Making the most of FixturesLive's club features

This article is aimed at existing Club Administrators. If you are not one, read the 'How do I become a Club Administrator' article in the 'See also' section below.

Here's a collection of topics you may want to work through - and we highlight issues which are relevant if you're preparing for a new season. You will be pointed to other articles, so return here if you want to keep working through, or print the whole thing off.

1 Controlling who has access to your club data on FixturesLive

It's obviously very important that only the right people have Club Administrator status, as they have access to all members' personal data and much else. If you are an existing Club Administrator, you can give the same access to other members. 

New season? Remove people who should no longer have access, and add new ones. Normally you'll only want to allow access to committee members, but it's up to you.

2 Add your members

You can do this singly or by uploading a spreadsheet. Having club member details up to date is vital for our email, payments and availability tools, as well as publishing your club's contacts for the world to see. Have a read of the 'How do I add new members' article in the 'see also' section below.

New season? We strongly recommend you enter new members' details - especially email addresses - into the system as soon as they make first contact with the club. If your club uses paper membership forms, do not let that delay things. Once people are in your database, you can communicate with them, select them into teams, and track them for payments. If do not capture people's details at this critical point, they can easily become lost between captains and committee members.

3 Make sure the list of your club's published contacts is up to date

You need to make sure that other clubs, new members or anyone else can contact the right person - Chair, Secretary and so on. It's up to you to decide how many people to list, and what their titles are. Have a read of the article in the 'see also' section below.

If people don't want all their contact details (phone, email) published, that's fine. You can do this for them, or they can do the same by logging in and going to 'My Details'. Of course, there's no point being a published contact if all contact details are hidden.

New season? Remove last season's contacts, and add new ones. When publishing someone's personal details, you must have their consent first. Check all contacts have at least some details published.

4 Make sure your club's identity and location are set correctly.

This is very important, not only for display on FixturesLive, but also on the many other sites and maps that rely on our data.

Go to Info/settings in the Club Administrator admin area to set your logo, main colour, web site and Twitter details. Then, click on the ActiveHub tab to add your location and contact details.

New season? Check all details, but especially the contact details for ActiveHub, because this is how many new members will contact you. Also, check that your club's venues/directions are up to date - go to Venues/directions in the Club Admin area.

5 EPayments - get your club ready

Our powerful and flexible system allows you to automate member payments, and will cost your club nothing. Go here to see an overview of this feature; to set your club up you will need to go through these steps:

- get a PayPal account for your club (set this up as a personal account, not a business account, unless you are a business)
- go into the Club Administrator area, then Payments, and enter your account details (this does not require us to know your PayPal password)
- set your 'offline' payment message, for members paying by BACS, cheque or cash
- set your membership types, and tariffs for each membership type. This basically means that if you have a membership type of 'Playing member', you can have different tariffs for adults, students, over 60s or whatever. It's important to set up your types and tariffs carefully, as this will make everything else much easier.
- you'll probably want to read our set of EPayments support articles, so that you understand things well
- once you have done that, you are ready to start sending invoices out, and you'll doubtless want to send 1 or 2 test ones.
- because our EPayments system gives a club member the option of paying by PayPal (and incurring their fees), you may want to apply to PayPal for Not For Profit status for your club. How to do this is described here.

New season? Make sure past payments are tidied up as far as possible, then add a new 'time point' for the start date of your new season - this helps the display of member traffic lights etc. to be based on the new season.

5 Team selection/availability, recording appearances/scorers...

If your club decides to use all our features, there are a number of benefits:

- at club level, you can view who is available, for all your teams, for all your fixtures, on a live basis, and see who actually played (handy for match subs)
- at team level, captains can manage availability, and record who played and scored
- members can see their personal pages fill up over time with their appearance and scoring history

As you probably know, there are other companies offering team-level features for availability etc., but these work in isolation from their clubs and other teams.

If your club wants to make the most of FixturesLive's features, here are the steps you should work through:

- you need to decide which Club Administrators will be in charge of team selection (in most clubs this is as simple as deciding who will look after men's teams and who will look after the women's)
- you need to decide, as a club, whether the team squads are going to be maintained accurately, and with what frequency. NB if you do not maintain team squads accurately, your club may have a serious problem tracking who is playing - and if you don't know who's playing, you don't know who should be paying subs, and who is a member or not. You will also not be able to use our email broadcasting feature with confidence if players are missing.
- you need to appoint captains for each team
- you need to decide whether you are going to require all captains to use our availability system. NB if you do, it will give you a better overview as a club. If you don't, it's not a huge issue - the question of maintaining team squads accurately is much more important.
- you need to make sure your captains are aware that availability is managed via the Club Member admin area
- you need to give your captains access to the 'Post-match details' area' - where they can enter who played (you may want to give others access to this area too)

New season? Clear out existing squads as far as you can until you can start building new squads as players join/rejoin; review who will manage which teams to keep your squad lists up to date.

6 Other tips and options

- our free Fixture Change Alerts are essential for Fixture Secretaries, and possibly other club officials - people can sign up for them via 'My Details'.
- If you have a sizeable juniors section, consider our specialist juniors admin feature - read about it here.
- Did you know that, if your club web site uses our web plugin, you can switch off adverts quite cheaply? Read here for the detail.
- Did you know that FixturesLive provides club web sites - mobile/tablet friendly with flexible design options? Read here about this.