Imagine a rec youth soccer league with 100 teams (spread across many divisions), and each team with an average of 10 players on the roster. If this league charges $100 per player for the season, that’s $100,000 in registration fees. On paper, the program looks awash in cash, but league administrators and boards of directors know better. Purchasing uniforms and equipment, renting fields, and hiring referees tears through that money quickly. Fundraisers and snack shacks become necessary to bridge the gap to the expenses you have and the cash you need.
Amid these tight budgets, online registration might seem like a luxury many youth leagues can’t afford. However, such a system can actually provide an impressive return on investment (ROI). The features of the best online registration options will save you money, making the investment well worth it. Here are some ways that this ROI is achieved:
Little Data Entry
The mythical soccer league imagined earlier features 1,000 players. With paper registration, that is the data of a thousand registrants to enter into a spreadsheet and then file. You can do it yourself for free, or you can pay someone to do the job that likely will require 20 hours or more. And all this manual entry might not be error-free—and sometimes those errors are costly if, for example, not enough uniforms of a certain size are ordered. Online registration eliminates practically all of the data entry required with paper registrations. Parents sign their kids up, and the data is automatically in the system.
Easy Money Management
Same soccer league, 1,000 checks that must be cashed and tracked. A lost check, duplicated refund, or missing zero can get expensive if it happens enough. With the tight budgets most leagues face, every accidentally misplaced or misspent dollar means less money for resources that your organization requires. Online registration not only allows the convenience of paying via credit card, but also tracks every transaction. And money not lost is money saved.
Increased Future Registration
For leagues to be successful over time, they need players to return year after year. More registrants mean more entry fees, which will increase your budget and improve your program. Through online registration, you automatically will have an easily accessible database of families’ home addresses, email addresses, and cell phone numbers. From this resource, you can efficiently send registration notifications, clinic announcements, league updates, and so on. A well-run league will keep players coming back. Online registration will let you send reminders to encourage them to do so.
Time, Time, Time
League directors are often overwhelmed by paperwork and basic administration functions. These volunteers are often key to securing sponsors, driving fundraising, upgrading equipment, and so on. They can’t do much of this if they are swamped with the admin requirements. The time savings realized by online registration also contributes to the ROI of such a system. If you are spending less time bookkeeping or organizing teams, you will have more time to do the things that will make your organization truly great.
What part of registration do you most struggle with?
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