The first step in starting a club is to make a decision on the type of club it is going to be and then think of an attractive name. Ideally, the club should have a central theme, which can attract people with similar interests. Normally, the clubs deal with the following areas:
- Professional development
- Creating awareness on important and critical issues
- Sharing information
Starting a club – deciding on the location
An important factor while initiating a club is determining its location and the frequency of operations. You need to decide how many times your club will be operating in a span of time like a week or month so that the members do not have any confusion regarding the same. It is important to make sure, while choosing a location that, the members are able to attend every meeting.
Starting a club – recruiting members
To start with, a club owner must look for members within his or her immediate social group like friends, relatives, and family members. However, they should also be open to other people joining the club so that it gains a lot of popularity. However, the owners also need to keep in mind that the club has an optimum amount of members that allows it to be run without any hitch whatsoever.
Starting a club – establishing a governing body
The leadership of a club should be properly identified in order to ensure that it functions properly. There should be a President who will act as the leader by running the club, its meetings and also implementing its rules.
The Vice-President will operate when the President is not there. He or she should be a trustworthy individual and capable of enforcing the rules. The captain of the club is the most influential member of a club with the exception of its owners. These individuals are trusted by both the President and the Vice President and have the right to voice his or her opinion on critical matters.
The lieutenants have the lowest rank in the hierarchical structure of a club. They can implement the rules if the senior members are not there and can cast votes on important matters. They are trusted by the captains and also guide the recruits on various matters related to the club.
There are 2 major types of recruit in a club – the head recruit and the other recruits. The head recruits are capable of voting but the same cannot be said of the normal recruits who have negligible authority.
The leadership of a club should be such that the ones responsible enjoy the duties. However, they should desist from exerting too much authority as that could lead to discontent within the club members who can consequently leave it and make the club a virtual non-entity.
Starting a club – setting the laws
An integral aspect of starting a club is getting together all the members and establishing the rules, which can be considered fair for all. The rules should be accompanied with proper punishments in case they are flouted.
However, the owners should be flexible about the rules and make sure only ones accepted by all the members are maintained. New rules can be added over time following consultation with the members. However, for the rules to be effective they need to be properly and strictly implemented.
The new members of a club should be provided complete details of the laws when they are inducted. Later on, whenever the laws are updated, the members should be informed of the same.
Starting a club – organizational matters
The owners should come up with a symbol and colors of the club. However, in order for the whole association to be successful, the decisions should be taken through general consensus of the members.
The club should also make ID cards for its members. The easiest way to accomplish this is through creating a template that comprises the following:
- Member’s name
- Club’s contact details
- Club’s name
- Club’s location
- Member’s position
- Date of membership
The club can also have separate pins or buttons to signify the relative rank enjoyed by a member. These can be structured as follows:
- Club symbol
- Member’s rank
- Club name
- Club colors
In addition, the club should regularly update its roster. All the members should be known to each other and their contact details should also be shared as well, so that they can be contacted as and when needed. The members should also be made aware of their responsibilities.
The club should have an e-mail list so that important information can be conveyed to the members in the shortest possible time. Besides, the club should have its own website which should be updated regularly with the following information:
- Events in the club
- Membership procedures
- Future events
Starting a club – meetings
In the first meeting of a club, the owners need to provide snacks and arrange games so that a good impression is created on the members. The members should also be provided periodic reminders through telephone calls or mails about the same. The later meetings should also see a continuation of these trends.
Starting a club – the financial aspects
There are various expenses for a club like the different activities, lectures, and printing flyers. A club can look to its established members for financial assistance. There are other ways in which they can generate operational capital like membership fees and activity fees. These organizations can also look to fundraisers for getting some much needed financial stability.
Nowadays there are several governmental organizations and corporations that provide clubs with financial aid. The owners can use the grant forms provided by these entities and see if they are eligible to receive financial aid from them.
However, funding can be availed in several forms in addition to cash. The clubs can ask for equipment and space where they can practice or stage important events. The owners can also get in touch with clubs that function on national or regional levels and have similar areas of interest.
Collaboration with these clubs can open up newer sources of finance and also give critical information on the ways for a club to improve its efficiency.
Last Updated on 27 March 2012