The management committee is ultimately responsible for the management of a club and it is important that the committee understands the principles of good club management (often referred to as governance). There are some core areas of club governance which, if followed, can make life for volunteers easier and assist in achieving a successful and efficient club.
Important areas of managing community clubs include:
- Committee management (including meetings)
- Legislative compliance
- Strategic planning
- Managing club resources
- Financial management
- Facility and asset management
- Volunteer management
- Risk management
- Managing activity delivery.
Ensuring the club’s management committee is functioning well will reap enormous rewards for the club and its members. Developing a management committee that operates well and delivers good results in line with the club’s vision for the future puts the club in a good position to thrive.
A good club management committee is characterised by:
- Happy committee members!
- Members with a thorough understanding of their role and how to carry it out
- Application of formalised policies and procedures which seek to avoid committee and volunteer burnout
- Use of concise formalised plans, policies and procedures to guide committee decisions and actions
- Effective committee meetings
- Accountability and transparency
- Excellent communication between the management committee, subcommittee members, volunteers, members and other stakeholders
- Strong connection with club members
- A pool of volunteers to draw from to assist in carrying out club tasks (see Volunteers to sign up for the Young Volunteers Program)
Clubs with Silver level accreditation have access to a suite of position descriptions.
Management committee responsibilities
Basic responsibilities of a club management committee include:
- Develop, review and uphold the club’s constitution
- Ensure the club operates in a lawful manner
- Set and implement a documented strategic direction for the club
- Develop club policies and procedures
- Develop and manage an annual budget
- Manage club resources (financial, physical assets, volunteers)
- Manage membership
- Manage records
- Regularly communicate with members, supporters and the community
- Oversee the delivery of the club’s activities.
There are two main types of meetings in an incorporated association: management committee meetings (that typically only include members of the management committee); and general meetings (where all members can participate). Your constitution will include provisions according to which your meetings must run. Your meetings must comply with the Associations Incorporation Act 1981.
The purpose of meetings is to make decisions, not just to have discussions. So the formal procedures followed at meetings allow decisions to be made democratically and be well documented.
According to the Act, management committee meetings must be held at least once every four months. At least one general meeting must be held each year – the annual general meeting (AGM). Other club meetings might include meetings of subcommittees, or other groups of members.
Your club must record minutes from meetings, including management committee meetings, special general meetings and the AGM. The secretary needs to record the decisions made during meetings, as the minutes are the only formal record of your decisions. The secretary is to issue a notice of each meeting, including details of the business to be transacted at the meeting, a copy of the minutes of the last meeting, financial statements (if required) and written material related to important items due to be considered.
Annual general meetings
It is a legal requirement for clubs to hold an annual general meeting (AGM) each year.
At the AGM:
- Members are provided clear information about the affairs of the club
- The year’s achievements and financial position are reviewed
- Management committee positions are elected in accordance with the constitution, providing an opportunity to rejuvenate the club through the engagement of members
- Changes to the constitution are made (if necessary)
- The auditor is appointed (if required).
The Office of Fair Trading will require an annual report after the AGM, along with a copy of your audited or verified financial statements. Failure to meet these legislative requirements will prevent your club from receiving grants from some government agencies and puts your incorporated status at risk.
Most importantly, your club should try and make the AGM a positive experience where people go away firmly committed to the organisation and its goals for the year ahead.
The follow meeting resources are available to support clubs with bronze or high level accreditation: