by Mark Struble, President TMM
Mark Struble, current President of the Tahoe Mountain Milers (TMM), represented the club March 17-19 at the annual Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) National Convention, held this year in Dallas, Texas. Being a native of Dallas, Mark stayed with family while in town for the convention, plus ran a PR in the Dallas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon after the convention! Click here to continue to read Mark’s report of his experience at the Convention.
The convention started off with regional gatherings. I represented Nevada at the RRCA Western Regional Meeting. RRCA now has about 2,600 running clubs nationwide, representing just under 300,000 runners! RRCA has come a long way since 2004 when they had a $400,000 deficit. The organization’s national finances are now in the black and in very good shape. The Western Regional group discussed the RRCA Championship Series where hosting clubs get nice perks like free supplies, medals, etc. All running clubs should look on their neighboring run clubs as sister clubs and not rivals; we should share our resources and strengths, and invite all of our adjoining run clubs to our events. Giving neighboring run club members discounts at our races and volunteering for their events provides for good interclub friendship and cooperation tools!
I attended a series of club government seminars over the next two days. The first session was on Risk Management & Event Insurance, conducted by K&K Company, Indiana (underwriter for the national RRCA insurance policy). K&K provides a general liability coverage policy for up to $2 million/occurrence for all RRCA clubs. They cover our run clubs in case a member is liable in an accident while conductimg club business as a volunteer.
Lessons Learned and shared with us about past running events: Be careful how you manage your aid stations! Follow health rules, use potable water and wear gloves when handling food. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Remember WAIVERS! Always get participants to sign them. Remember liability related to alcohol distribution and consumption. *Obstacle course, mud pits, etc., are not covered under the national policy. Overnight relays are NOT covered by RRCA unless they are on a closed course on a trail and not on a roadway. Compensational funds for out-of-pocket volunteer expenses are OK, but if someone is “paid” for specific event work, then they are no longer considered a volunteer and are NOT covered by RRCA. That means payment of any kind including cash, gift cards, etc. If there are any questions, go to RRCA.org website and go to the insurance section (national policy posted there).
Club Government Series I: First Steps for New & Returning Board Members. This series of three club government topics was presented by Steve Wright (OR State Rep) and Dwight Mikulis (MD State Rep and Eastern Regional Director for RRCA). Finding the right Board member; this is only the first step. Board orientation is critical, as is a board briefing book. Then new Board members should be mentored and brought along in the process. We need to “build abundance” by having people want to serve on our run club Boards. It was stressed to look now for young people with “Millennial” skills to serve on our Boards. It should be every Board members’ job to be on the lookout for new Board members.
Club Government Series II: Financial Management & Tactical Planning. Major points made in this session included: “It’s not just the Treasurer’s job!” All Board members need to understand the financial side of run club management. We have a fiduciary obligation to know this! Non-profit does not mean No-profit! What is our charity-giving policy? “You don’t have to give it all away every time.” It is OK to keep your run club soluble – keep some financial reserves. Having a club draft budget is important but not universal. It can help answer questions on our profit/loss, revenue sources, club expenses (one time and reoccurring), cash flow (how much comes from member fees?) and cash reserves, etc. The speakers suggested checking out “Google for Non-Profits” in the Cloud.
Club Government Series III: Club By-Laws & Effective Board of Directors. Read and absorb your club by-laws; carry a copy with you to meetings because questions come up all the time on what the club can and cannot do! Do clubs all post their by-laws on their websites? It was suggested that “modern” run clubs are having Directors of Communication to handle club websites, email lists, newsletter, and social media. Do club by-laws get specific about where/how to have Board meetings? Do our clubs hold “virtual” Board meetings (if not, why not)? Check out Google Hang Out! It was suggested to treat annual General Membership meetings with seriousness; we are putting on major events, donating to charities, investing in quality local running opportunities, volunteering for other major events like the Western States 100, etc.
Check out Wilymanager.com for club management ideas.
Thank you TMM, and let’s having a another great running year!