There are a number of steps to consider when starting a club. However, it is the thought process to starting a club that is vital.
Cricket Australia recommends that the first step when wanting to start a club is to get in contact with the State and Territory Cricket Associations or the local regional cricket manager, if known, to discuss matters such as:
- The reason for starting a club (purpose and motivation);
- Identifying the target group and;
- Population trends in the area of starting a club along with looking at the Census data.
A Constitution indicates the basic structure and outlines the operation method of a club or association.
All clubs and associations should outline their basic structure and operation methods in the form of a constitution.
Each club or association constitution will be different, however, all should identify the following key matters:
- the club or association’s purpose
- the club or association’s rules of operation
- the members' rights and responsibilities
While each club or association will have different aims and objectives, there are some basic guidelines to follow in developing a constitution.
A constitution should specify:
- Eligibility for membership.
- Who is entitled to become a member and who decides on applications or membership (e.g. the committee).
- How to become a member.
- If a club offers different types of memberships, the eligibility for each type must be clearly defined.
- How a membership can be cancelled and/or how a member can be suspended or withdrawn (e.g. overdue membership fees).
- How a general meeting is called to resolve an issue.
- Date of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) – should be less than three months before the club’s end of financial year.
- Powers of the committee members to manage the club’s rules of operation and daily running of the club.
- Occurrence of committee meetings and details (e.g. membership fee due dates, financials, minute keeping).
- The number of committee members, the number required for a quorum and the portfolios to be completed to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each member.
- The circumstances for committee members to be reimbursed out of club funds in the event they incur any liability on behalf of the club.
- The manner of winding up the club/association and the distribution of assets.
Changes to the constitution are required to be debated and voted upon at an annual general meeting or a special general meeting. The constitution should always be kept up-to-date and reviewed annually.
Each State or Territory government website will have specific details on the relevant legislation. Visit the Australian Sports Commission website for specific constitution guidelines for each State and Territory.
Incorporation allows for clubs/associations to be established as legal entities and allows it to be seperate from individual members.
There is no legal obligation for a club or association to become incorporated. However, if a club or association is not incorporated, legal rights and obligations can fall onto the individual member.
Therefore, many not-for-profit clubs and associations choose to incorporate. The benefits of becoming an incorporated club or association include:
- Club or association members being protected
- Improving the club or association fundraising ability and eligibility for grants
- Easier to enter into leases, open and operate bank accounts and borrow money
Not-for-profit clubs and associations generally incorporate under the State or Territory legislation known as the Associations Incorporation Act.
To view the relevant legislation in each State or Territory, follow the links provided below and seek legal advice as relevant.
Further information on Incorporation can also be found on the Australian Sports Commission website.