joie de vivre
Join Date: Apr 2009
Dogs Name: Cypress (Dobe) & Dempsey (Rat Terrier)
Dogs Age: 05.08.19 & 11.04.14
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If you can identify enough interested and (ideally) already involved people in your area, you might be able to start a volunteer club. I've been a member of a volunteer based club and it can be really great, depending on the membership (I've heard not so great stories about other all-volunteer clubs but my personal experience was excellent). In that type of club, you don't necessarily bring in "professional" trainers (which is just to say, trainers making a living doing it). Rather, its up to the more experienced members to mentor newer, less experienced members, through some kind of structured apprenticing type program. And the experienced members are the ones who lead classes.
For instance, in the club I was a member, each member paid dues of something like $80 per year for an individual ($125 or something similar for families, $35 for kids under 18) and each member was required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours per year toward running the club. There were a variety of ways to contribute your time. If you were really inexperienced, maybe you'd sign up to ring steward some trials and assist in administrative duties - like copying and putting together packets for various classes - or you could help with inventory of equipment, spring cleaning of the building, etc.
Once you had some experience (verified by titles), you were allowed to contribute hours by apprenticing as an assistant trainer in puppy classes, then basic obedience / manners classes, and if you titled in the more advanced levels of sports, you could apprentice and eventually act as lead trainer in the sports classes. We also received a discount on classes as members, and once you're able to assist in training the classes, you could also earn free class vouchers for some classes. And because the trainers were volunteers, we could offer a schedule of classes based on the availability and preferences of the average person. So we had some day, evening, and weekend classes. We also had a wide variety of class offerings based on membership interest, since members are the trainers.
As the club grew, it was able to purchase land and a building. We hosted seminars and a variety of trials. Its actually grown to be a large and well-reputed training group in that area of the state.
So, it can be a great system because each member really can get out what they put in (or more). The more you contribute, the more opportunities you have to learn and grow in an all-volunteer club.
It can require a fairly large time commitment compared to a standard business model type training facility but that donation of time and energy by the membership can also keep financial costs down. You do need to have the insurance bit worked out. I would suggest discussing any and all plans with an attorney.
Old Drum's Crimson Crisp CGC, "Fiona" 04-21-2009 - 01-15-2018
Old Drum's Fiery Rumors of Taliesin CGC, "Tali" 05-09-2008 - 08-19-2018