This document summarises the discussion at the Trust board’s away day in July 2019.
What do we do well as a Trust that we should continue?
Our longevity is proof that we are committed to our principles. We’ve stuck to our guns, challenging the board, asking the tough questions, and holding others to account. We’re trusted and respected for this.
Democratic principles and processes are at the heart of what we do, and we have advocated for these outside the Trust, i.e. in the Raith Forum and in the FC boardroom.
We’ve given supporters a much more prominent role in the running of the club, and provide mechanisms for representing supporters’ views.
We have a reputation for working hard, and following through on our promises – we’ve done what we said we’d do. But we have been flexible in adapting our approach and priorities in changing circumstances – this keeps us relevant.
The core of our membership has stayed with us despite our relative inactivity – we haven’t had a big campaign to get behind, but are seen to be having a positive impact in support of club initiatives.
We have proved that we can run events professionally.
What don’t we do well that we should improve on?
There’s not enough momentum – we don’t hold meetings regularly, don’t communicate regularly enough, we’re not working to a plan / objective / target.
We have a strong brand (“working together for a stronger Raith Rovers”) but still can’t articulate what we’re about.
We haven’t been able to engage John Sim effectively on his legacy / exit strategy.
We haven’t used our connections (via SDS and ATAC) to the supporter movement elsewhere in Scotland and beyond.
We talk about succession planning, board recruitment, role rotation, etc but haven’t done anything about it – we lack diversity (of age / gender / opinion) in our board.
Passive approach to member retention and recruitment (down c. 30% in 5 years, no new members in 2018/19)
What do we currently do which we should stop?
“Nothing really, as if we are honest we’re not doing that much!”
What don’t we currently do which we should start?
Communicate a BIG VISION – Make it clear what we are, what we have done as a trust, and what we do now and aspire to do in the future. Produce an infographic to make this really clear to people:
- 5 big targets, e.g. membership growth, legacy plan, etc
- Actions, e.g. streamline membership processes, diversification of board, etc
Take a more active approach to communications:
- More of us inputting to communications
- More active on social media on match days
- Differentiate what we offer and communicate that effectively through all channels
Focus on social first, and governance second – invite members to a social event where we also sign off on the accounts, rather than just holding an AGM (which they won’t turn up to)
Generate a critical mass which will give us more relevance / credibility – recruitment drive to get our membership back up to RtR campaign levels (400-500 members). Get young supporters signed up, and listen to their priorities.
Get people on the board to give us new focus and energy. Get a female on the board, and a young person, and someone who will challenge our thinking.
What do we feel the club’s highest priorities will be over the next 5-10 years?
- What level of financial support should we provide while John Sim is calling the shots?
- How do we help the club develop a post-Sim plan?
- How does partial or full fan ownership figure in the club’s vision?
What should the Trust’s priorities be over the next 5-10 years?
Develop simple mechanisms to REALLY give the fans a voice.
Improve the appearance of the Trust area in the South Stand, promote both the Trust brand and the Roary Club. This doesn’t have to be expensive or a big project – get the paint brushes out on a couple of evenings, and get more signs made (like the Roary Club sign, and the posters we used to use).
Continue to increase the number of young supporters:
- Roary Club for primary school age kids
- Develop a “post-Roary” club
- Campaign for cheaper kids’ season tickets – not reliant on subsidy from us every season
- Support other club initiatives to make Rovers a truly family club
Work with the club to develop a post-Sim model:
- Business plan and financial sustainability
- Element of fan ownership
Support the club financially – through share purchase, loans, or funding “non-core” activities.
Grow our own finances – through membership growth, fundraising events, legacy giving, etc.
Date of next meeting
Tuesday 6th August, then monthly
Andy Mill at August meeting? John Sim in October? Guests from other Trusts?