When one thinks of running a youth sports club, setting financial goals usually isn’t top of mind. But planning for how to manage the club’s finances is crucial to running a successful program. Youth sports team have to be able to determine player fees, manage sponsor and fundraiser money, and pay for expenses that include equipment, fees and staff payroll.
Get examples below of financial goals your sports club should consider setting to keep it running smoothly.
Clubs need to assign specific financial roles to responsible staff members. It’s important to ensure funds are being handled correctly and responsibly. If possible, clubs should assign treasury and accounting roles to individuals with experience and expertise to make sure the club is in compliance with current laws and regulations. While many times roles within an organization are filled by parent volunteers, the financial roles are ones you might want to consider saving for the professionals or at a minimum, parents with a financial background.
Set a Budget and Stick to it
It’s crucial for all sports clubs to set a budget. Organizations need to know how much money is available to run the club each season.
Prior to setting the budget for the year, all potential costs need to be itemized. Clubs should include equipment costs, tournament and association fees, and payroll for coaches and staff should be submitted to the organization. This will establish the base-level of funds the team needs to operate for the season.
Once the expenses are calculated, any extra items can be added into the budget. Clubs should know how much money they absolutely need for the season, and how much extra they might want for non-essentials, like new uniforms or travel. This will determine how much money needs to be raised through player fees, sponsorships and fundraising efforts.
Once the budget is set, the organization has to stick to it. Teams will need to restrain spending to only the amount allocated for each category. If an unexpected cost arises, then the organization can decide if there are team funds to pay for it, or if additional fundraising or player fees need to be raised.
Create a Banking Account
Clubs should keep all funds in a banking account. The account should be set up in the club’s name and not an individual’s. Having a checking account will provide records for all transactions, including deposits and withdrawals. Clubs should consider adding parameters to the account to require two signatures per transaction. This will establish checks and balances to make sure multiple people are aware of each transaction.
Develop Processes for Expenditures, Bills and Cash Flow
Organizations need to establish processes for how money transactions are handled. There should be policies to establish who has access to club funds through the checking account and any credit cards the team might have.
Only specific individuals should be allowed to spend club funds. All requests for new equipment, tournament fees, and any other items should be submitted to a designated person for approval and purchase. There should also be a process in place to determine who is responsible for paying bills from the team account, and who is tasked with handling incoming funds.
Having processes in place will help avoid any potential mishandling of funds, late payments on bills, or funds that are unaccounted for. Receipts should be saved for all money exchanges and logged into record-keeping software or a book. This way, all records of financial transactions are available for anyone in the club to access at any time.
Have a Plan for Excess Money
At the end of the year, there could be excess money in the club’s account. Before the season starts there should be a plan for what to do with any surplus of funds. The plan should be communicated to all players and parents so there is no question of how the funds are being spent. For example, the extra funds can go to buy equipment or be put towards registration fees for the next season to trim the dues owed by each player.
It’s important for clubs to be transparent with parents and players about how club funds are being spent. Organizations should plan regular communications with club members to review finances — showing the team’s account balance, how money was spent, and what money was deposited into the account.
The club can also review upcoming costs with members and any planned expenditures in the near future. This helps players and parents understand why their participation fees are the amount they are, and also helps prepare them for what the fees might be the following year based on club needs and finances.