While the focus of a youth sports club might be securing coaches, players, equipment, and facilities, an organization can’t function without the money to fund the team and its needs for the season.
To ensure a youth sports team has enough funds to get through the year, you need a budget. Your budget should include all necessary expenses such as league fees, coaching wages, equipment costs, and more.
It’s important for each club’s treasurer to create and stick to a realistic budget while remaining competitive. Take a look below at tips for how to create a youth sports club’s budget.
Determine League Fees
The first step to creating a budget is determining all league fees for each team. These fees are required and are therefore the most important expense to account for. Usually, these fees cover costs for officials and game facility fees. Prompt payment here is important because it ensures the team can register for the season.
Account for Facility Fees
Youth sports clubs need to practice between games. This requires securing fields, courts, and other facilities for practice. Some teams might also want strength-training facilities for the squad to use. Organizations should determine the costs to secure practice and training facilities, and then include the fees in the annual budget.
Set Coaching Fees
Youth teams need coaches to lead. While some squads might use volunteer coaches, many coaches will require a salary. The compensation, number of coaches on the payroll, and payment terms need to be accounted for in the yearly budget. Salaries and wages should account for a line item in the budget, detailing how much each coaching position is paid.
Measure Tournament Costs
Tournaments are a fun addition to youth sports schedules, but they can be costly. Before setting the budget, teams should determine how many tournaments the clubs will compete in with all corresponding fees. Most tournaments have registration fees, and, depending on location, some might also require travel and lodging costs. Remember to take every anticipated cost for a tournament into consideration.
If teams are hosting tournaments, a separate budget should be created for those events. Hosting a tournament involves a large set of expenses as well as the collection of fees from participating teams. The club treasurer or appointed staff should manage this event separately from the overall team budget.
Gather Equipment, Uniform Needs
To be competitive, teams need the right equipment and uniforms. Assessment of what equipment needs to be replaced or added should happen before the seasons begins. Similarly, determine what uniforms the players need and their corresponding costs. Equipment and uniforms can be expensive, but there are ways to save money when the equipment budget is tight.
In addition to the league, facility, and equipment expenses, clubs also have other administration costs. These can include club insurance policies, wages or fees for staff not already captured above, fees for tryout evaluators, purchase costs for evaluation apps – like the TeamGenius platform, -administrative costs for registration, and other miscellaneous expenses. Club staff should submit their complete list of expenses to the treasurer as soon as possible before the budget is created.
Account for Existing Team Funds
Some leagues might have surplus funds in their team account from the previous season. Treasurers should use this money as determined the previous year. Clubs might have left money in the account for specific needs, such as a long-distance tournament or new equipment. If the funds were not allocated to a specific need, most teams will take this amount and roll it over to the new season to pay for the current expenses.
Determine Sponsorship Funds
Teams with sponsors can account for the financial contribution in the team’s budget as well. If your club is lucky enough to have a sponsor, this will counterbalance the fees the club owes for the season. (If you don’t have a sponsorship, here are some tips to getting one.) Keep in mind that funds shouldn’t be accounted for until they have been collected, though.
Set Player Fees
Teams should set individual player fees after determining the team’s expenses for the year. Ideally, the deficit between the money the team has and what is needed for the season should be accounted for in the player registration fees. Teams can divide the deficit by the total number of players on the current roster. It’s often a good idea for organizations to share the budget with players and parents to explain the fee structure.
Create Fundraising Opportunities
For clubs with tight budgets or for those looking to trim player costs, treasurers can look at fundraising opportunities to help off-set fees. Fundraising can be done to reduce individual player registration dues. It can also be done to raise money for a large team expense that isn’t in the scope of the budget, like a long-distance trip to a tournament or clinic or a large piece of equipment.
Treasurers and club officials can present fundraising options to parents and players before the start of the season.