IT is getting increasingly difficult for sporting and voluntary organisations to fund their activities. Sponsorship is declining; membership fees have fallen; organising fundraising activities is more challenging.
And yet, it is more difficult to reduce costs as the same activities must be funded. Pitches must be maintained to the highest standards; energy bills must be paid; gear and equipment purchased. These are the opening lines of an appeal from Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club this week ahead of its busiest time of the year.
"The one constant for Desmonds is the generosity of the community here. It has never wavered in its support for the club down through the years.
Last week the club launched its membership scheme for 2013/14.
For a once-off subscription of €100 or through a standing order of €10 per month for 10 months, the club's financial base can be secured.
The money raised will ensure that Desmonds can continue to field 18 teams in a variety of competitions. It will also ensure that a well organised coaching programme can involve hundreds of children being taught the skills of the game.
The club's playing pitches are widely acknowledged to be among the best in Kerry as are its clubhouse facilities. Activities on and off the field include: Family Fun Days and summer coaching camps are organised and the club participates in Scor.
The membership scheme confers many benefits including free admission to all league games and a free entry to 24 Lotto draws. The club jackpot is currently up to €9,600.
Membership also allows access to tickets for all Kerry championship games up to the All-Ireland final when members are entered into a free draw for an All-Ireland final ticket.
Membership forms can be obtained in local shops or from any club officer.