Deciding on the Right Community Project
Supporters Trusts and Community Owned Clubs are ideally placed to deliver community projects and a whole host of successful activities, events and programmes have been delivered by groups in the past.
With so many options it is sometimes difficult to know where to start but hopefully after reading this guidance you will have a better idea of how you can turn a good idea into a successful community project.
Some Guiding Principles to Remember
One of the major strengths of a Community Benefit Society is that it has community aims written into the objectives.
- Compliment do not compete, this isn’t about replacing projects that should be delivered by others.
- Think about what fans can bring to the table that others can’t projects that tap into the knowledge and passion of fans and celebrate the history of clubs and their supporters.
- A well thought out and executed project should bring the society increased influence with important local stakeholders.
- Good PR from a community project is a great way to deflect criticism from doubters.
- Remember a CBS should serve as an advantage for grant funders.
Read the criteria and read it again! For example, a project improving a stadium where the tenancy is secured privately will not be
something a trust will be able to apply for, it would be for the company.
Remember a CBS does give more protection should something go wrong with a grant application or community project against an
unincorporated organisation because of the limited liability status.
Of course, were a person to be acting fraudulently or without due care as with any organisation they could be held accountable by law.
Looking for Ideas?
Find below some examples of community projects that Supporters Trusts have delivered in the past.
This isn’t to say that other projects shouldn’t be considered, and only begins to cover what has been previously delivered!
Events for younger people or people with disabilities. These are often organised either through schools or youth leagues.
Tickets for Disadvantaged Groups
Either donated by the club or paid for by the Trust (either through donations or sponsorship) Tickets are distributed by the Trust to those who would ordinarily be unable to afford to attend.
Trust volunteers to visit care homes, day care, to talk about their team. They often take match programmes to stimulate conversation.
Often held before matches, covering areas like music and art, it gives the opportunity for younger fans to learn chants and make banners and display their work at the match.
Literacy programmes, healthy eating, mindfulness and coaching.
This is most popular with Community Owned Clubs, or Trusts who have a very close relationship with their clubs and local schools.
Breakfast/After School Clubs
This project can tie in healthy eating/promoting exercise/healthy lifestyle.
Fitness for Fans
Organise fitness/healthy eating sessions for supporters. These sessions can be very popular if run by current or former
Youth Team Kit Sponsorship
These projects can be a great way of funding football in the community and promoting the work of the society.
These events often provide opportunity to work in partnership with a number of different community groups and institutions.
We Have an Idea, What Now?
So, you have an idea, now is the time to critically access whether it’ll work and how you can make it a success. A useful exercise would be to work through the points below as a board to ensure things are properly thought through.
- What do you want to achieve by running this project?
- Does it meet with the societies objectives?
Identify Target Audience
- Use statistics to back up your argument.
- How many people living locally are in this group and how many do you plan to include?
- Have they expressed an interest in the project?
- Are they involved in the project planning?
- Why does your target group need this project?
- What is already available?
- Are you likely to duplicate work that is ongoing?
- Explain why the existing project is not enough or appropriate?
- How could you compliment or strengthen what is already there?
- Is there anyone else already working with this group?
- Is there potential to work together?
- Do you have the same values and principals and the same aims?
- Does the board have the necessary skills to run the project?
- Do any of the members have the requisite skills?
- What will you need to complete the project?
- Can the society undertake this project using current resources or will additional resource be needed?
Once you have worked through the points above and feel comfortable with your project, it’s a good idea to write up and circulate a project plan to ensure everyone is clear about the aims and objectives (or outcomes)
The aims represent what you are trying to achieve, and the outcomes are the results of the project.
Here’s an example that we prepared earlier for you to use as a guide.
Project Idea – Tickets for disadvantaged groups
The rising price of tickets has meant many people and groups are priced out of attending matches. It is a concern that young people in particular will not experience a live football match experience.
This project offers a method for the society to help to address this issue and to provide some benefit for the community.
Membership will be encouraged to raise funds or contribute funds directly to the project.
The money raised will be used to purchase match day tickets. The tickets will be distributed to groups or individuals identified that it is felt would benefit the most who may otherwise not be able to purchase tickets.
The identification of beneficiaries could be via the membership or via an application. However, there may be more potential by using external agencies such as schools or the local authority as this may help establish links in the community as well as help benefit those most in need.
It may also be possible to scour the local newspaper to pick out people who have had a bad time for whatever reason and target them with an offer to enjoy a day out.
Local businesses will also be approached to support the scheme and add to the impact of the day. These businesses could be asked to provide services such as transport from taxi or limo companies or local restaurants to provide food in return for the excellent PR associated with this scheme.
Project Aims, Outcomes & Indicators:
It is important to lay out your projects aims, outcomes and indicators that those outcomes have been achieved in order for accurate reporting back to funders, partners or members.
Some examples of these are detailed below.
To provide opportunities for disadvantaged groups and individuals to receive match day tickets.
Disadvantaged groups and individuals receive tickets.
Four different groups to receive 10 tickets to each match.
Encourage trust membership activity which will bring some direct benefit to the community providing a good incentive to fundraise.
More Trust members become involved with this project.
50 Trust members financially supporting this project per month.
Establish links with community groups which could be developed further in the future.
Contacts and relationships with local community groups built.
Links forged with 20 new organisations per season
Increase Trust’s junior membership.
Junior membership will increase
Increase of 10% over the course of a season
Increase attendance at home matches.
Attendance at home matches will increase
Average matchday attendance will increase by 5% over the course of the season
Four example case studies of successfully delivered community projects are available to download below.