The 2018 Club Development Scotland Survey

Club Development Scotland are proud to launch their first annual and national Club Development Survey, looking at the aspirations of sport clubs across Scotland.

The survey, sponsored by the Soccer Store, will ask clubs about their current situation and their aspirations for the future, including whether they have interests in growing their club and its facilities.

Results will help inform Club Development Scotland about the type of guidance and support it offers to clubs in the future. Findings from the survey will be shared via the Club Development Scotland quarterly newsletter, which you can sign up to here.

Clubs that enter the survey can enter a draw to win a £100 gift voucher to our sponsors ‘The Soccer Store‘.


Measuring Social Value Guidance

Measuring the social impact of your sports club is important for a number of reasons, such as:

• It can help you understand where the club can improve in its performance to maximise community benefit

• It can help to articulate the value of the club to important stakeholders like funders and local community groups, leading to a range of benefits such as better partnerships, increased investment and more volunteers

• It can help retain focus on a range of objectives rather than simply judging the club on the success of the senior men’s team (for example)

This is a short guide designed to give you some pointers on easy ways that every club can evaluate the value it is providing to the local community by measuring the social, economic and environmental contributions that they make. The areas identified and the different indicators could be adapted to suit your own club, and serve as an example for how you might measure social value.

This is a hitherto poorly researched area and, with clear data available that can exemplify the positives that clubs do provide, it can bring about a new way for clubs to engage with their communities by explaining the wider social benefits that can be offered.

Not sure where to start? Get in touch, we can provide a complete report for you.

Volunteering Guidance

Volunteering is a common term in the community club network, but what does it actually mean and who are volunteers?

Volunteering means individuals giving their time of their own free will and without coercion for no financial reward.

Community clubs will have a number of different volunteer roles; including board or committee members, fundraisers, coaches. Plus, there is often an
army of people who provide refreshments, undertake maintenance and promote the club more widely.

When talking about volunteering it is vital to consider it from both the perspective of the individual volunteering and the organisation receiving their support.

For developing organisations a volunteer network provides access to individuals that have skills, expertise and a passion for supporting their local community. As this resource shows there are obvious financial benefits from having a well developed team of volunteers.

The volunteer gets the opportunity to learn or develop new skills, make and establish friendships with others that share the same community values and contribute to the creation of a more sustainable community sports club. Volunteering can also provide excellent opportunities for work experience.

Funding Guidance

Sport clubs can look to raise significant capital for funding through their own independent fundraising methods but often there are funders who support community projects and may make suitable funding partners for your project.

Obtaining sufficient funding is often the main requirement and consideration when a Supporters Trust is looking to embark on a project no matter how big or small.

Your club can obtain funding for a variety of projects and there are two distinct types which funders acknowledge: Capital projects usually relate to property and buildings where a project exceeds £50,000. For example, funding facilities such as a 3G pitch being built. They are longer term projects investing in something that depreciates over time. Revenue projects are usually projects where total expenditure is less than £50,000. The costs will normally be to meet community or sporting objectives such as coaching or sports equipment.

Funding is often only available for specific projects in individual regions. Usually, these projects are working with and benefiting certain groups in your community. The funders are only able to fund a limited amount of grants per year and the application process is extremely competitive. Some examples of funders who offer grants for single projects are:

This guidance offers some advice and inspiration in the form of case studies to help guide trusts through potential funding applications.

Facility Development Guidance

When we talk about facility development this describes everything from building a new stadium to adding or upgrading existing facilities to a stadium, clubhouse or training area.

In the most extreme examples, facility development is required because a club has lost their ground and is having to play matches on a ground rented from another club, often many miles from their home town and supporter base.

Clubs with their own grounds and training pitches may wish to upgrade existing facilities or add something new like a stand or a 3G pitch.

Facility Development is important for a number of reasons:

• For those clubs “exiled” from their home town it means their supporters have easier access to home games and the club can play a role within the local

• Improving the facilities offered to supporters. For example, the provision of additional seating, facilities for disabled supporters, covered areas or improved toilet facilities enhance the match day experience.

• Developing the clubhouse and other spaces for non match day revenue can provide additional finance streams to clubs improving their financial viability.

• Installing 3G pitches, at a stadium or training area, enables wider community use and generates additional revenue.

Read our guidance here.

Fundraising Guidance

Fundraising is a vital aspect of any club’s remit and questions of how to effectively fundraise, sources of funding and suitable projects for clubs to raise funds for is one that is debated widely throughout the movement.

Fundraising helps your group raise money for activities and suitable community projects, to increase reserves, fund purchases, buy equipment, develop facilities or in the case of Supporters Trusts increase of shareholdings at a club or, in some cases, help take ownership of clubs.

Fundraising can also be a great way for clubs to increase their profile within community around them. A fundraising project can also be a fantastic way to bolster the objects of a group with members and nonmembers alike. It can increase membership and encourage wider engagement from the community on projects.

We’ve put together a fundraising guide to offer some ideas and suggestions as to the best way forward when your club is planning its next fundraising drive.

You may want to consider a crowdfunding campaign if you’re trying to raise funds for a specific project. Check out our own crowdfunding platform, Build a Winning Club, and see what we can do for you.

Club Development Scotland speaks to Foundation of Hearts

In this week’s Behind The Goals Podcast, we speak to Foundation of Heart Board Member Louise Strutt about fan ownership at Gorgie and the incredible achievements of the Foundation since their establishment.

The Foundation of Hearts (FoH) is the largest supporters’ movement in Scottish footballing history with a membership of around 8,000 individuals, all of whom contribute financially to the organisation. This financial contribution is used to provide working capital for the club.

A not-for-profit organisation, the Foundation was created in 2010 by a group of local businesspeople (Alex Mackie, Jamie Bryant, Brian Cormack, Donald Ford, Garry Halliday), all of whom are lifelong Hearts fans. They had a shared vision for the future which is based on bringing Heart of Midlothian back to the people who are truly passionate about this club – the fans.

In 2013, the Foundation was joined by all the Hearts supporters’ organisations – the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs, the Heart of Midlothian Shareholders Association, the Heart of Midlothian Supporters’ Trust, Hearts Youth Development Committee (HYDC), and Save Our Hearts. Under the chairmanship of Ian Murray MP, this united group worked under the Foundation of Hearts ‘banner’ to take forward the vision of fan ownership.

In 2014, one of the Foundation’s own team, Ann Budge (through her specially created company, Bidco), successfully acquired the majority shareholding of the club. A legally binding agreement was put in place between Bidco and the Foundation which will deliver ultimate fan ownership – via the Foundation – over an anticipated five-year period of time. Doing so allows the club’s finances to be stabilised, and for there to be an orderly transition to supporter ownership. Bidco’s sole purpose is to deliver fan ownership and it will therefore not seek to make any personal gain through the process.

The position that Ann Budge/Bidco inherited was one of a club with no money in the bank, and the contribution from the Foundation has provided essential working capital at this difficult time. The Foundation signed up to providing £1.4 million in year 1 and £1.4 million in year 2. Monies raised over and above this will be accrued over the next years to repay the loan provided by Ann Budge of £2.5 million; the loan that effectively saved the club. This means that the total that the Foundation will require to raise in the five years since its inception will be £6.3 million.

In this podcast, we speak to Louise about the incredible achievements of the Foundation including looking at the steps that led to the Foundation’s formation, the new Tynecastle Development Fund and how the Foundation have successfully amassed and attained such a strong membership.

Remember, you can get in touch with the show by emailing or reaching us on Twitter.