How Did 2010 Go?

Another season is over: the grand final has been played and won (or drawn) and the celebrations are over. Football club administrators and volunteers are now looking forward to relaxing a little and taking some time off.

Fair enough.

But the off season is an ideal time to assess how the year went from an administrative point of view and see what went right and what didn’t. This can help you plan for a better and more successful 2011.

Schedule a couple of hours with the committee and other key participants to go through your year-end assessment  as a way to kick start your planning for next year. Here’s a checklist to get your started:

Finances and fundraising

Of course you’ll have a proper audit done and know exactly where you stand financially, but take some time to talk about your activities in 2010, for example:

  • Did you accurately predict your expenditure, income and cash flow?
  • Did your fundraising efforts meet your expectations or did they consume more time, energy and resources than was warranted by their return?
  • Were there any grants and schemes you used which were helpful that are running again in 2011?
  • Did you manage to get sponsors on board and if so, did you—and they—get value for money?

More on club finances

Reviewing your club plan

If you have a club plan—and every club should—now is the time to dust it off and take a look at how it’s travelling:

  • Did your plan help you meet your objectives for the year?
  • Looking back, was the plan relevant? If not, why?
  • Did it include ways to communicate with your stakeholders, and if so, were those communication strategies effective?
  • Were your planning timelines realistic?

More on club planning

Communications

Ensuring everyone knows what’s happening and when is critical to running a successful club. With a multitude of communications channels, it’s often hard to know what ways work best, so list everything you use and be realistic about their success:

  • Was your website always up to date?
  • Did you produce a regular newsletter, and if so, how did you distribute it? If you’re still producing a time-consuming, costly paper newsletter, perhaps it’s now time to do an electronic one and distribute via email.
  • Did members and players hear about changes to training, fixtures, ground closures and other club activities from official club channels, or did they have to rely on being told by a friend?  
  • Does your club have Facebook and Twitter accounts? If not, do a straw poll on how many members have profiles; you’ll probably discover a lot do. Consider creating club profiles and use them as a means to bring your club together online.
  • Are your member lists up to date? For instance, how often do you update your email address list? Is it time to ensure all participants’ details are correct?
  • Were you regularly in touch with your local media and did you get any coverage? If not, how could you attract their interest next year?
  • How did your club marketing go?

More on websites (Footyweb)
More on marketing

Admin processes

Often, clubs follow particular administration methods because that’s the way it’s always been done. This may well be fine, but it doesn’t hurt to review them annually to ensure you’re using your time and resources effectively.

  • Are your processes efficient?
  • Are your meetings well run and useful?
  • Do you spend a lot of time duplicating efforts such as creating forms or looking for reports?
  • Are there central filing systems for both electronic and paper files and does everyone know how to access/locate them?
  • Are your processes written down so if a new person takes over, would they be able to pick up where their predecessor left off? Or would they need to reinvent the wheel?

More on club administration

Volunteers

As the backbone of your club, it’s important to make sure volunteers had a good year and will want to come back for 2011. Consider these questions:

  • Did you properly thank and reward your volunteers?
  • Are your volunteer job descriptions accurate and relevant?
  • Were people generally happy and cheerful or was there some discord? If so, why? What can you change to make sure it doesn’t happen next year?
  • Are all of your volunteers signing up again? If not, why?
  • What ways can you attract new volunteers?
  • Did you enter any volunteers in the AFL’s State Volunteer of the Year Award?

More on volunteer management
Volunteer job descriptions

Undoubtedly, there are many other areas of your club you can assess: make your own list to go over. Even if your year was a huge success, examine why so you can make sure you do it again for 2011.

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