Stagnation is common in business, clubs, and any organisation which has a manager or someone giving directions.
More than likely they will fall into a similar routine, perhaps as a result of producing a winning formula and sticking with it. This is good for the immediate future of a club, and it may well build the foundation for the long term benefit of the club. But unless you step back, review and then adjust, your club won’t understand what exactly it is that is working, what has been required, or how to do it.
Stepping back and reviewing doesn’t mean leaving altogether. It may mean you sit on an advisory board to the club, it may mean that you sit in on committee meetings to lend advice when asked, either way you’re still available.
This is important for those that eventually take over from you, along with those that merely participate in the club. They get the message that this place, this club is SO good that even the ex-President wants to stick around. It facilitates the sort of message you want your club to present, and breeds better decisions and more volunteering.
When we started building TidyClub a priority for me was having a very quick and simple way to record and then report on the financial position of a club. I wanted to be at a meeting and have up-to-date numbers available.
Giving the committee an idea of how and who the club owed or who was owing the club. Understanding the net position of the club lets you plan, lets you focus and lets you spend at the right times.
Our platform has worked admirably for this function, giving many people an understanding of finances that was previously reserved only to the person with access and knowledge of a spreadsheet. It automatically followed up people and got the club paid auto-magically.
It didn’t take long for accountants and book-keepers to get in touch with us requesting a higher standard of reporting, the simple language didn’t make sense to them. We were at some cross-roads. Do we continue building out the finances and turn into an accounting package or try and plug into the best accounting platforms we could find.
It didn’t take long to work out where to next, in fact we were told by all of our clubs that Xero integration would solve all of their problems…
Turns out however plugging in a pseudo accounting package into a real accounting package is somewhat problematic. You see our platform has grown out of a very simple money in/money out principle and as we bolted on various functionality it grew arms and legs… which don’t seem to plug in as nicely as we had hoped.
Needless to say we are now on our way to re-jigging the finances section to plug-in smoothly with the Xero platform. In a firm warning to all… don’t get into accounting unless you really really love accounting… luckily we have an accountant with us who speaks the language!
We are also working tightly with the team at Xero to ensure that we do everything the right way for maximum long term benefits (and for sane minds).
We can’t wait to help take your club to the next level of accounting and auditing goodness!
In light of an influx of messages from GroupSpaces customers who have found themselves with support questions going unanswered we would like to introduce ourselves… which we think is a great alternative!
In response to all your enquiries, we’d like to say hello, welcome and tell you more about TidyClub; we truly believe TidyClub is the best alternative to GroupSpaces and will solve all your problems!
We’re Free Firstly, TidyClub is entirely free for groups of any size, and there’s no obligation to pay. With TidyClub you’ll only have to pay for the features you’ll actually need, or if would like to use some of our premium features. Ever since the start, making TidyClub fun, beautiful and profitable for all has been our focus.
Easy-to-use Group Management Tools
TidyClub helps you take all your group-management tasks online into one easy-to-use set of tools.
You can use TidyClub to:
Keep track of all of your groups contacts, members, suppliers, supporters and more
Communicate with group emails and SMS
Manage your groups Finances, keep a track of who you owe and who owes you
Manage your memberships, keeping everything together and updated
Run events selling tickets, sending invites and printing attendee lists
Meeting Minutes formatted and sent within meeting of a meeting closing
Task management - know what needs to get done and when
Shop and full website coming in the coming months
The best place to get started would be to create a group and play around with our different features to see what works best for you. We also have a tour of our features and a support section to answer more specific questions.
Especially for Group Managers We built TidyClub for the committee simple and easy to use but super powerful to do the job properly. We also understand it’s your data so we’re not going to spam your list with our advertising and we will let you plug in the applications you want, to give you the best solution possible. This is what we are passionate about.. If it sounds like something for you, then I hope you’ll check us out. If you already have your membership database exported and want to migrate from GroupSpaces to TidyClub, it is extremely easy to get started right away and import your database to TidyClub.
Get in touch! Thank you to everyone for the interest and messages we have received, please feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any other help, information or to give us feedback.
We made quite the milestone last week with now 2000 users on the TidyClub platform and plenty more interacting with it through buying tickets, memberships or reading meeting minutes. We’re lucky enough to have groups from all corners of the world including South Africa, Finland, USA, Belgium, Austria, Singapore, India, Australia, New Zealand and many more countries and despite the great geographic disparity and different languages we all share a common goal of easing the administration burden and getting back to enjoying the club or association.
We love hearing your feedback, both positive and negative. Treasurers telling us they are back to enjoying their role is blissful for us and we warmly invite to continue talking to us via Twitter, Facebook, or email
Many people, when they get voted onto the committee do either one of two things. They maintain the status quo continuing the less than adequate system holding their breathe until the next person can come. Others come in with grandiose ideas with rigid timelines, engineer-type approach to things.
However there is another approach, where one can still build something, but in a gradual and organic fashion so that it won’t fall down quickly.
The best volunteer driven clubs are like a good farm or garden. They need to have a long term outlook, and tendered to regularly. They endure over a long period of time even when those around them shift. They gain a personality reflecting the community that drives them. When the people who run them move on or fade away the next generation can continue to plant and nurture and grow again.
Building your group on the fundamentals, rather than looking for a quick fix is integral to building a long term sustainable group.
Grow on the right building blocks so when it comes time to handover to the next generation they can continue the work with piece of mind on strong and firm building blocks and knowledge.
10) Always get the full story before making a decision.
9) It’s incredibly easy to ‘flip the switch’ and start writing people off after a few bad experiences. Resist at all costs. You were bumbling once too. You made poor decisions. You learn and grow, and so does everybody else.
8) Sweep up the crumbs. Wipe the tables. Turn off the lights. Plug the holes that need plugging—even if it’s menial, even if nobody will know you did it. Do it in service of the product, the company, and this wondrous, magical thing you are all building together. But be weary if you find yourself doing it daily…
7) Recognize you can’t do everything. Close your eyes, fall backwards, and learn to trust.
6) Clearly, there is a more efficient way to do the things you do. How? Ponder that on your daily drive home.
5) Figure out which people rely on you and how you can help them be self-sufficient. You may feel important having a monopoly on salmon provisions, but if the whole village learns how to fish, it’ll free you up to do something else. Like figuring out how to grow wheat. Or how to domesticate those cute wolf-pups.
4) Don’t say anything if it’s not actually contributing to the discussion. Your voice is not so melodious that it absolutely must be heard.
3) Making the best decision is not as important as putting in the right processes to ensure that the best decisions get made.
2) Dole out thanks and encouragement like you dole out opinions.
1) Above all, this: never, ever get in the way. It’s better to twiddle your thumbs and squint up at the clouds than to obstruct progress for the sake of that stupid, childish thing called ego.
Sports and recreational clubs at all levels from local to state to national are still cautioustly adotpting technology, members are still online and offline, and the community still views sports clubs from a one dimensional perspective. But the world is evolving past that…quickly and while sports just start to catch up with 2.0 we’re moving to 3.0. So what is 3.0 and how will it change your sports club or administration.
This new table built by Dr. John Moravec details the evolving way we’re all learning, trying out technology, and growing as a community. Essentially, we’ll reach a new state of web skills when we reinvent technology tools to better enhance our personal learning. While the table refers to teaching and education it is obviously only a short jump to similar community organisations. We will be at 3.0 when community clubs are everywhere and not viewed as places to throw a ball with limited interaction and broader acknowledgement, understanding and interaction from the community.
The above table obviously refers to Teachers and education. But you can see how we would tailor it to sports. Through utilising an administration backbone that would allow pluggable User Interfaces (UI) and in turn User Experiences (UX) an entirely new view on funding, resources, volunteers and overall administration starts to take place.
Do you agree with the descriptions in this table? What is being left out of the web 3.0 discussion right now? How long will it take to reach this new level of supposed understanding? Will we ever actually make it?
Being a President of a sporting club is a very different role. Still the visionary and champion of culture, they are the ultimate leader. Yes a team captain is a leader, but this type of leadership is not the same thing. What works as a captain and to lead by example, has the opposite effect when you are the President. Leading not by doing, but by inspiring, enabling, and holding people accountable.
Everyone has a slightly different definition, but the real secret to success is going to be delegating as much as possible to free up your time for thinking and driving new opportunities. This is even more important in a not-for-profit group.
Isaak was recently interviewed by Evan Cunningham-Dunlop from eGroup, an industry group for the web industry. The talk discusses where TidyClub came from and where it is headed plus a few other things…
When dealing with Australian Sporting Associations it is noticeable that they could be doing much, much more with the funding they receive from State or National governments. It could be getting directed to specific regions and clubs based on insightful, grassroots data rather than gut instinct.
But data isn’t being collected because the systems in place are woefully inadequate or built for national bodies rather than local bodies where the data gets fed in from.
Data should do three things:
Confirm or disprove what sporting associations are already thinking.
Make the sporting bodies ask the right questions.
Cause the sporting bodies to act on what is discovered.
Whilst the federal government continues to provide blanket funding to sporting bodies who don’t have appropriate data and governance systems suitable for all levels of sport it will continue to be wasted.
One size does not fit all. Pluggable APIs, pluggable UIs, pluggable UXs are all required. Australian Sports needs to get smarter with the data they’re not collecting. It will help the competitors, the high-performance athletes, the volunteers, the supporters and other stakeholders at all levels.
This is big picture thinking that is simply not being done, and not even being discussed which is sadly to everyone’s detriment.
The way a club is usually managed is that the committee shoots from the hip talking about what is required. It may be further discussed and could perhaps be recorded in some meeting minutes but rarely followed up formally.
Create a Task list. Delegate committee members and have a date to have items completed by. Create a date for it to be completed by, make it achievable but stick with it.
Knowing what is actually required to get done. Allowing everyone at the club to see what is required to make the wheels go ‘round will make for better governance, and will get more things done.
It’s a new way of managing the club…but it shouldn’t be.
P.S. …and Yes TidyClub does this all for you… including sending automatic reminders :)
Yesterday I met someone from a club who held a committee meeting that went 4.5 hours… the only reason they finished was because it was midnight and people were falling asleep…but they still hadn’t finished the meeting.
Let’s get serious about this. You will never attract or retain committee members if their commitment is 4.5 hour meetings and equally time sapping tasks.
If you’re using TidyClub you’re in luck as we have allowed for these types of things with our meetings. Here is how you will solve it.
Print out list of outstanding tasks.
Ensure Meeting Agenda and outstanding tasks has been circulated before hand - so people can prepare.
Ensure Minute Taker is following our Meetings format where things can only be one of the following. This ensures that an action item has been achieved for each discussion point. Move on as soon as it has been described.
Schedule 5 minutes for each item. If items go beyond 4x this (this should be a rare occurrence) schedule a time for another discussion outside of the meeting.
Delegate a time-keeper. They are responsible for ensuring that time limits are not broken. They need to be bold, brash and unforgiving of abuse of time.
A meeting goes for as long as it has to… do not publish an end time on a meeting.
Minute Taker can instantly send well formatted minutes to all participants and apologies at the conclusion of the meeting.
Don’t invite everyone on the committee if everyone on the committee isn’t required.
Your committee will be happier as they know why they are there, they can see the progress skip along quickly and they are more likely to attend again as they know if people are prepared they don’t get bogged down on issues.
We ran across this image today by @gapingvoid (you can buy it here) but made us think about clubs and how the interact with their tribe (community). Most clubs seem to react to their members and supporters rather than getting pro-active and seeing some hug upside.
Clubs already have a massive advantage of having the tribe based on what they do. They’re not like a business who has to work hard to build a tribe. A clubs group of like-minded people is sitting waiting for you.
So give them a hug, send them an SMS, tell them you are looking forward to seeing them, interacting with them and more.
Good things happen when communities and tribes start talking more.
Yesterday I attended a workshop run by our clubs parent association. In truth it wasn’t so much of a workshop but a briefing as to what added administration clubs will have to undertake over the coming 12 months.
With ever increasing administration comes more pressure on volunteers, making for a more unattractive proposition to present to potential volunteers and as a result the less likely volunteers are to carry on with these further burdens on them.
With this in mind execution of these administrative tasks becomes critical. Of course leadership and peoples kindness will mean that things will get eventually get done, but with the revolution of the web, with everyone having a smart phone in their pocket means that the way you approach your volunteers, the way you structure and frequency of your communication, and the model of your organisation needs to change.
Running your club with the wrong strategy, the strategy focused on the 5 committee members will put you in an uphill battle. The alternative is to think hard about your structure, your resources and the benefits your club could gain from having less pressure on more people through resources and platforms like TIdyClub.com.
Your committee should stretch from 5 to 18. The roles and responsibilities of these people should be well articulated and defined. Through increased transparency everyone know what needs to get done and why they are doing it.
However talking to clubs at the workshop presented what I feel is the predominant issue in clubs. Through clubs not changing their strategy merely because they’re used to the one they have been relying on for the last 20 years is lousy strategy, and must change.
When you and your committee set out to achieve things for the club, important work, work that is going to make a difference, it will never work out that you will find complete approval from all parties.
Trying to please everyone will end in frustration, stymieing your momentum and ultimately failing.
The solution is to please precisely the right people, those that will get it and no more. This will give you enough to get the work out the door.
There are always those that actively discourage. Choose what to hear wisely.
Many clubs achieve great things off the field (which usually result in great on-field things). Finding a great sponsor, recruiting an excellent coach, attracting better players, finding more volunteers.
My question for you and the club is does this happen in a club because of the structures, tools and methods your club has put in place or despite it? It’s probably a bit of both, but imagine what would happen if you amplify the positive side of things!
Typically clubs pay for the things that they consider matter (and they do), things like more footballs, coaching talent, training equipment or more drink bottles. Unfortunately there seems to be no desire to get better at the administration things that matter. A long day at work usually sours our desire for administration at the club. We tend to avoid another meeting, reading more notes and dealing with other overheads.
Now consider how much better it would be to get better at:
Recording the numbers How to hold a meeting Giving a presentation Recording minutes Short-cutting membership registration Merchandise Canteen management How to attract and retain volunteers How to raise money Recruiting sponsors
But for most of us we need to wing it. We stumble over the same hurdles as the person before us. Paying for tools to make your job, and the job of the person that comes after you is something worth doing and will allow you to recruit and retain volunteers around you.
I’m not a coach, I tried it once a long time ago and maybe I’ll do it again some day. But there are many similarities between a good manager and a good coach. Both are trying to get the most out of their recruits, both are trying to achieve a common team goal.
Some choose to find the passionate and teach them competence. Others try to find the most competent and teach them to be passionate.
One theory is that once someone becomes competent at something they will automatically become passionate. Or maybe after someone finds something they’re passionate about, they will stop at nothing to become more competent within their chosen field.
Maybe if we’re just a little harder, a little stricter, they’ll get better?
Obedience + Competence ≠ Passion
The formula doesn’t work. It never has. You can’t gather up a group of kids and add some footballs, a sprinkling of discipline, a dash of technique and then passion arrives.
Some say that it arrives with success. But if there are 10 other teams all vying for the premiership and they all have equally skilled squads there is a 10% chance of winning. If you have 4 teams in your club, there is a .0001 of a chance of everyone winning. Obviously a rare occurrence, so you as a club, as a coach need to bigger than just a premiership. You need to drive passion as well as competence side by side. Success will come albeit perhaps by different measures.
Our football club has a problem. We have less younger people in our area and wanting to join our club. With ever increasing social networking they’re finding other things to do with their time.
As a football club we need to go beyond simply being able to provide a football to kick around.
We need to show prospective new members that we have something of value, something to offer that they can’t get everywhere else. It could be better parties, functions, and other good times. It could be better facilities, or better people to guide them.
If we’re merely just another football club they’re not going to pick us.
Stagnation is common in business, clubs, and any organisation which has a manager or someone giving directions. They’ll produce a winning formula and more than likely then fall into a routine, and stick with it. This is good for the immediate future of a club, and it may well build the foundation for the long term benefit of the club. But unless they step away, no one will understand what is required and how to do it.
Stepping away doesn’t meaning leaving altogether. It may mean you sit on an advisory board to the club, it may mean that you sit in on committee meetings to lend advice when asked, or be there when others fall into potholes, either way you’re still available.
This is important for those that secede you. Those that participate in the club will get the message that this place is so good, that even the ex-President wants to stick around. It facilitates the sort of message you want your club to broadcast in the loudest possible terms.
Getting your volunteers on board, to help your club achieve things can be tough. Taking a moment to reflect on how you do this can be overly beneficial.
At TidyClub we are strong believers in increasing the level of transparency within your committee and broader member base. Firstly so everyone knows that things are happening in a legitimate fashion, but secondly and just as importantly is to help with on-boarding your members to the mission the club has before it.
Now the question is do you persuade or do you convince…and there is a difference.
Engineers convince. Marketers persuade. Persuasion appeals to the emotions and to fear and to the imagination. Convincing requires a spreadsheet or some other rational device. Now what if you have both?
It is far easier to persuade someone after they are already convinced, when they have the facts before them. But you must have both to make wonderful things happen.
Intangible advice is the advice that one can’t put a monetary value on. It can be incredibly poignant and handy to keep within the club, why not exploit previous experience rather than ignore it all together.
Form an advisory board, it could be made of ex-Presidents, Senior players, local community members, senior business types and alike. Discuss in an adhoc fashion several topics each month, you may not learn anything new, you may have heard it all before but at the end of each meeting decide on a few ‘to-do’ items. You have now subscribed to a timeline that will be enforced by local leaders; people you and the club respect.
Every 3-4 months, you will have to report back to them with what actions have taken place. A timeline is usually what is required to give the idealistic items a kick in the butt and get them into action.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, as you’re already reading this and fairly aware of the social networking tools and systems out there, but whether you like it or not, whether you’re personally registered with them or not, you need to understand that your members are more than likely involved, and you should be utilising it.
Register a Page with Facebook and Twitter, setup a group with LinkedIn, and regardless of whether you think you might use it or not setup other accounts with things such as Youtube. There is a reason these tools have been so successful and that’s because they’re very good at what they do, so utilise them. If you’re unsure about it, get someone who is keen with it to set it up for your club.
In addition, sign up to use TidyClub's communication feature which, allows you to keep your members and supporters up to date, regardless of your preferred medium. Communication needs to be easy, and we've reduced the hassle with our simple platform. And best of all, it's free to use.
Cash flow is everything, be it in business, and even more so in not-for-profit clubs, where absolutely every dollar counts. Track it, understand how and where the cash is coming from and work smarter for it.
Give your sponsors an update a few times throughout the year. Reciprocate with a framed jumper, or photo of the club with a sincere thank you letter. Sure there could be a number of reasons that they may have handed over money or facilities or a variety of intangible goods, it could have been because their child plays for you, could be because they’re sick of you hassling them or it could be because of the tax benefits.
Whatever the reason, if you reciprocate with a worthy thank you gesture, whatever their reasoning, it will have been justified, and you will have an even better chance of securing them for the following year or season.
Transparency is good business. If the people involved in the club know and understand why the sponsorship drive is so important, or why a club can’t give away free t-shirts, they may be more likely to give you a hand.
A few suggestions to increase the transparency could be;
Produce an organisational chart, insert the names of those in the positions, and print it out into a poster size document and put it on the wall in your club rooms.
Give them an idea of costs, by advertising how much insurance costs are, how much the canteen costs to run, or the new equipment is to purchase.
Start including other non-committee members on committee like actions, get more people involved. The more involved, albeit in a third party fashion the more awareness there will be of the sheer quantity of effort involved.
Everyone has an opinion about how your club should run, we all come from different backgrounds with different experiences. Just because you hold a committee position or some sort of title does not give you the right to criticise and shoot them down.
In fact, a result of challenging them outright, will cause them to be less likely to support your opinion.
Explain your reasoning regardless of yes or no, it need not be a book, but nurture those that have put their hand up they should be supported regardless of the yes or no answer.