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Real-time impact data can be a game-changer for community sport

Community sport helps generate over £71 billion a year in social value by generating health, education and societal development outcomes. However, 2 out of 5 community sport organisations are struggling to sustain themselves. 

With sport funding becoming more focused on outcomes generated rather than just participation numbers, digitisation of sport and real-time data can be a game changer - making it easier for sport organisations to access funding, and giving sport funders and governing bodies deeper insight into the impact of sport on the population.  

Sport is widely recognised as an effective tool for generating a wide variety of positive social impacts within a population. There is extensive evidence for positive impacts generated by sport in areas of physical and mental health improvement, education capability development, social capital development and crime reduction.

These impacts help generate over £71 billion a year in social value by helping reduce costs for the NHS, enhancing human productivity, connecting communities, and reducing damage and expenditure due to crime.

However, the organisations that deliver sport in our communities have been having to deal with deficits of over £6,000 a year on average even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, over 2 years after the pandemic, 2 out of 5 community sport organisations are struggling to sustain themselves - threatening significant loss of social value in our communities.

Sport policy and the way community sport is funded has been shifting focus from participation numbers to outcomes generated by those numbers. This has made it hard for sport organisations to access funding as evidencing impact outcomes needs time and expertise - which are scarce in most of these volunteer-run sport organisations.

Although, this shift in sport funding policy is also necessary as it makes funding into community sport more accountable in terms of positive outcomes generated for individuals and communities. The need here is to bridge the gap between the data funders require and sport organisations being able to acquire that data.

“Since London (2012) we have moved away from the rather narrow belief that it is all about participation numbers. It is not. It is about the outcomes of those numbers” 

- Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England


Digitisation of sport and physical activity can be a real game-changer here as it can allow sport organisations to raise funding based on data about demographics, locations, activity levels of participants and volunteers, and impact outcomes - the data funders and governing bodies need to fulfil their missions and objectives.

In fact, sport funders have said they will be 50% more likely to fund a sport organisation, and be willing to put in 3 times as much funding if they can have access to the data they require in real-time.

This data collected can also be used to help sport governing bodies make better policy decisions, help sport funders maximise the impact of their funding, and help sport organisations increase the impact they are having within their communities - fully harnessing the potential of community sport to be a tool for individual and societal development.

Over the past nine months, the team at SportFin have been building and testing a digital tool that does just this - allowing sport clubs to automate the evidencing of their outcomes by simply digitising their daily activities and giving sport funders and governing bodies access to powerful real-time impact analytics - ultimately easing the sport funding process.

SportFin is now live and we are actively supporting community sport organisations to use data about the social impact they are generating to fundraise better. 

Kyran Parker, Director at SportFin said “As a team, we are committed to helping community sports organisations increase their access to funding. After an intense few months of building and testing with our partner sport organisations, pushing the ‘on button’ feels great."

“The SportFin platform is cost effective and simple to use and provide the basis to making a difference to sport funding by demonstrating an real time impact.” 

If you are part of a community sport organisation that is looking to fundraise, you can create a free account and start fundraising better within minutes!

Find out more about SportFin and how we help community sport clubs fundraise better here