Our Head Coach and Club Secretary Arron is often asked about the way we run our club, so we thought he could share the systems we have in place to support our team of volunteers.
Most of these tools are not basketball-specific, but we think that they'll save you time, money and effort - all of which are valuable commodities for volunteer-led organisations.
If you'd like to find out more about any of these, click on their name, and it'll take you to their social media profile!
Teamo is a FREE team management app, and we think it's superb. It's something we've already recommended to a number of other clubs, as it aids you in being GDPR compliant; communicate with your members individually, as a team or as a club; and ensures that your coaches and volunteers comply with best practice around Safeguarding, through their "guardian" system, that ensures that all U18's have an adult who either communicates on their behalf - or has access to the communications that they send and receive.
Other features include a club calendar (which auto-searches for facilities by name, and links to google/apple maps), and it's the calendar aspect which is really the most helpful thing for your club coaches...
You can instantly see player availability for any given event (such as training or games) and where players are unavailable, you can establish why. It also lets you know who has yet to view the event, and can auto-prompt reminders.
There are paid features too, primarily relating to taking payments - but that's not something we've looked into at the moment - and their support team have been superb with us, checking in with regularity as to if there's anything they can do, and anything we need.
Unless you're lucky enough to have an incredibly organised, proactive, volunteer team manager, we think this is an essential app for team coaches and organisers, and even if you are that lucky - this could really help to save them some time!
As fantastic as Teamo is, the majority of chatter between players, quick notices/check-ups, ride sharing conversation, etc. still goes on through Whatsapp.
If you don't already have Whatsapp, it's a customisable messenger system, that works across pretty much all smart phones. Like most clubs I speak to, we have groups for our coaches, committee and (Senior) teams.
With the importance of safeguarding, and the increased use of apps like Teamo, this is really a supplementary tool to communicate with members of your club - and is absolutely not suitable for coaches to communicate with junior teams - but it's still well worth having.
We run our website through Wix, and believe it gives us a site which looks really professional - even though our guys know nothing about coding, etc.
To say that Wix is easy to use would be an understatement. It is incredibly intuitive, and comes with a number of templates for you to work from.
We have a "contact us" section through our website, and the Wix app allows us to communicate quickly with people that make enquiries with us, and (although we don't yet use them) to have pre-set responses to enquiries ready for your most frequently asked questions.
We use the "blog" feature as our club's news feed - which allows us to update our site quickly and easily from phones, tablets or laptops. This function makes it really simple for coaches to upload match reports, etc.
Yes, Wix does cost money, and if you're blessed with someone who is passionate about website development, then perhaps you would like them to make a custom site for you... for everyone else? There's Wix!
Phonto is a really handy app for us. Again, it's FREE! At it's most base, it's a tool to allow you to write on photos, in a number of different fonts.
However, we tend to use this app more for creation of Social Media posts, in keeping with our club's "branding".
Phonto allows you to import a photo and customise it through cropping and filters, before adding shapes and text to further customise your post.
I've put examples of our two favourite uses for it in this section; our #WednesdayWisdom social media posts, and our quarter-by-quarter score updates, which allow our followers to stay up to date with our team whether they're in attendance or not.
It's a quick, intuitive content-creation tool and we've noticed a significant rise in engagement across social media platforms since we began using it.
This isn't an app, unfortunately, but "Postermywall" is a free-to-use website which allows you to create posters and flyers, or customise existing templates.
It's something we use every week in our "What's On" posts, as well as team announcements, starting fives, posts to recruit sponsors, players, volunteers and coaches and to publicise home fixtures...
It's allowed us to quickly create consistent branding - using the same fonts and colours - and these posts are something we regularly receive positive feedback about.
If you want to download the items in print-quality, then there is a cost attached, but honestly, it's negligible given the benefits that we've drawn from using these guys.
I'll be honest, Easyfundraising is not an organisational tool - it is a fundraising app.
I've included it here because of the financial benefits it can bring to an organisation...
For instance, if you have 20 adult members, and they all downloaded this app to purchase their motor insurance and home insurance through their partner comparison site (I believe that's Compare the Market), for every policy they take out, the comparison site donates £30.00 to your club.
Most people change their insurance providers annually... that's £720.00 each year given to your club, at no cost to your members whatsoever - as they still receive the same deals that they would going direct to the retailer.
You can add on a browser attachment, that lets you know when you're looking at shopping online which companies make donations, and on the phone/tablet, there's an app you can go into which then takes you onto those organisations instead.
Partners include eBay, Amazon, Sports Direct, Boots, Expedia, Travelodge, Asos, Curry's PC World, Sky, EE, BT, the AA and all major supermarkets... as well as many, many more.
You'll regularly get sent promotional items to share on social media by Easyfundraising, and I truly believe that (if used proactively) this is a tool which can really help with the organisation of a club - as you won't have to spend time discussing fee increases, or organising frequent fundraisers... instead, you can just receive donations from your members' online shopping!
None of these tools will replace volunteers... so if you're lucky enough to have people involved in your club supporting its' management and enabling its' growth, then that's clearly the most important thing... but hopefully this post will help someone out there to get their club a little more organised, and save them some time, money and effort.