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Sports Club Hub

Our Sports Club Hub provides information and resources to support and enhance your club.

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Funding the development of your club

There are several ways to generate funds that will help support the development of your club, including applying for grants, seeking sponsorship and organising fundraising activities.

Grants

Grants are an important source of funding to help clubs conduct projects that support their development. Identifying an appropriate funding body and completing grant application forms can be daunting. The chances of obtaining a grant often depend on how an organisation’s project fits into the philosophy and specific criteria/conditions established by the grant agency.

Financial assistance for community organisations can be obtained from a number of sources to assist with a range of requirements, from facility upgrades to program development.

Find a range of sources of grant funding, plus tips for making a successful application below.

Community Facility Grants Program

The City's main funding program for community groups is the Community Facility Grants Program. This provides financial contributions for the purposes of carrying out maintenance, renewal or capital works (improvements) to community facilities on City-controlled land that support community, sport, recreational and educational activities.

Types of projects supported

  • facility renovations and upgrades
  • change rooms, amenities, club house improvements
  • sports-specific infrastructure (dug outs etc.)
  • seed funding  to kick start plans for upgrades.

Funding available

Applications from $5000 to $250,000 are welcomed. The intended goal is support a number of lease and licence holders annually in each divisional area within the City. Grants will be only allocated based upon their project proposal meeting the City’s Divisional Sports Plan and the overall need for the project in the city.

For more information visit the Community Facility Grants Program page.

Community Grants Program

The Community Grants Program is allocated funding each financial year to support community organisations to deliver projects that are in the public interest and that benefit Gold Coast residents. Funding for this program is split into five categories and is offered via two competitive funding rounds per financial year. Grants of $1000 to $20,000 are available.

Applicants must be able to:

  • demonstrate a public interest benefit for the project
  • demonstrate that the project has a defined outcome that will benefit residents of the Gold Coast
  • complete the project within 12 months of the date of remittance of funds (unless City has resolved to enter into a multiple year funding agreement).

Multiple year funding agreements are only to be considered in the following circumstances:

  • where the project(s) is to be delivered over a number of years, or
  • where City resolves to fund a community organisation’s operational costs.

A multiple year funding agreement is an agreement between City and successful applicants (community organisations) to provide a resolved amount of grant funds for a specified number of years for a particular purpose.

A multiple year funding agreement entered into between City and successful community organisations will contain specific terms and conditions regarding project delivery and acquittal requirements.

For more information visit the Community Grants Program page.

External grant opportunities for sports clubs

To get the most out of available grants, consider the wide range of possible grant sources including:

Grant tips

Give yourself the best chance of success with these tips:

1. Discuss the grant/project with your Recreational Services Officer

Some questions to consider:

  • is the maintenance on your leased facility up to date?
  • what is the demonstrated need for this project?
  • what are the priority projects for your club?
  • does this project link with your club's strategic plan?

The Recreation Services Officer will discuss the project with you in more depth and confirm City's support (or not) for the project. The officer will provide an appropriate course of action for the club to progress the project and be grant ready if it has City's support.

2. Know your market

Identify as many sources of potential funding support as you can, but always follow the path of least resistance.

3. Know your club

Clearly state the purpose and objectives of your club.

Develop a grant application ‘tool kit’ which contains the basic information about your club. This is a requirement of many funding bodies. The tool kit may include:

  • certificate of incorporation
  • constitution
  • verified financial statements
  • strategic plan
  • club profile and history
  • membership data
  • ABN and GST registration status.

4. Justify the need

Discuss your application with the funding body (if the opportunity is available). This will provide guidance on your club’s and project’s eligibility and submission requirements.

Use demographic data for your membership, suburb and club catchment area including population growth, age, income levels, family composition and socio-economic disadvantage index. Visit our Gold Coast population statistics page for useful links and information about sources for this data.

5. Plan well in advance to ensure the preparation of high quality applications

6. Answer each question on the application form clearly and concisely

It is important that the funding body understands how the project will benefit your club's objectives and needs.

Review the assessment criteria for your grant application (if provided). Make sure your application addresses these.

7. Identify how you will determine the outcomes of your project

  • What will be done differently after the project?
  • Who will evaluate the project?
  • What criteria or measures are built in to the project to help assess its outcomes?
  • What records of the outcomes will be kept?

8. Prepare a detailed budget

  • outline the costs associated with the project in a budget
  • identify what items the funding body will and will not fund
  • don’t over-estimate the costs – obtain quotes and factor in a contingency (normally 15 per cent for building projects)
  • include in-kind donations and your club’s own funds that can support the project.

9. Attachments can help authenticate your club’s services and its credibility within the community

Attachments might include the following:

  • auditor’s reports/financial statements
  • certificate of incorporation
  • letters of support
  • design drawings
  • site plans
  • photos.

10. Avoid overloading grant portals at the last minute.

Lodge your application early.


Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a way of generating additional income or obtaining equipment or services for a reduced rate.

Sponsorship is very different from a donation. It's a business relationship between a provider of funds, resources or services and your club. Ultimately, the aim of the sponsor is to increase their business. For a sponsorship arrangement to be successful, your club needs to help the sponsor to achieve this aim.

Types of sponsorship

Typical methods for clubs to help increase business for their sponsors to make more money are through personal referrals, media exposure, advertising to a specific audience (e.g. signage), increased public awareness or representation at events and special occasions.

Sponsorship may be sought for the club in general or specifically for events, competition participation or individual athletes.

Sponsorship is typically offered in the following ways:

  • packaged or tiered sponsorship – packages for different levels of investment (e.g. gold, silver and bronze)
  • in-kind sponsorship – goods or services as sponsorship, for instance uniforms or discounted sporting equipment
  • tailored sponsorship – customising a package based on the value of the potential return on investment for the sponsor.

Considerations for sponsorship success

Consider the following to help your club obtain a successful sponsorship package:

Identify what you have to sell – think about how you can create an attractive advertising package to sell to sponsors. Examples include:

  • signage space around your facility
  • naming rights for teams, competitions or events
  • exclusivity arrangements with suppliers.

In working out how to price your package, be realistic and reasonable and always think about the true value of your offering to a potential sponsor. Avoid the temptation to under or over price your sponsorship package.

Link your sponsorship offering to the needs of sponsors. What will increase their brand awareness and provide them access to their target markets?

Conduct some research into potential sponsors. Find out all you can about your target sponsors. What do they sell? Who are their customers? What markets are they in? Do their values and beliefs align with yours? Do they already sponsor similar or competing organisations? Do they have pre-packaged sponsorship or grant programs? Do they already take part in community activities?

Start selling your sponsorship offering. Ppersonal contact is always best. Arrange to meet with your identified potential sponsors. Your first meetings should be all about them. Ask questions to help you understand their target markets, their products and services. If you do this step right, by the time you are ready to suggest a partnership, they may ask for it first! Use stories of up-and-coming young players or members, photos to create an emotional case about why they need to sponsor you. Consider opportunities for mutual benefit, such as the club running a sausage sizzle at the release of a new motor vehicle at your local dealer.

Develop a sponsorship agreement. Most of your sponsorship selling should happen face-to-face. Agree to the terms of the sponsorship in person. Develop the agreement collaboratively with the sponsor and keep the final document simple. Ensure the sponsorship agreement; outlines the responsibilities of both the club and the sponsor. Both parties must sign the agreement.

Involve the sponsors in the club. Ensure they feel a part of the club and always make them feel special.

Service the sponsors. Ensure that you not only deliver the benefits promised but aim to exceed sponsors expectations. Remain in constant contact with sponsors, keeping your communication relevant to their products and services and how you are increasing their sales.

Look to your members. Your membership base may be an untapped resource when it comes to finding sponsors. They may be business owners or know of organisations that could be great sponsors. Your members may already buy from a business, making it likely that other members would also use that business once it becomes a sponsor.

Be innovative. Seek out new ways to bring business to your sponsors to ensure they keep signing on the dotted line. Work out the best ways to track sales generated for the sponsor by your arrangement with them. For example, members could ‘check in’ on social media or leave club vouchers when they buy from your sponsors.


Fundraising

If done well, fundraising can be a great source of income for your club. However, be careful about trying to raise money to subsidise membership fees or participation costs. Your club, like any business, has operating expenses that you must pay, like lease costs, insurances, electricity, water and affiliation fees. Your club’s costs of doing business should be covered by your membership income. Any money you seek to raise through fundraising should be for specific projects (e.g. new facilities, equipment or programs) and to support long-term growth, not for day-to-day operations.

Understanding the motivation for giving

Understanding what motivates people to give to the activity they love is critical to every club’s success in fundraising. The Australian Sports Foundation’s report into what motivates people to give money to sport provides insights to increase fundraising success.

The top motivators for people giving money to sport, according to the Australian Sports Foundation, are:

  • sports giving involves both our emotional heart and rational mind
  • the success of fundraising campaigns depends on how well donors are engaged
  • giving to sport is like a boomerang – it returns powerful psychological rewards to donors
  • giving to sport affects people’s emotional well-being
  • giving to sport is very personal and is tightly linked to dedication and commitment to the sport and the club
  • donors like to be present in their donation experience.

Satisfaction with the donation experience drives donors’ willingness to give again (or more).

Coordinating and delegating fundraising activities

To be successful in fundraising, you need to put donors at the centre of your efforts. To maximise your club’s potential for funding, it is essential to plan your efforts to make better use of volunteer time and seek greater success.

Fundraising is an additional responsibility that the management committee of your club may not have time to execute properly, so it is important for the committee to delegate this responsibility:

  • establish a fundraising subcommittee to guide activities in your club
  • identify specific volunteers in the club to assist with fundraising activities throughout the year
  • share the workload with volunteer rosters – ensure all age groups/teams are involved in fundraising activities
  • it should not be the responsibility of some to raise funds for the benefit of all.

Fundraising activities commonly include:

  • events (e.g. trivia nights, dinners, social competitions and functions)
  • raffles
  • selling a product (e.g. chocolates)
  • selling acknowledgement (e.g. buy a brick for the new club house).

Fundraising tips

The following are some top tips for fundraising:

  • develop a detailed budget that outlines the funds required and the projects the funds will support
  • develop a fundraising calendar to ensure your activities are spread throughout the year and timed appropriately to coincide with club requirements
  • plan your activities in detail to ensure the activities are executed efficiently - a web search will reveal heaps of fundraising ideas you can try, from proven activities like raffles and chocolate drives to some clever out-of-the box thinking
  • research and obtain the appropriate permits and licenses, where necessary
  • motivate volunteers and parents to be involved in fundraising activities - the fun and social benefits of fundraising can be just as rewarding as the profits
  • spread the word to the local community to encourage them to contribute to your fundraising goals
  • create a fundraising thermometer for your website to help keep track of your progress - free fundraising thermometers are available via a web search to help keep your members engaged with your fundraising targets.

Some options to assist your fundraising include:

  • Australian Sports Foundation’s mission is to help Australians fundraise to achieve their sporting dreams. The ASF will assist to make your fundraising easy and your project a success.
  • Play for Purpose is a national sport and charity raffle. Clubs can sign up for free with prizes sourced and guaranteed. The raffle is endorsed by Sport Australia and all funds raised will be distributed to your club via the Australian Sports Foundation Charitable Fund. Not only does the raffle encourage your community and members to support your club, they have the opportunity to win over 7000 prizes valued over $500,000! Tickets are $10, with a minimum of 50 per cent of every ticket sold donated to your club.

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