Clubmate - Running a fishing club just got easier

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Port Sunlight Angling Club

Customer Story


Saved time on member admin, improved accuracy of member data, streamlined communications, reduced barriers for members to join/renew, & more free time for the committee to spend fishing.

What a difference using Clubmate has made to
Port Sunlight Angling Club

We were a club of 450 members wallowing in paper work every year during and after our membership renewal period.

Members either had to arrive at our club hut and queue up to hand over their cash or cheques and wait while the club secretary and assistant stuck the members photo onto their new card before issuing it personally. Others sent their subs by post with their old card so that the photo could be transferred to their new one and posted out to them.

This created masses of admin particularly as our membership began to grow. New members had to fill in forms and send a photo and payment in with cards also sent out by post.

We were now beginning to receive enquiries about paying online with many no longer having cheque books.

We recognised that this could cause its own problems without a proper process in place to receive and record payments so early this year (2019) we began looking into the possibility of offering online payments when we came across Clubmate that was being promoted by the Angling trust with a discount to Angling Trust Members which not just offered online payment processing but member management too.

After being presented to the committee it was agreed that we should look into it further.

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Committee approval

After contacting Clubmate, an online demonstration of the system was arranged followed by a further face to face demonstration with the Membership and Club Secretary’s.

It was following this demonstration that showed how members personal data was securely stored and the many advantages being a member of clubmate would bring like online renewals with membership plans set up to reflect our own membership categories, members being able to access and edit their own data making sure that members information is always up to date and also cater for our non techies who still want to renew face to face or by post.

We would be able to see who our active members were through the reporting options including new members that had joined.

It even came with a comms hub allowing communication with members rather than having to use our personal email addresses to send info out. It would even help our treasurer with numerous financial reports. No worries about Terms and Conditions or GDPR either, with members agreeing to those when registering their account for the first time – we could also have a tick box to find out which of our members were interested in attending work parties.

Following these demonstrations, we overwhelmingly agreed that the system was for us and thought that taking up the option of ID cards being issued direct by Clubmate was the way to go as well.

So, after presenting the benefits by email to the committee members and again at the following committee meeting, we are glad to say that it was passed unanimously including the automatic issuing of membership id cards. It was also agreed at this meeting that we would move from our current website provider and move across to the more professional Clubmate site with our own domain name.

It was now time to inform members of our intended move across to Clubmate with the benefits it would bring to them.

PSAC fish

Getting started

OK there is some work to do to get things started.

Moving our data across was simple as we had ours in a format that could be transferred across to the data import template that Clubmate provide.

Once this was done, Clubmate uploaded everything into the system for us.

Next, we had to provide copies of our terms and conditions and Privacy and Data Protection Policy and any other documentation we wanted/needed in particular a pdf (Electronic) version of our welcome pack for new members, a copy of our logo to personalise everything and details required on membership cards.

Our treasurer set up the required Direct Debit for the Clubmate fees and opened the required Stripe account which is used to receive and process online payments.

Our existing memberships were about to end on the 31st of March and after one more online training session, where I was able to ask questions about things we weren’t quite sure about, we finally went live on the 8th March.


The Experience

To make things easily available to Renewing and New Members we were able to have a link to the Clubmate Member Portal added to our Membership Section of our website.

As soon as notification went out to members via email and our closed Facebook group to advise them that the system was live together with a link to the Clubmate Portal, renewals started coming in, slowly to start with but that soon changed.

Having members do their own renewals online and confirming the accuracy of their own personal details and uploading their own photo and not having to worry about sending out membership cards was a relief.

We do of course also allow members who are non techies or just don’t like doing things online to pay the old way with a cheque and photo.

Once we got a grip of the Clubmate portal/dashboard which is quite easy to learn with lots of support from Clubmate themselves, even these renewals are easy to process with a few clicks to add their membership plan and complete payment through the till section of the system.

The only down side to this method was that we had to scan the photo that the member supplied and upload it for them. We have realised though that this only has to be done once and in following seasons processing manual renewals will be so easy with just a few clicks and with membership cards also being sent out to members automatically our admin particularly at renewal time will be so much less.

In fact, it will be a few clicks and a trip to the bank!

From the 1st April we take on new members and from this year with the introduction of Clubmate we decided that the only way to join our club would be online which hasn’t really changed things take-up wise with us already taking on 26 new members by the middle of April. New memberships have been so simple with no paperwork, no cash, no postage, even the electronic version of our new member welcome pack is made available from the welcome email automatically sent out to new members by Clubmate together with their payment receipt.

We also received notification of prospective members who have registered an account but not yet completed the process giving us the opportunity to contact them via the systems comms hub to establish communication with them.

In Conclusion

We want to be honest here and would like to say that we have taken on more members just because of Clubmate but we are at a point similar to last year, with 330 members renewed or joined by the middle of April which is about normal for us as we know many choose to renew in May probably waiting for warmer weather but it’s early days and we will be in a better position to measure this later this year.

However! If you are a club wallowing in paper work and administration every year what a difference Clubmate makes.

Having also taken the option for membership cards to be produced and sent out automatically by Clubmate, despite the cost was definitely the way forward for us.

This has allowed Clubmate do most of the work, allowing our Membership Secretary time to actually go fishing and allow our Club Secretary to do the same and get on with important things like promoting and concentrating on developing our Club facilities.

There are several other features available through Clubmate which we could use to help further but have consciously decided to walk before we run.

It’s the 21st century and most people particularly younger prospective members who are the future of our club do everything online from either a phone or pad so to continue to develop we also needed to move into the 21st century and Clubmate has helped us do that.

Port Sunlight Angling Club

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If you’d like to learn more about Clubmate and how it could benefit your fishing club, please get in touch (we don’t bite!):

0333 987 4677


Port Sunlight Angling Club


Approx 450





Time consuming member admin

Members wanted a modern way to join/renew

Unable to securely share real-time member data with other Club officials

Member data accuracy

Disjointed communication tools

A system to manage both online and offline memberships efficiently

Interested in joining Port Sunlight Angling Club?

Visit their website and follow the prompts for new members.