The way to make the most of your season on Groundwork is to get set up the right way, and this guide will help you do just that for your Volleyball season.

The best way to be successful collecting money all season is to make Groundwork part of your team commitment process.  Getting parents on AutoPay for every payment means that more of your work is done for you from the beginning of the season - starting with deposits.

Getting a Financial Commitment from Families ✅ 

You are committing to provide players with coaching, training facilities, tournament entry and more. Because your costs don't change if a player leaves the team and your expenses don't occur when families want to pay you, you need to get a clear financial commitment from the family to pay their dues before the player's spot on the team is secure. 

Here's how to use Groundwork to get a clear financial commitment from families:

  1. Clearly present families with the cost of joining the team through the payment schedule you setup in Groundwork. When families sign up, they see exactly what they owe and when.
  2. Require families to either pay in full or enroll in AutoPay for the installments you setup.
  3. Require families to agree to a "Financial Commitment Agreement" by building this into the Groundwork signup.

Families that commit by signing up to Groundwork can be relied on to pay on time and in full. Families that aren't willing to make this commitment are 9x more likely to pay late or not at all.

Making Groundwork a part of your commitment process

Making offers and getting commitments is a hectic experience for most clubs, it's also the easiest time to secure a financial commitment from families. In this section, we'll walk you through a few common scenarios to make signing up to Groundwork a natural part of the team commitment process.

😭Common pitfall: it's tempting to accept checks for deposits when parents have them in hand. Collecting deposits isn't the challenge you face, it's getting paid throughout the season with less effort. Accepting deposits by check does not get the financial commitment and automated billing that you need to really save time during the season. When parents come with checks, let them know the club policy is to no longer accept checks and that signing up to Groundwork is required to secure their spot on the team.

👌Key takeaway: in order to secure your spot on the team, you must be signed up to Groundwork.

If you collect a deposit at tryouts

Because tryouts are often busy and overwhelming, it's important to setup as much as possible before hand.

Before tryouts:

  1. Setup teams and payment plans. Enable link signup for these teams. Recommended: include the name of each team's coach in the team name. For example: "16 Red (Amanda)". This will help parents choose the right team when they sign up. 
  2. Add your Groundwork signup link and your club's new payment policy to your website.

At tryouts:

  1. Provide families with instructions for the process of accepting their spot and signing up to Groundwork. This should direct parents to your website to follow the Groundwork signup link.
  2. Check that players have signed up to their team in Groundwork before confirming their spot on the team and allowing them to leave.

Special payment arrangements: some families will need a special payment arrangement such as splitting payments between separate parents or extending the payment plan. To do that, add the player to the team in Groundwork, customize their payments, then send them an email invitation. We recommend having an assistant with a computer present at tryouts who can help with these special cases.

Player registrations: you may also need to collect player registrations online after tryouts. We recommend using JotForm, but other registration systems work fine. If players are required to register, be sure to clearly indicate there are two steps: one to register and one to pay with Groundwork.

If you collect a deposit after tryouts

Depending on your region rules and club practices, you're in this category if you collect a deposit after tryouts are complete.

Before tryouts:

  1. Setup teams and payment plans. Leave link signup disabled.
  2. Add Groundwork and your club's new payment policy to your website.

At tryouts:

  1. Provide families with instructions for the process of accepting their spot and signing up to Groundwork. (Example text here.)

After tryouts:

  1. Add players to teams and send email invitations.
  2. Send follow-up emails to those who have not signed up and remind them of the signup deadline and requirement to accept their spot on the team.

😭Common pitfall: Just sending email invitations will not get everyone signed up. Most families will need to be reminded multiple times about your new process and the need to sign up before the commitment deadline. Monitor signups from your Groundwork dashboard and send daily personal follow-ups until everyone is signed up.

Commitment Night / Signing Day
If you also have a commitment night or signing day, use this as an opportunity to get everyone signed up.

DO:

  • Get everyone signed up before leaving commitment night. 
  • Get as many people signed up before commitment night as possible. This will give you time to sort out special payment arrangements ahead of time and get stragglers signed up on commitment night.
  • Remind families their spot on the team is not secure until they are signed up.
  • Email families each day leading up to commitment night reminding them to signup before arriving. This will minimize work and create a more organized experience on commitment night.

DON'T:

  • Wait until the last minute to get everyone signed up
  • Accept checks for deposits. 

Best Practices to get the most out of Groundwork

Create a Standardized Payment Plan 📆  

Choose one installment plan for spacing out your payments that you think 80-90% of parents will be able to pay as is. You can make changes for individual players who need changes, but having a simple installment plan will create consistent income for you and reduce the hassle of having to field too many change requests.

Require a Financial Commitment Agreement 📄

A financial commitment agreement is a good way to inform parents of your payment policies and make sure they agree to those terms before signing up - and be able to remind them that they agreed to those terms later. Read more about how to add a financial commitment agreement for your club.

Offer a Discount for Paying in Full 💵

A Pay in Full discount encourages parents to pay upfront for their season, eliminating the hassle for you and the parents of keeping of their player's payments over the course of the season. Learn how to put this discount in place for your teams.

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