Offer Program Variety to Members
People join a club for a variety of reasons from wanting to participate in the sport in pursuit of enjoyment, health, well-being and competition, to seeking discounts for race registrations, and more. Offering a variety of programs, training, and racing opportunities is a great way to engage a members in your club and empower everyone in your community to run.
We recommend offering the following programs for your club in pursuit of your organization’s mission:
Promote Your Club
Your website is the face of your organization. All clubs should have a modern website with a contemporary look. If your site is over 5-years old, it’s time for an update. You will not recruit new/younger members if your website looks like it was built in 2000 and not updated since then.
Your website domain should reflect your club name. Make sure the domain is registered in the name of the club and not an individual. Club’s have had volunteers hold domain names hostage during leadership transitions.
There are several companies RRCA recommends that focus on the running community when it comes to website development, membership management, and event registration. We recommend RunSignUp.com and The Driven Race and Club Solutions. Both provide easy-to-build club websites that integrate with their event registration services, and more.
Check out the outstanding website from RRCA Members Houston Striders for ideas for developing a club-centric website that spotlights programs, events, leadership and more.
It is important for your club to have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account, as these social media accounts enable the club to reach a wide audience that is diverse. The club’s social media accounts should drive people to the club’s website, not serve as the website. Post announcements and regular content in social media accounts that drive people to seek out more information from the club’s website. Use social media outreach to connect with your community not just existing members.
As outlined in the Club Leader Roles & Responsibilities page, a club should consider appointing or having a Marketing Director on its board.
It’s important to respond to messages or notifications posted to your social media accounts in a timely manner. If you have a limited amount of time, we recommend focusing your social media efforts on one platform. Administrators for the club’s Facebook page or group need to be diligent in monitoring content and prevent the unwanted commercialization of the page or having content overwhelmed by postings that don’t support the club.
We highly recommend that your Facebook page or group has 2-3 administrators. This helps ensure that the page does not get controlled by only one person or gets held hostage if a conflict arises within the club leadership. Make sure administrators know and agree that a page or group is the property of the club and not an individual, especially if someone takes the lead to set up social media accounts in the name of the club.
A club Facebook page can be a great way to post announcements including race event changes. Some clubs also have a “Member’s Only” group. This can be where members connect for run meet-ups, car pools, or to discuss road/trail conditions without “cluttering” up the main club Facebook page. A member’s only group is a great way to engage members, while the Facebook group page is a great place to post announcements, and drive people to the club’s website.
Encourage your members to use a specific #hashtag, and then re-post member photos for a fun way to engage! Don’t forget to tag #RRCA too!
Through your club’s domain name, assign club leaders a club specific email such as [email protected], [email protected], etc. and post them on the club’s website so members and potential members can contact club leaders.
Regular club emails/e-newsletters are an easy way to reach your membership on a regular basis and drive traffic to your website or social media accounts. The RRCA has a relationship with Constant Contact who donates back to the RRCA based on members paying for their service. Your online membership management provider should also include an email services that your club can utilize.
With so much digital overload, don’t eliminate printing membership or promotional flyers for events that can be placed at local community centers, gyms, running stores and even grocery stores. These flyers should have an introductory blurb about the club and let people know how to get involved. Even an annual postcard mailing to members reminding them to renew can be a worthwhile investment. You may see a return on investment for the postage/paper cost through increased membership renewal rates.
Another way to reach the local community is through the media. Television, newspaper and radio outlets are always looking for local stories that highlight positive people or events in the community.
Some clubs still produce a hard-copy newsletter that is mailed periodically throughout the year. A hard copy newsletter is a great way to reach out to your members and share feel-good stories and training tips.
Selling or including club apparel in a membership fee is a great way to build affinity and get some marketing benefits from members.
You don’t have to invest in a large inventory with a variety of sizes and styles. Focus on or two key items that members will be interested in owning AND wearing. The most popular are hats and performance t-shirts.
Select a shirt and hat color that is visible. Ensure the club’s logo is prominently displayed on the front so other runners in your community can develop brand awareness of your club.
Organize for members to pre-order apparel that requiring sizing then host a social event to distribute items and take group photos.
Many clubs have invested in club-branded pop-up tents. Branded tents can be used for a variety of different functions including:
- Meet-up area at a group run start or program meet-up
- Meet-up area at an event
- Expo tent at an event or community festival
- And more.
Other items to consider include:
- Club banner that can be hung at events or group run locations
- Yard signs that can be posted with permission on a multi-use trail if you have water stops along a route.
- Branded cow bells for cheering on teammates at events
- And more.