How you can help the club

As a fan-owned club it is our responsibility to our fellow and future generations of Darlo fans to do all we can to ensure the initial stability and the on-going sustainability of the club following our resurgence.

We have the wheels in place and they’ve been set into motion but we need to keep stoking the boiler to build up a head of steam. Results on the pitch help but results only come if the football club at the heart of our organisation has the resources it needs to build a team which can get them.

So, what can we do to help? (click below to read more)

Invest in the club

Nothing says “My Darlo” quite as much as the feeling you get knowing that you are a part owner in the club, and there are plenty of ways to do that. You can buy shares directly in the football club (i.e. Darlington FC 1883 Ltd.) if you want to, or you can become a member of the Darlington FC CIC (Community Interest Company) which is the biggest single shareholder in the club.

See the organisation chart here which explains how the club is structured and what your ownership options are.

Please note that consultations and discussions about a possible merger of the Trust, the Supporters Club, and the CIC are ongoing which could dramatically simplify the structure of the club and make it even easier for you to decide how to buy a piece of your club. Further information on this is due before the end of 2014.

For details on joining the CIC please contact the membership secretary at the following address:

membership@darlingtonfc.org

Buy a season ticket

First and foremost the club needs as big a budget as possible for each new season, which is why season ticket sales are so important. If you regularly attend matches then please consider buying a season ticket to help build the manager’s war chest so he can bring new players in and extend the contracts of those players he’d like to keep.

Season tickets offer you a saving over the cost of paying at the gate for every match, and look out for news of special offers which might help you to spread the cost of your season ticket, rather than pay out one lump sum.

Attend matches

The amount of income which the club makes from matchday sales (supporters paying at the gate, bar takings, money-draw ticket sales, programme sales, DFC merchandise sales, and so on) is very important to help balance the books.

Playing out of town favours some supporters while making it difficult or off-putting for fans in the Southern part of our catchment area, but the Supporters Club run buses to each home game from Darlington Town Centre, so please do make a special effort to get to the game when we have a home match taking place as it not only helps the club financially, but a big crowd is often said to be our “12th man” giving the team a lift while scaring the life out of visiting teams who are often more accustomed to playing in front of much smaller crowds than we attract.

Support our fundraisers!

Continuous fundraising is critical to the future success of our club. We must do it and we must all support fundraising events and campaigns, more particularly at this moment in time when we are still learning to walk as a fan-owned club.

Our fan base, though large for the level we play at, is still a relatively small pool of people when you consider how much time and effort our fundraisers voluntarily spend organising and trying to drum up support for various events. It’s not easy, and it’s easy to become discouraged when some events are less successful than others, or need to be cancelled altogether due to lack of support.

One difficulty with fundraising is in trying to find ways to please everyone. If you find that some of the events don’t really suit you - perhaps you prefer outdoor events to indoor ones - then please remember that the Fundraising Group meet at the Dolphin Centre in Darlington on the first Monday of each month, and they also have a Facebook page where you can not only find up-to-the-minute news on recent and planned fundraising activities, but you can ask questions and post comments and suggestions for ways to raise funds in the future.

Please visit https://www.facebook.com/D1883FG and get involved.

Help us get “Back to Darlo”

The CIC’s Back to Darlo Fund is the primary vehicle in our drive to get the club playing back in the town. The current plan is for the team to start the 2014-15 season at Blackwell Meadows, but a lot of hard work is required both behind the scenes and at Blackwell Meadows itself - and the need to raise as much money as we can to maintain our progress cannot be understated.

Please visit http://www.backtodarlo.co.uk for full details and current news of the planned move, and to see how easy it is to make a donation to the fund. A regular small donation rather than a single larger donation is equally as welcome - perhaps more so as a standing order is the gift which keeps on giving. Large donations are great, but it’s quite natural and understandable (and hugely appreciated) for people to give quite single large amount of money to a fund rather than consider the benefit both to themselves and to the club of being one of many fans making smaller monthly donations, to keep the fund from stalling.

Shop till you drop!

Quaker Retail is another volunteer-run income stream. You can visit the shop during opening hours at the club’s next new home of Blackwell Meadows in Darlington, or you can order DFC merchandise online at the following address:

http://dfconlineshop.co.uk/

Remember that Quaker Retail also offer international shipping on everything in the shop, so Darlo fans around the world can be the first on their block to confuse the locals with a strange-looking badge on their clothes (of course, you just start with “see that train, there…?”, and then bang on about gravity, the industrial revolution, electricity, TV and jet engines and stuff, if they really want to “go there”, lol!)

Please also check and like the Quaker Retail Facebook page to ask questions about any products and to find out about new stock arrivals and product lines:

https://www.facebook.com/QuakerRetail

Help the club by shopping at Amazon.co.uk

A lot of people will do their Christmas and other shopping at Amazon.co.uk and there is a way which you can continue to do this, yet still help the club.

Darlo Uncovered Message Board joined the Amazon Associates Program so now is the perfect time to remind you that if you bookmark the following link and do all of your browsing and shopping from there then Uncovered will collect a small percentage on the sale which will be passed on to the club. You pay the same prices as always, but the club benefits - easy!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=darlouncov-21&linkCode=ur2&camp=1634&creative=19450

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