One of Australia’s best community treasurers, Mark Floresta, is upbeat about the possibilities for the country’s sporting clubs, despite the fundraising challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
His Prouille Football Club, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, was one of four community organisations to win $5000 last year in the annual CommBank Not-for-profit Treasurers’ Awards.
Nominations are now open for the 2020 awards, with entries closing on October 6.
The soccer club made the most of its prize money, investing the funds to spark renewed interest in the club and get more women on board.
Announcing the formation of a women’s team on the same day Australia won the right to host the Women’s World Cup, the club used the prize to pay the $3500 team registration fee and to subsidise playing fees by $50 for every female player.
The result? Twenty-two enthusiastic women available to play and encouraging their friends and families to get involved in the club.
Mr Floresta says while the Prouille Pumas are rookies in the bottom division and yet to win a game, the group are “very determined”. The women – aged 35 to 64 – have now drawn several games and are starting to score goals, both on and off the field.
“A lot of them are mums of the kids who are playing and it’s had a snowballing effect,” Mr Floresta says.
“We knew that it was the right group of people to ‘light up’, and now everyone’s following them to the club.”
With members of the men’s senior team coaching, the women’s team is creating a new buzz around the club.
Mr Floresta said the positive vibe had helped the club to keep all its valuable sponsors, which include a construction company, a local mechanic, a fitness centre and a loans broker.
The burger chain Grill’d recently handed the club 150 vouchers for its “player of the week” competition, he said.
While the end-of-season barbecue, which nets the club about $3000 each year, is off the cards because of the pandemic, Prouille continues to earn cash in other ways, such as signing up to the Hyundai Goals for Grassroots scheme, which grants clubs $1000 for each goal their chosen team scores and a match-day experience for members.
Luckily for Prouille, they picked A-league champions Sydney FC, and scored a $2000 top-up after their match.
Mr Floresta says the Not-for-Profit Treasurers’ Awards prompted the club to look for more funding and other opportunities.
“Winning the Treasurers’ Awards got the ball rolling and so now we’re wondering: What else can we do? Next up, we’re thinking about raising funds for lights at our oval.”
Mr Floresta also says the effort the club has put into switching to cashless payments for uniforms and other fees – using CommBank’s app and a closed WhatsApp group to keep track of EFT and credit card transactions – has paid off during the pandemic.
Your chance to win $5000 for your group in the hunt for our best community treasurers
The search is on for Australia's best community treasurers, with this year's competition seeking financial thinkers who've helped their organisation adapt in a time of crisis.
How to get involved
- Nominate yourself for a $5000 prize by sharing what you learned about surviving a crisis while fulfilling your role as a NFP treasurer in 2020.
- Show support for your treasurer with a certificate of appreciation
Four treasurers will share $20,000 in prizes for their community group. The awards are a partnership between the Commonwealth Bank's not-for-profit arm and Our Community. Another great way to get involved is to lodge your appreciation of your treasurer, who will receive an official certificate of appreciation.
Last year's winners (pictured above) were bursting with ideas, and you can still catch their excellent advice about using tech and governance for good here.