Sports club development

Sunshine Coast Council is keen to support community based sport and recreation organisations by providing the following useful tips to help your club raise much needed funds, increase membership and manage the club in a professional business like manner.

Your club would normally generate funds from:

•  Membership

•  Fundraising activities including canteens

•  Grants from council, government and sometimes philanthropic organisations

•  Sponsorship from businesses and donations from individuals or organisations.

All of these contribute to keeping your club viable.

Tips for increasing membership

See if you can arrange a well known player of your sport to come along as a draw card to your registration days. Remember you don’t always have to hold registration days on the weekend - you could try to hold an event after school if you are a junior sports club.

Offer discounted or value added membership rates (for example include free socks or shorts) or offer free trials. Some families are hesitant to pay full membership only to find out their child is not that keen. If they can ‘test drive’ your sport before they sign up they are more likely to be committed.

Partner with a local business and hold your Sign on Days at their business address rather than at the club house, for example: sports stores, hardware stores, supermarkets and libraries.


Look sharp. Wear your club colours with pride. Team shirts, jackets and hats go a long way in looking like a professional well managed club.

Tips for fundraising and canteen club house operations

If you have a small canteen run by volunteers try and buy your stock when it is on sale at the supermarket.

Look at your margins on stock items – are you selling it too cheap or too expensive?

Keep your menu small and simple.

Fresh is best rather than buying pre-packaged food. It normally works out cheaper and has better profit margins.

Rent out your club house to functions and events and run the canteen/bar using your own volunteers.

Think about renting a coffee machine for your season especially if you are a winter based sport or an ice slushie machine if you are a summer sport.

Run a 100 board raffle. Set up a white board with 100 square grids and sell each square for $2. Sell all squares and you have raised a total of $200. There is only one winner who gets $100 and the club keeps the profit of $100.

Hold a garage or car boot sale. Ask all members to donate unwanted goods and offer a free sausage sizzle to helpers.

Leverage major sporting events. For example during World Cup, State of Origin, Olympics, Grand Finals or Melbourne Cup host an event at your club. You can run sweeps or raffles and include some catering in the ticket price with all proceeds going to the club.

Hold a sports auction. Get members or businesses to donate goods for auction. It is recommended to make sure the prizes are enticing.

Check with local RSL or bowls clubs about events that you can partner with for example Trivia Nights which are always popular.

Book a sausage sizzle at your local supermarket, hardware store and other businesses. You can also try and get your local butcher or baker to donate sausages and bread.

Organise a themed night. Depending on your club membership demographics you might hold a 70’s or 80’s themed night. People love dressing up and all proceeds raised will go to your club.


These are just a few ideas. Just remember not to put too much pressure on your members to fundraise. Ask lots of members for a small amount of time, not a few members a large amount of time as ‘volunteer burn-out’ can occur.



Tips for council grants

Sunshine Coast Council offers a range of grants for not-for-profit organisations who can apply for major or minor grants to help fund projects that benefit Sunshine Coast communities. Please visit council’s website for full information. While visiting council’s website, also refer to the “looking for grants” section for a range of different external grant options.

Subscribe to council’s funding alert service.

Securing grant funds is highly competitive. It is important not to rely on receiving a grant but consider it a bonus when you are successful in obtaining one.

Talk to the representative of the Grants Team or agency that you are applying to and see if they can provide further information about funding priorities in that round.

Make sure you clearly demonstrate the need and benefit of the project in your application and don’t leave it until the last minute to apply. Check your spelling and grammar so your club is presented professionally.

Tips for Sponsorship

Develop a professional sponsorship package that you can present to businesses. It will demonstrate your club is professional in all your dealings.

When asking a business for sponsorship, explain the benefits of “what’s in it for them”. Do not underestimate the importance of being courteous and professional in your dealings with local business. In the long term, core relationships will develop and will assist your club’s viability.

In your sponsorship package include different levels of sponsorship on offer, for example: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Ensure you acknowledge your sponsors at end of season functions and deliver on sponsorship benefits.

Keep it simple, some businesses may only want their signage displayed while others may want further involvement. Don’t forget to invite your sponsors to home games and find out to what extent they want to be involved.

Under promise and over deliver. Keep the communication channels open and include sponsors in all newsletters to members. Use every opportunity to promote sponsors business for them. Celebrate the successes and keep them updated on what your club is doing.

Plan EARLY. Don’t ask for sponsorship at the beginning of your season. Start planning at the end of the season for the following year. It is hard work but it will mean your sponsors will be getting full value for their dollar when the first players take the field/court.

Look for sponsors within your club. An easy way is to look at cars in the car park on training days, for example: real estate agents, trades people etc. They may only be able to offer token amounts but every contribution assists.

Provide a certificate of appreciation to the sponsors as they will display these with pride in their business place.


If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact your Sport and Recreation Officer by phoning council’s customer contact centre on 5475 7272.




Current as at June 2015