How to run a craft/ sewing club. The day to day stuff

Hi friends,

Last time we talked about the basics to getting a craft/ sewing club started. Today we will talk a little about the management of the day to day of the club.  The type of club I’m referring is a sustainable non profitable one for local communities. For a revenue stream club there are other considerations not touched upon that must be considered.
Communication
A crucial part of the club is creating an environment that members feel comfortable and happy. As the club leader/chair one of your roles is to implement and manage ways to facilitate interaction. Flowing communication will grow members bond with each other beyond the once a month meeting. You can use email lists, close  group pages, blog, newsletter etc. The most effective way I found is to use Facebook: close group page. Members are encouraged to post work in progress, ask questions and general chit chat. All the club documents are easy to access so new members will have all the information necessary to start. Photos also help new members have a feel for the club. 
Create a club email address for communications with suppliers and processing payment. 
Roles and Responsibilities
As the club chair members will look at you for guidance and decisions.Your responsibility will be to arrange, book and pay the venue, organise meet up days and days outings, sort any problem that occurs, create club documents etc. That can be a lot of work for one person so consider if you need to delegate tasks. I highly recommend getting a Finance/ Co chair on board. My right hand Jacq does all the booking and finances for Rochester sewing club. A bless!
Other roles you may consider on our club are: 
Club Co-ordinator(s): Someone to organise stuffs that matters to your club. Ours look after celebrations and the refreshment rota, manage the car Share scheme and look after club folder.
Club Event Planner: Keep taps on club skill gaps and organise workshops. Also updates club calendar:Looks very formal but all our members have equal say and take decisions together.
We even got a tea lady with a very fancy portable caddy. Ps: Emergency biscuits always available.
Club documents
As we have a lot of enquires about the club. It is easier to create a set of standard documents that you can send to prospects.
The membership pack: A letter welcoming people to the club containing the following information:
What is the club about.
Who is the club aimed for.
What members should bring.
How members can join.
How members pay their membership fee.
Meeting location. 
Link to club calendar and meeting days.
Current club assets.
Members enrolment sheet: Differently to the membership pack where all the information is about the club, the members enrolment sheet is a document where the club gets to know the new member. It’s actually our “contract”. Members interested in joining will need to fill the information, send it to our club Co-chair with a symbolic fee of £3 that will go to the club funds.  All the information is carefully stored. Mainly details about craft skills, goals, etc. We found it very useful as we can keep the club activities based on our members.
Symbolic fees helped us immensely to separate curious non-commitment prospects to real possible members. People that are really interested will answer promptly. Once people show interest and request to join the club give them access to all the documents they need to decide and have a period of a month to reply. If no reply take them off the club communication page.

Finance
If you need a bookable venue you will need to collect money from your members. With a club that is a nonprofitable organisation, the membership value main use is to support the club venue hiring and  secondary is to create club funds. 

The membership value will depend of the value of the venue hire divided equally to all. I encourage you to create a little saving pot by asking just a little more. Some venues may require booking of two months payed in advance. The most important is that you won’t have to readjust if someone cannot come on day. You want the club to keep running. If members keep missing and you depend on their income to cover the venue the club will quickly dissolve.

Create a Paypal club account and get your members to pay a month in advance, either cash or PayPal.  Members pay when they attend. It helps knowing in advance who is attending for the venue management. Having a little on the saving pot means that sometimes you can cover the value of the venue even when you don’t have all members present or whenever or not you should proceed with the next booking.

Create a link for payment button to make it easy for members remember to pay.

Cash book: Have a little notebook with all the club In/ Out transitions. You only need a very simple bookkeeping system.  For example: Name of the attendants and their monthly payment (and occasional joining fee) as the income. Venue hire and other bought objects as the expense. Also make all finances transactions of the club available for members if they want to see it.

Club assets: like irons, scissors, rental of cupboard space on the venue, refreshments etc. The club assets fund can also be used to pay for joined activities like an end-of-the year celebration dinner or paying for someone to teach a skill.

Final considerations

Managing Club size. When the club achieve their maximum members number, create a waiting list. Find a way to manage active and inactive members. Inactive members can have their membership frozen after a pre determine period of time. They can re-activate at any time without any extra cost.

If you don’t need to financially pay a venue, an easy way to manage your club is to set up and host your meetings on community centres like local library on a fix date of the month. There you can have a poster advertising the meet up days and times and inviting anyone to join. 

If you have any questions, do ask!

Enjoy your club!

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