2. Affiliate to organisations internally & externally
By its very nature, a university student population will be very dynamic – students will come and go mainly through enrolment and graduation. As such, the continuity of the club will always be at risk and depend largely on the individuals involved – when they leave, will there be enough people interested to maintain the club, and even if there is will anybody want to organise things and know what to do?
Part and parcel of this will be a healthy recruitment strategy (see below) however there are other steps you can take to ensure the club does not fade away, which in turn will also maximise the potential of your club in other ways.
Key to this is to, as best you can, tie your club to as many permanent structures as you can. These structures, which can be both individuals and organisations, will be there with or without your club and will often have a personal interest in keeping it going long after the previous year’s officials have graduated/left. They will be able to offer advice, provide a permanent depository for knowledge, contacts, and good practice, and be the foundations for consistent growth for the club.
This is a recognised practice across many industries and organisations where there is a regular turnover of officials – for example, central government has the civil service; the NUS has permanent operational staff conducting “business” for the elected national committee; and, more locally to you, your SU and AU has a similar set-up with elected officials supported by permanent staff managing areas of the operation.
Register your club with the AU and SU and ensure that something is pulled together at the end of each year for the following one – items you may like to include are:
* a list of all the relevant AU/SU representatives;
* “welcome packs” and other handbooks you have pulled together as a club;
* any good practice you have picked up during the year;
* any funding streams you have developed; and
* ensure also that you register your club (preferably your club officials for next year) and the contact details with the UPC (www.upc-pool.org.uk)!
Even if you, as a club official, think you will be returning the following year to help run things – assume you won’t be and make preparations, as anything could happen to affect your personal circumstances in the meantime.
Wherever there is a pool table on your campus (SU, AU, hall bar, public house or wherever), develop a relationship with the applicable manager (e.g. bar/entertainments manager, hall rep, etc) and have them take an interest. It is in their interests to have competitions on their “quiet” nights to bring in paying customers, and even more so if they can get others to run it.
Indeed, fundraising is the art of getting money for your club/society. Typically for University Pool Clubs this is by way of grant applications to your AU or SU, however there are many ways of raising money, such as:
* Membership subscriptions, e.g. £5 joining fee.
* Seeking donations, e.g. via a donations pot at each practice session/tournament.
* Obtaining grants, e.g. to your AU, SU or external sporting bodies.
* Organising fundraising events/socials e.g. sponsored “poolathon” with a prize to whoever guesses how many balls are potted in a 24hr session.
* Running lotteries/raffles e.g. via all AU clubs, with an additional prize to the club that sells most tickets, or a “50 Club” with 50 members paying £1 each per month and a single prize of £20.
* Obtaining sponsorship, e.g. from your local pool hall. Most bars will be happy to donate beer, vouchers, or food as prizes or to make the night enjoyable, so long as people are there buying drinks etc. Again, the bar managers will also be able to negotiate with the brewery on your behalf for additional prizes (cues for example) or other deals for your members. Your local pool/snooker hall will equally be willing to do discount deals or provide prizes if it gets people into their premises regularly – remember that for such premises, the bonus is the marketing of their premises to new faces, as well as simply the numbers on the night, as it encourages repeat trade.
For more ideas, and some useful links, check out the useful "Sport England Quick Guide to Fundraising, Grants and Sponsorship".