo appears on them.
A wide range of sporting and community organisations provide funding to sports clubs in the form of grants. Sport England’s website includes a useful list of grant providers and the organisation also operates its own Small Grants scheme.
You could, of course, borrow the money, from either a bank or building society, or from individuals. The difficulty with this, however, is that you will still need to raise money in order to repay the loan.
Other Financial Schemes
Depending upon the way in which your club has been set up, you may be able to take advantage of tax relief schemes or even sell club shares. Check out the Sport England website for more information.
Do you run a sports club? Which funding sources have you used? Share your fundraising tips with us on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments section.