Recruit Your Dream Board Members

If you are in search of inspiration for your club or association’s board during the ramp up to fall soccer, look no further than Gail Perry’s post on transforming your nonprofit board.

Her simple advice? If you want to recruit all-star board members, tell potential board members about who is on your board and who you plan to recruit to your board. Use the power of peer pressure (in a good way!) to show recruits that you are planning to stack your board with the kind of volunteers that they would give anything to work with.

Read Perry’s post here to learn exactly how the governance committee of the board made it from vision to reality. Ask your fellow board members at your next meeting: if we could recruit anyone to our board, who would it be?

Happy Monday!


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Your Board Members Can Raise Money Without Fundraising

Looking for ways that your board directors can raise money for your organization, without having to embark on a big fundraising drive? Take a look at Neil Edgington’s post at Social Velocity about 9 ways board members can raise money without fundraising.

If every one of your board directors recruited an in-kind donation for your club, imagine how you could reduce your operating costs and the fees you charge your players and parents.

Any tips for asking for in-kind donations that you could share with your fellow soccer clubs? Let us know in the comments.

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Engage Your Alumni Through Facebook

What if your soccer club treated your former players and coaches like a university treats its alumni? Imagine being able to engage former players in providing testimonials on your website about the positive impact your club had on their lives. Your annual fundraiser could become obsolete as you grow into planned giving conversations with former members.

Now imagine being able to use Facebook to start those conversations. Not sure where to get started? Read Frank Barry’s blog post on 22 ways to stay connected with your school’s alumni on Facebook. With soccer clubs and associations structured similarly to schools and school districts, many of the ideas Barry suggests to connect with school alumni can directly apply to your club or association.

My favorite suggestion? Continue reading

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Seattle Sounders FC to Donate Sod from Chelsea FC Match to Local Nonprofit or School

Do you know of a soccer field in your community that could use some new grass? Seattle Sounders FC is giving away the sod that has been installed at CenturyLink Field for the Chelsea FC game on July 18th and your nonprofit or school could receive the grass for free!

Check out the story on KOMO for more details and contact John Wright, Director of Fields, at to request the grass.

Good luck!


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Nonprofit Board Lesson #1: Remember Your Responsibilities

We’ve covered the fiduciary duties of a nonprofit board director in an early post here at Set Plays, but it seems that the Board of the University of Virginia could have used a refresher before asking the university’s president to resign.

The series of events that follow are embarrassing for the organization and its directors, but even more so, it harms the trust that the nonprofit university has built up over time with its community. What can be learned from this? Continue reading

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Forbes Blog Post on Building the Best Volunteers

Does your club have a “superteam of ordinary (but motivated) volunteers” or are you struggling to find volunteers for the long-term? Read Ashoka’s Forbes blog post on building the new generation of volunteer – the innovative, entrepreneurial volunteer – and how to continue developing your traditional volunteers.

What has worked in your club or association to motivate your volunteers? Share with us in the comments.

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New York Times’ Soccer Blog Shines Spotlight on Sounders Women

We happen to think the Great Northwest is the soccer capital of the United States (Cascadia, anyone?) and it seems the New York Times is joining our team. Goal, the New York Times soccer blog, posted a story about the Sounders Women last night and it’s great to see the national spotlight on women’s soccer.

Check out the blog post here and congratulations to the entire Sounders Women organization!

Have you been to a Sounders Women game this season? If not, keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn about volunteering opportunities at upcoming games.

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Questions Your Board Should Ask When Entering Into a Contract

Does your club or association ever enter into a relationship with another organization or business that involves the exchange of goods or services? If so, it’s important to establish a mutual understanding of the legal rights and responsibilities of your business relationship through a written document.

Many nonprofits use a “memorandum of understanding,” often a very basic contract that covers the terms of the relationship, to document the legal understanding of a partnership with another nonprofit or business. While it is recommended that your board of directors seeks legal advice when entering into any type of contract, CharityLawyer has a great blog post on questions to consider when creating a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Take a look at CharityLawyer’s post and remember to ask these questions before signing a contract on behalf of your organization. Are there any other questions that you would add to the list, based on your organization’s experience?

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The Glass Wall: Women and Coaching

When you picture a soccer coach, what gender are they? Now think of a Director of Coaching – what gender are they? What about a referee? Or a top-level club president?

Simple enough questions, but the answers illustrate one of the continuing battles of sports in America: why are there so few women in high-level coaching and administration positions?

espnW and ESPN The Magazine have published an article about women in coaching entitled “The Glass Wall,” named for the phenomenon researchers see in college sports – men can coach women, but women don’t coach men.

Read the article – it’s worth your time and it’s incredibly thought-provoking. Share it with your board and start a conversation about what role models your organization is providing to your players.

Is there a “glass wall” in youth soccer? How can we, as pillars of the soccer community, do better to ensure that we provide our players with great examples of women in soccer that aren’t only players, but referees, coaches, and other leaders?

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Introverts and Volunteerism: Are You Engaging All Potential Volunteers?

In preparation for National Volunteer Week (April 15-21, 2012), we’ll be focusing on volunteers this week at Set Plays. We hope that you’ll use our volunteer resources to celebrate your club and association volunteers during National Volunteer Week.


Chris Bautista at VolunteerMatch’s Engaging Volunteers blog wrote a great post on a TEDTalks video about the importance of introverts in society. When you’re looking for volunteers in your club or association, do you create opportunities for introverts?

Watch the TEDTalks presentation by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, to find out what skills an introvert could bring to your organization, if you know how to recruit them:

Continue reading

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