Fundraising Masterclasses: An Insight into Grassroot Sport

Keeping a club going takes commitment, endurance and guile. However, has your club ever reflected and asked, “where is our income coming from?” This is the first question I ask clubs when they attend one of our Fundraising Masterclasses.

To the right is an accumulative funding model for all the attending clubs to date. Our discussions have led to lively findings:

  1. Communication is KEY!

To communicate with people you need names, numbers, emails and addresses. It sounds so simple, yet many clubs do not seem to be doing this. This problem is particularly prevalent to rural clubs, whose members may have moved for employment purposes. Should a club wish to contact one of these members, it cannot. They have been lost by their club. Fundraising, at its very core, is a people and numbers game. It’s all about routine: Meet, Greet, Details (with permission these days!), Contact, Repeat.

  1. Tangible results

Many clubs want to be the best, or at the very least, competitive. However, this is one facet of what a club does. Sport is serving the public and social good. Yes, clubs are about competing. This means publicity and greater awareness about the club. However, some of our players and member don’t care about this. They care because playing is improving their mental health, feeling part of the community and improving their overall health. When clubs are fundraising, it is normally “to help the club out” or “keep it going this year.” When people give their hard-earned money, it is imperative to show them a result. Wrap a fundraising campaign around a capital ambition or for equipment. When charities fundraise, they ask people to give by programme area. When people give, they can then choose what to give their money to. The charity in return can then showcase how the money was used. This is something sport can learn from and aim to get to.

  1. Learn from each other

This has been the most beneficial part of our sessions. It is not for us to lecture any club or organisation on what they are doing. Our travels across the country have resulted in discovering amazing ideas and practices by clubs: “500 club schemes,” “inclusive sport models,” “sport for all,” “direct marketing programmes.” These are only some of the examples we discovered. Most importantly, clubs shared these ideas with each other, all in the name of improving their own sports in their county and province.

To learn more about our Masterclasses please contact Darren McMahon on +353-1-234-3127 or