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5 Issues Your Club Needs To Look Out For In 2024

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Problems come in all shapes, sizes and degrees of seriousness. Recently, I had a very stupid self-inflicted problem. My TV remote fell behind my reclining lounge, so I reached over the back of the lounge to pick it up. As I did so, my weight shifted on the lounge, and it suddenly reclined backwards and pinned my arm against the wall. Now I'm trapped with my arm pinned against the wall, and I am the only one home; plus, I don't own a pocket knife, so I couldn't even 127 Hours my way out of this situation. 

My point is that problems are a natural part of life, and there is nothing we can do about it. 

 

5 Issues Your Club Needs To Look Out For In 2024

 

However, we can work together to make these problems as minor as possible. Each new year brings many new challenges for your club to face, and 2024 will be no different. It will likely throw some ups and downs and curve balls at all of us. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the challenges your club will likely face in 2024 and how you can handle them in style. 

1. Cost Of Living Crisis And Your Club

It’s no secret that we are currently living through a cost-of-living crisis, and everyone is tightening their belts to cope. There’s good news and bad news here. Bad news, you may need to make a few adjustments to ensure all your members can still attend your club activities. The good news is that if your target member demographic is 55 and older, those age groups are statistically less squeezed by the cost of living crisis. This means that you won’t need to lower the price of your club’s membership; if anything, you should probably be raising your membership prices in 2024

Depending on your members, you should consider if you can make some of your events more affordable. This will help younger members who are being squeezed by the cost of living crisis and help ensure you are still getting good event attendance. 

Making your events more affordable doesn’t mean just dropping the price of tickets and moving on; it means altering and diversifying your events so they are more accessible. If you are going to a fancy $100-a-meal restaurant as part of your event, maybe drop it down to a $40-a-meal restaurant. If your members require a particular expensive product to participate in your event, see if a cheaper alternative will still work. By making little changes here and there, you can make your club much more affordable, especially for your younger members.

2. Your Club’s Aging Membership

A lot of clubs are facing the same problem of an aging membership. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having an older member base. However, it is a problem if all your members and admins are slowly creeping towards the point where they have to retire from club duties, and there isn’t any young blood coming into the club to replace them. Otherwise known as the Johnny Sexton Problem. 

 

Aging Membership

 

It would be best if you really were constantly trying to recruit younger members and volunteers into your club. That way, as older members age out, there will always be younger members to replace them. Not only will this enable your club to thrive for many years to come, but it will also be a great way to start growing your club. 

The key to attracting younger members to your club is understanding who they are and what they are looking for in a club. It's important to understand what age groups of people we are actually talking about here. When I say you should be trying to recruit older millennials to your club, you might think I mean 20-somethings drinking overpriced artisanal coffee. 

However, the oldest millennials are in their 40s, likely own their own homes and are prime candidates to join clubs. 

If you are attempting to recruit older millennials and young Generation X to your club, having a social media presence is critical to catching their attention, and having a great website is crucial to keeping it. As we have already discussed, diversifying your events and making them more affordable is another great way to get younger members involved in your club. 

If you are looking for more details on recruiting younger members to your club, look at How To Attract Younger Members To Your Club.

Getting younger members is one thing, but turning those members into volunteers is another entirely. Younger volunteers will not have the time or patience to use old, slow, out-of-date systems; if a better way of doing things exists, they will want to do it that way. So, with that in mind, let's talk about it. 

3. Expecting Too Much From Your Club’s Volunteers 

Let’s be honest; club volunteers are some of the most selfless and hardworking people you will ever meet. They can move mountains with nothing but a clipboard and stubbornness; however, even they have their limits. 

Making things easier for your volunteers should be a major priority for your club in 2024. Most people, including your club volunteers, are increasingly time-poor these days. Based on the 2021 Australian Census data, the number of Australians who volunteer has decreased. The data shows that over 20% fewer people volunteer for clubs and organisations than the previous census. The main reason cited for not volunteering is a lack of time, with 52% of respondents stating that as their reason. 

If you keep putting more and more work on your club volunteers, and don’t start making the processes involved in running your club shorter. You may start to see your number of volunteers dipping further than they already are. This is doubly true of younger volunteers. The younger generations are exceedingly time-poor and have little patience for doing things in a slow, outdated way if a better way exists. 

Suppose you still use old-fashioned pen and paper and Excel spreadsheets to manage your club. In that case, you are likely putting too much pressure on your volunteers and may soon start to see fewer and fewer of them making time for the club. 

Online membership management software can be the solution to this problem. They automate the vast majority of processes and can save you significant time. They are basically the better way that younger would-be volunteers are talking about. 

Membership management software allows you to automate and streamline the vast majority of processes involved in running your club through a single platform. These streamlined and automated processes include: 

  • Membership sign-up  
  • Membership renewals
  • Event management 
  • Selling club products  
  • Member tracking 
  • Data reporting 
  • Communication with members 

That isn’t even the complete list of everything a good membership management system can do for your club. 

Moving online can help reduce your workload and share responsibilities easily amongst your volunteers. It also gives them the flexibility to contribute their time from the comfort of their homes, as they can just log in from their personal computers and start helping out with the club. Not only can this reduce the amount of pressure your volunteers are under, but it will also reduce how much time they need to give up for the club and even encourage more members to volunteer. Doing so when the number of available volunteers is getting thin on the ground is going to make a significant difference in securing your club’s future. 

4. Planned Changes To The Australian Privacy Act

The Australian Privacy Act is set to undergo several changes in 2024 that will affect clubs and associations. The key change is the proposed removal of the $3 million turnover threshold, making it mandatory for all small businesses, clubs, and associations to adhere to the Privacy Act. Having agreed in principle to these changes, the Australian government aims to implement them in 2024. 

The changes include requirements for informed consent on data use, responsible storage and handling of members' information, and compliance with new protections for children's data under the Children's Online Privacy Code.

Making sure your club is ready for the changes to the Australian Privacy Act should be a top priority for your club at the moment. If you are looking for an excellent place to start researching the proposed changes, read the below articles.  

Is Your Club Or Association Ready For The Changes To The Australian Privacy Act?

Changes to the Australian Privacy Act: Why Your Club Needs a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions Now

5. Not Reading The Member Jungle Learning Centre

Okay, so this is a less serious one to finish on, but it's still worth considering. For example, when did you first hear about the changes to the Australian Privacy Act? I first published an article about it on the Member Jungle Learning Centre over three months before this article was published. 

The Learning Centre's whole idea is to be a repository of wisdom for everything related to clubs, associations, and membership management. Three new articles are published on the Member Jungle Learning Centre every single week. That works out at over 150 new articles a year. If even a third of those are something that you personally find useful or interesting, that could prove a massive help to your club in the long run. 

Whether you've been a Member Jungle customer for years, only heard of us for the first time five minutes ago or are happily using one of our competitors' systems and will literally never consider switching, you should really bookmark our learning centre for future reading. It's completely free and can only help you and your club. 

How To Start Solving And Avoiding Problems For Your Club

Well, those are five issues that your club may need to look out for in 2024, and some tips on how to avoid them before they become serious problems. 

If you don't know much about Member Jungle or membership management software in general and are interested in learning more, check out What Is Membership Management Software For Nonprofits? - All Your Questions Answered.


Otherwise, look through the Learning Centre, and I'm sure you'll find something that interests you.

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