A budget is critical to the health and viability of your sports club, but often gets overlooked, underprioritized, or isn’t as robust as it should be. Your budget needs to include everything needed to maintain operations throughout the year such as league fees, coaching and operational wages, equipment costs, rent, and all other overhead. Here are three reasons you should make sure to keep your budget accurate, up-to-date, and properly utilized:
- Longevity – If you want the organization to last, it is important to make sure that your basics are covered and there is always extra money in reserves for special occasions or emergencies. Without this safeguard, you could find yourself in sticky situations that can threaten your organization’s viability or at the very least, put you in an uncomfortable situation or one where you may need to sacrifice in other areas to compensate.
Quality – It is safe to assume that you want your sports club to offer high-quality services to its members. If you are properly managing your budget, you will be more agile and better able to secure high-quality coaches, players, equipment, facilities, training opportunities, and provide a better overall experience for everyone involved. Needs will arrive for the team and you will want to be able to provide for those needs without ever sacrificing quality.
Maximize – Using your budget strategically will help your organization to maximize its impact on its members and give the greatest opportunity for collective success.
There are a few simple steps to take to get started. Review historical data (if accessible) in each of these areas and determine what amount of income you will need to cover your costs with room for an additional safety net of funds determined by the board.
League or Authority Fees – One of the most important expenses for a sports club is league fees so this is a good place to start. This cost is required and must be accounted for in the budget. This covers officials, game/meet day facility fees and will ensure that the team can register for the season.
Facility Fees or Mortgages – The club will need funding to secure practice facilities. This could also include cross-training such as renting a strength training facility.
Coaching and Operational Wages – Some clubs are lucky enough to have highly talented and experienced volunteer coaches and staff but that is not always the case and not always the best choice, but this is something the board will need to determine. If coaches and specific staff will be paid a salary, the rate, terms, and all other payroll liabilities will need to be accounted for.
Tournament Costs – Some clubs take on partial tournament costs which need to be accounted for. If you determine you want to host your tournament, it is recommended that this be accounted for separately with its budget and committee separate from the organization’s general operating budget.
Equipment/Uniforms – Equipment and uniforms may seem like trivial expenses, but they are critical to the sports team and can end up being a larger expense than many teams anticipate. It is good to secure a vendor who is willing to offer economies of scale and with whom you have a consistent relationship in long term.
Other Expenses – Other expenses to take into consideration could include all administrative costs, insurance, contractor salaries, programs, or platforms the team utilizes for marketing and communication.
Once you have laid out the budget for your expected expenses for the year, you will take a look at how much money is left from the previous year and the expected amount of income that will come from membership dues. If the team received sponsorship funding, this can be accounted for as well, but determined as a less dependable model for revenue. To cover any deficit that your club may experience, there are many fundraising opportunities that your club can take advantage of at the discretion of the board of directors.
Strategic planning is critical for your sports club to reach its goals and to be successful. Having a realistic, robust and effective budget at its foundation is key.