While the club might be a not-for-profit organisation, it is as equally a not-for-loss organisation, and the only sustainable way to accumulate and maintain sufficient reserves is for the club to avoid operating at a loss.
To avoid this, the club's committee should ensure adequate controls and reporting systems are in place to understand and monitor the club's operations, risks and finances.
To compliment operations the committee should also have a good understanding and management of the club's value proposition (how much members are prepared to pay for services), membership pricing structures and other sources of revenue, including minimising any dependencies on particular sources.
In identifying what financial reserves (or savings) are able to be used in unforseen circumstances, the club should distinguish between general and specific reserves, whereby the club may have covenants over portions of its reserves, eg. reserves which might be identified for specific purposes and need to be segregated from the general reserves.
In addition to identifying available reserves, the committee should also ensure adequate policies are in place as to the application of general reserves, eg. if reserves are used, then it should be to ensure the future of the club.
Good practice in the management of reserves should also include policies around how any free reserves are invested back into the club for development.