As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, community sports clubs across the UK are facing incredible financial hardship.
Financial transparency is paramount to how GiveToLocal operates, with the organisation keen to ensure that the money donated goes exactly where is intended and has the most impact possible.
And with a wealth of experience in both chartered accountancy and grassroots sport, no one is better positioned to handle that task than Head of Finance Beverley Goodall.
Football is a big thing in the Goodall household and, as the mother of two football-mad sons, Beverley has long since embraced the beautiful game.
Like many parents, she got involved in grassroots through her two boys, Ben and Michael.
But her contribution quickly extended beyond that of supportive parent and Sunday morning taxi driver.
As a chartered accountant, she took on the role of club secretary for her son Michael’s team - a position that made sense given her background in finance.
“I first got involved in grassroots football around 2012,” said Beverley.
“My two sons both played football from a young age.
“My youngest son played from when he was around five until he was about 11.
“I volunteered my services as club secretary thinking that if anyone should account for the money, it should probably be me given my day job!
“Unfortunately, Michael suffered a foot injury which stopped him from playing and I had to step away from the club.”
Having first heard about GiveToLocal through Chief Executive Neil Gardiner, Beverley enthusiastically accepted the challenge in applying her experience and expertise to head up a growing finance team.
She is very confident of the positive impact the organisation can have upon community sports.
And because of her background in youth football, Beverley is acutely aware of the challenges facing grassroots clubs and those parents who want the best for their children.
“Neil knew my background, my expertise and importantly that I had first-hand experience with grassroots football,” she explained. “In that sense coming on board was a no-brainer.
“With GiveToLocal, I think it’ll be great to see these clubs benefit and people get to make the most of what clubs can offer their local community.
“Unfortunately, some sports clubs have next to nothing. They’re scrapping around for a bit of money here and there to pay for equipment and outgoings as needed.
“I know that in football pitch fees are a small fortune!
“All that money has to be found somewhere and it’s usually from the parents’ pockets.
“Often they’ve got to do the fundraising events and they’ve also got to help to find the sponsorship.
“It would be nice if parents didn’t have to worry about the finances of their kids’ clubs so much.
“If clubs can get some sponsorship outside of parents, through a strong connection with their local community, then it could make a huge difference.”
Alongside her role as Head of Finance for GiveToLocal, Beverley is also the Managing Director of her own successful accountancy firm, AbacusBean.
And with her knowledge of grassroots sport and accountancy, Beverley is keen to make sure that anyone who uses GiveToLocal is assured of financial transparency.
Her job is to ensure that the money donated to a club goes to the right people.
“AbacusBean is an accredited firm and we are here to ensure that everything is done properly,” said Beverley.
“We want to ensure that people are getting what rightfully belongs to them and that nothing gets lost or misappropriated.
“Personally, I’ve unfortunately seen and heard of a lot of money go missing in grassroots sport.
“Some clubs are heavily reliant on whoever is doing the books - sometimes there’s an opportunity there for people to take advantage, GiveToLocal has gone through some stringent processes to ensure people can have confidence when supporting a club.
“We want to make sure that everything is all above board and that transactions are verified and checked so that the right amounts go to the right places.”