For many people, their ability to gain access to a swimming session to meet their individual needs depends on a 'properly run' swimming club/swimschool of one sort or another - be it swimming lessons, an age group session, Swim Fit, Aqua Aerobics, Disability Swimming, Synchro and Water Polo to mention a few. It comes as a surprise to some to learn that NOT ALL swim clubs are competitive only!
Many clubs are multi discipline, and with that comes an awful lot of administration and management to ensure smooth running - more often than not, in the UK especially, it's done by teams of willing Volunteers and Committee Members as the vast majority of UK swim clubs are run as not-for-profit organisations.
Some of those willing volunteers have been helping clubs for decades, using a variety of methods and now, find the idea of changing and moving forward - using modern technology, a daunting and difficult prospect, but it doesn't need to be. Many of the younger committee members who are now stepping up to do their stint in a voluntary role, are helping with their enthusiastic approach and willingness to learn and use modern management methods. (We have been those parents who volunteered and undertook roles within a local swimming club as Membership Secretary, L1 WP Coach, Official Timekeeper and Webmaster, and it made us so aware of the need for an admin system that wouldn't cost clubs dear, both financially and emotionally, that Club Organiser was born.)
It doesn't matter what size your club or swimschool is - whether it's long established, or a new start-up - this system can be introduced gradually, so everyone gets the chance to adjust at a slower pace, or you can choose to take the bull by the horns and plunge in at the deep end - the choice is yours!
It's ironic really, but experience so far has taught us that it's often the Club Treasurer or Bookkeeper who NEEDS a modern system the most, who seems to object the loudest to moving across to a software system. Why would anyone choose to still spend so much time collecting, going to the bank and paying in hundreds of £'s in cash and cheques on a regular basis when you could offer all (or even just some) of your members the ability to pay direct online themselves, or even better, by Direct Debit? DD payments show up automatically within the system, and BACS or Standing Order payments can be automatically reconciled from your Club's electronic bank statement with the member's unique ref number telling the system where to allocate the funds. On top of that, different Banking Reports can tell you instantly and clearly what funds are being collected within your club/school sections, who's overdue and much more - giving a very clear indication of profit and loss when it comes to running costs. (Club Organiser DON'T charge anything extra for online transactions of any kind - the only extra cost anyone pays is purely the transaction fee levied by the chosen payment processor (e.g. PayPal) or credit card company etc.
Screenshot of Member Statement Select Feature
The ability to apply Annual Fees (e.g. Swim England Membership Renewals) to all members accounts simultaneously is a popular feature, and if DD is applied to accounts, this change in amount is taken into consideration and all funds collected electronically with minimal fuss - no chasing members to amend their standing order amount for example.
Another objection we come across is that there are different people running different sections within a club, so many 'secretaries' who all have their own way of doing things and communicate by notes or emails. That's great if you're a very small club and you're going to have those same people doing the same job the same way forever, but sadly that's rarely the case as many volunteers move on as their children grow up or demands on their time change.
A system that's centralised, secure and cloud based can be accessed by any number of authorised users at any time, from anywhere, on any device as long as they've got a WIFI connection. This means that any secretary for example, can make a change to a member's details and with just one click of the 'update details' button, ALL of your authorised users will be able to see the live, correct, up-to-date info when they log in wherever they are, with no emails needed. Of course, if you want to send emails to fellow members, that can be done as a bulk to the whole club, sections or individuals extremely quickly. Document storage is also taken care of, so membership forms etc. can be sent electronically via a mailmerge facility if preferred, thereby personalising them to the member.
A sample of a fictitious Member List showing Icons
Another great thing about modern management systems is that you can choose to pass some of the responsibility on to the members themselves (or their parents/guardians). If you choose to give your members login details for their personal accounts when you set up and start using Club Organiser, they can log in and update all the personal contact and medical details as well as emergency contacts - ensuring you always have access to the latest, correct information about that member. (If you want, you can set up to use CO first, then add logins for members at a later date to suit you!)
If yours is a Competitive Swim Club, you can store historical PBs which makes Race or Gala Management that much easier. Once you've entered/uploaded the QTs and Requirements for an event, members (who have been given login details) will have the ability to see their eligibility to enter races and pay online, direct from their login page. Emails showing details of entry and payment are sent to both competition secretary and the member upon completion, so that's taken care of as well - the Comp Sec simply sends her compiled club entries to the host club as normal. This feature also takes care of ad hoc payments for other things too, like one-off social events, swim camps, fundraising donations or merchandise payments.
Example of PB Ranking Report Feature
An objection that's usually raised by some committee members when online payments is mentioned is : "Parents and members won't want to pay extra to be able to pay online". We thought that too when we first started offering it as a payment method - and were very pleased to be proved wrong! As it turns out, modern parents are only too happy to pay a few extra pence for the convenience factor. Some do still choose to pay manually, and that's fine too - our system allows for manual credits as well.
Screenshot of Fixture/Gala Report Feature
We could go on for ages, but this post is getting far too long, so I'll finish by saying please do take a look at our homepage www.cluborganiser.co.uk if you want to see the full list of features, read some testimonials or sign up to enjoy a FULL, FREE trial for 30 days. If you'd prefer just a quick glance, take a look at the other Blog Post showing 'the facts at a glance'.
Either way, thank you for reading this post and there is no small print involved with Club Organiser - no catches, no contracts, no hard sell or pestering emails/calls and no charging you for things you really don't need to be paying for like ongoing customer support and extra % charges for online payments - we really do have your best interests at heart. (and at £14.95 a month means we will probably never be rich as a result!)