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The stimulates and publicises all social commitments undertaken by Belgian football clubs. The collaborates with partners in the community to achieve this aim: public authorities, organisations and businesses. The provides knowledge and support, develops projects, communicates and mobilises.


In recent years many social initiatives have been set up by football clubs. For some clubs, social campaigns are inscribed in their DNA. That’s all well and good but more could be done. That is why the Football Foundation was set up. The aim of this enhanced cooperation between KBVB, Pro League, National Football League, VFV and ACFF, which encompasses the entire Belgian football world, is to stimulate clubs to engage more in visible social projects. Sporting and social challenges can indeed be taken up jointly. The Football Foundation aims to facilitate win-win projects, for example between a club and its local institutions, organisations and businesses. Yes, your club too can offer a little extra to the community! The Football Foundation would like to help you in this endeavour, and that is exactly why we have created this Manual. We want to create a social momentum in Belgian football and give it visibility with the + that is popping up everywhere. Want to join us? I hope so, because ‘plus est en vous’! Jean Claude Van Rode Chairman




In recent years, the business world has begun to focus more and more on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Interest in CSR has also increased within the world of football. Football is increasingly seen and appreciated as something that can strengthen society. Football clubs are discovering the strong bond they can create with their fans and surroundings – the community – by getting involved in social initiatives and developing a strong local network. More and more clubs, in all divisions, are starting up social initiatives. A strong CSR profile is, after all, not just something for the big clubs. The inspiration and motivation to play a role within the local community are crucial factors.

Do you want to start with CSR in your club? There are various possible activities in many different areas ranging from one-off events to longrunning programmes.

The Football Foundation has a proven track record when it comes to assisting clubs in taking up their CSR. Together with the club, the Football Foundation takes the specific character and culture of the club as a starting point to design a social profile that will reflect and even reinforce the club’s identity.

On pages 10 and 11 you will find a brief description of all the options. For information on how to give CSR a permanent place within the club, turn to pages 12-13. One thing is for sure: the Football  Foundation will be there to help you with the start-up (see pages 14 and 15) and the communication strategy (see pages 25 ff).


Together with a number of other football clubs, KAA Gent is one of the pioneers in Belgium when it comes to community engagement. Its current community operation Voetbal in de stad (Football in the city) is a unique achievement and an inspiration for other football clubs and local councils.



HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN? Connecting the appropriate municipality departments to the right people within the football club, KAA Gent created its community project in 2007. A dedicated non-profit organisation was set up – Voetbal in de stad – and a suitable community manager was appointed. This person took charge of the design and management of the daily functioning of the operation which was jointly run by the club and the municipality. The city functioned primarily as the ‘puller’ while the football club played the role of facilitator. Gradually a local partner network was developed by approaching fan clubs, schools, welfare organisations, etc.

WHO DID WHAT? While the initiative originally came from the city, with the club lending its support, KAA Gent was soon convinced that it should play more than just a supporting role. This arose from its ambition to fully integrate the football club into the city and so expand its public activities. The community operation, along with its community manager, was fully integrated into the football club and the community manager was given the job of designing a policy, taking into account all target groups and possibilities.

WHAT HAS IT BECOME? Voetbal in de stad has now become the pivot of KAA Gent’s social engagement. It was moulded into an audacious policy for 2012-2014 - ‘Kansen voor de stad’ – ‘Opportunities for the city’. This includes projects which aim to build up an even stronger local network by including the commercial partners of KAA Gent. But just as importantly, plans were drafted to start up campaigns to expand operations into other city quarters and spread the club’s imprint over more parts of the city. To date, KAA Gent is involved in areas such as employment, integration, health promotion and disease prevention, education, diversity and much much more.

WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? The new football stadium brings with it new challenges. With the support of the board and the city and the efforts of local partners and the fans, the community manager will try to increase the social return of Voetbal in de stad to the benefit of the club and the community. A club with a sustainable CSR policy.

HOW IS IT FUNDED? Like every department within the football club, the community operation needs its own operational budget. KAA Gent provides some of the financial support for Voetbal in de stad from its own income and supplements this with contributions from the municpality and local partners as well as receiving provisional incentivising subsidies awarded by the Football Foundation. In addition, it also sets up fundraising campaigns involving the club’s commercial partners and other third parties. Its success is therefore the result of evenly balanced funding.

KAA Gent + the Ghent municipality join forces to create a sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility policy (CSR)




Here we highlight four areas in which football clubs can make a contribution, regardless of the division they are playing in. This will give you a sense of the wide range of social projects that are already being realised right now on Belgian football fields.

CASE 1: HEALTH CARE Building up or maintaining your condition with your favourite club – you can do it with Club Brugge. This football club called on fans and neighbourhood residents to come and take part in ‘Start to Run’, a fitness activity which simultaneously pays attention to a healthy diet, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Jogging sessions in the club colours are organised under the supervision of medical or sports experts. Running together for better health.

CASE 2: EDUCATION Tutoring with the promise of attending a training session of your favourite football team – Sporting Charleroi have made it possible. The football club uses the aura of its players and stadium to help children with learning problems. On Saturdays and Wednesday afternoons, participating kids receive tutoring in the Sporting Charleroi boxes... so far with great results. This free coaching offer has helped hundreds of children in recent years to avoid dropping out of school. Expert pedagogical supervision, the close involvement of their parents and a pat on the back from players and staff are what it takes to score in school too.

CASE 3: International Solidarity Football clubs are not blind to the problems in the world and try to adopt a position of solidarity. Eendracht Aalst, for instance, has for years been providing logistical and administrative support to the development organisation “Hope Flanders” in South Africa. South African children from families affected by AIDS have benefited from this support which enables them to play football again. Playing football enables them to forget for a moment the harsh reality of their lives and provides them with an opportunity to learn various skills which they need to survive.

CASE 4: INTEGRATION Full integration means that everyone should be fully entitled to engage in sports activities. This includes, for example, those with mental and/or physical disabilities. Football club K. Lierse SK therefore offers ‘G-voetbal’ for children and adults, ranging from training to participation in the local football competition and in organised ‘G-events’ for the disabled. In doing so, Lierse wants to show that the yellow-and-black family includes all.

Fancy having a go yourself or are you looking for something a little more in line with your club or local council? Our website is filled to the brim with inspired ideas:



WHO? The community manager doesn’t have a single set profile, as each club has its own identity, culture, mode of organisation and so on. That’s why the embedding of the community manager can differ across various clubs. The important thing is for the club’s board to recognise the added value of a community manager. The community manager’s job must have its position on the organisational chart, just like the commercial manager, youth manager, communications manager, etc. A community manager builds up a good network both inside and outside the club. Within his own club, he knows the key figures who can support him in his function. This includes not only the general manager and the coach but also the maintenance team. He must also be familiar with what is going on in the community and the region. He builds up a network of contacts with the local authorities and social organisations. The community manager keeps an eye on what is happening in the (football) world. He participates in meetings that may be relevant to his activities, performs benchmarking and is not afraid to collaborate with other football clubs.


What? Many clubs take their first steps in Corporate Social Responsibility through one-off projects. This has also proven to be an ideal stepping stone to a more organised approach. The next phase in the social engagement of our clubs is to develop a basic operation. This needs to include the following components which provide the community activities of a football club with a sustainable character: • a long-term policy covering several years • a well-embedded community manager • a local platform with a coordinating structure • the use of the club’s communication channels • the engagement of players and infrastructure • a transparent budget with evenly balanced funding • relevant and sustainable social projects in line with the club’s policy An ideal basic operation is aligned with the club’s vision and its entire operations. It does not depend on the sports or financial cycles of the foot-

ball club. It is moreover supported by campaigns that are forged around the club’s identity and have a social added value for the region where the club is based. These campaigns are developed in consultation with the local stakeholders: municipalities, fans, businesses, social partners, ... The Football Foundation is your ideal partner in setting up such a basic operation. Following a detailed roadmap, we work together to achieve the desired result.

How? As a community manager, you are responsible for the community operation in the broad sense of the word. Cooking costs money to the community too. The community operation can be funded from various sources: • within the club: funds can be earmarked in the club’s budget for the community manager’s salary and/or to finance the community projects. This might concern purely financial means and/or include contributions in kind (logistics, equipment, ...)

making a contribution towards personnel expenses and/ or projects. This may be the municipality as such or one or more particular departments. • the community operation: the community operation itself can set up fundraising campaigns to finance its own community: for example, by selling special limited edition supporters’ items. • private sponsors: the club’s regular business partners, local SMEs, service clubs, ... may find it useful to support a project within the framework of their own CSR policy. The Football Foundation too will help you attract financing. For instance, we have our own project calls: the Football Foundation finds (public) partners to cooperate with in achieving joint objectives. These joint objectives are set out in project calls, which allow funds to be allocated to clubs that contribute to the realisation of these social objectives by submitting projects.

• the local authorities: the municipality can cooperate in supporting the community by


HOW DOES THE Football Foundation SUPPORT YOU? The Football Foundation offers support in various areas. Inspiration This Manual will help you set up your first social activity. If you’ve already started, you’re certain to find inspiration here to further develop your community operation. If you’re looking for a suitable project based on a specific theme, visit our website,, for more information on social projects in Belgium and abroad. If you want to be informed of all the news about football and the community in Belgium, you can register for our newsletter on the website too.


ADVICE, COACHING AND ASSISTANCE The Football Foundation has a team of people ready to advise and assist you on a daily basis. Whether you are a football club, a municipal council, a partner or a fan, we can help you evaluate the options. What is feasible for your club on the basis of the available people and resources, the local context and existing opportunities. We look at the general picture and assist you by sharing and distributing knowledge. We will moreover get you in touch with relevant partner organisations, help you develop a project or offer you a ready-made project. Finally, we track down potential channels to help you raise funds.

Promotion If you already have up and running community projects or are planning to set one up in the short term, let us know. We will make sure you get a place in the Football Foundation’s richly filled ‘trophy cabinet’ by communicating your project through our website and social media channels.

Health scores!

Belgian Homeless Cup

Gezond scoort! is a joint training programme for schools and football clubs. Pupils get together with their favourite professional footballer to learn about healthy diets, physical activities and not smoking. During kick-off at the club, children can take part in an obstacle course, eat a healthy snack and fill out a lifestyle questionnaire. During one-on-one meetings, the pupils sign a contract with a professional player in which they agree to do their best during the programme. The kick-off is followed by a school programme. The following themes are covered: physical activity, a healthy diet and the use of addictive substances. Players or the coach, doctor or physiotherapist visit the school and stay in touch with the pupils to provide extra motivation. During the finale of the programme, all the pupils are awarded a diploma by the professional football players. Gezond scoort! convinces vulnerable youngsters that doing sports and eating healthy food can be fun.

The Belgian Homeless Cup (BHC) is a social football competition for the homeless. Their re-integration process is kickstarted by the power of football. This programme can be of a social (a stepping stone to social assistance) or a professional nature (training). Physical progress is also made, by working on fitness or a healthy diet.

Football Kick-Off The Football Kick-Off is a national football tournament for people with disabilities. For a few years now, those who feel impeded to take part in regular football have been able to play via G-voetbal. The Football KickOff gives all ‘G-teams’ in Belgium a unique chance to take part in a special football tournament.

The BHC organises tournaments in public places and supports the local teams. BHC also has an ongoing communication campaign which aims to increase awareness of the issue of homelessness. Care providers and Belgian football clubs cooperate in order to make all this happen. The homeless are carried along on the positive momentum of football. They work together as a team to achieve a common goal, take on responsibilities and, in doing so, take a first step towards a new beginning.

What makes this event unique is the presence of professional trainers in the first and second division who coach the G-teams during the tournament, with the teams playing in the real football outfits of the professional clubs! - coaching. In addition, the competitions are supervised by referees from the top division and players can try getting a penalty past a professional goalie. The Football Kick-Off ensures that participants have an unforgettable day and closes the gap between regular football and G-football.






Pro League+

The dynamism within Belgian football is at cruising speed. In order to achieve our ambitions, we have to realise that football and society are intimately interwoven. Belgian football is a major community player, if only because of the great number of members, clubs, competitions and fans. By doing our work, we provide a strong social adhesive: we unite many people around universal values. Yet we can do more. We can harness the power of football to score off the pitch too and make people stronger. The Football Foundation has chosen for an organization which aims to assist every club in its social cooperation with local partners. This is a rewarding offer. Accept it. And let us know what type of social action you take. By using the , of course! Steven Martens, Secretary-general

‘Football can’t change the world, but it can feed a good shot.’ For years, the Pro League has used this positive and realistic attitude to underpin its social activities. Not only is its Christmas campaign SOS Kinderdorpen in the stadiums a permanent calendar fixture, it also organizes an annual awareness campaign on tolerance in collaboration with the clubs and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. All sixteen Pro League clubs additionally have a social programme adapted to their local environment. They are convinced of the added value this offers and of the positive effect it has on their organisation. Yet we can do more. The Pro League aims to develop into an organisation of sixteen socially responsible businesses which provide a basic social operation.

In partnership with the Football Foundation, the Pro League wants to create a social surplus in its sixteen home bases. Good going for the first division! Keep it up, but most of all: show it, use the ! Ludwig Sneyers, Director-general

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE+ The upgrading of the competition in the second division gives the National Football League the chance to evolve further. And they are seizing the opportunity on the social level too. The National Football League is important for the Football Foundation’s project to extend its service to clubs in the lower divisions. Not only as a link between professional and amateur football, but also as a link between football and the community.

A number of clubs in our League are engaged in social projects. The League wants to build on these good examples and stimulate its clubs to develop social programmes. These social activities often illustrate that cooperation with local actors, especially local authorities, leads to good practices. Supported by good communication, this cooperation complements the sports dimension of the clubs and generates local goodwill. So we send a warm call to the second division: tell us about your social engagement, communicate the ! Jacques Lefèvre, Administrator


THIS IS A CALL! Let’s take a different team picture for once. A team picture with a big . Let’s think outside the pitch for once. Expand into the wider community. Let’s show that the DNA of football has many social characteristics. Many points. Embrace the community, take social action, on a large or small scale. But most of all, spread the word: say ‘ ’! If we all set up social activities and say ‘ ’, Belgian football will conquer the hearts and minds of even more people. So let’s join together to get a great result. Let’s score more than just goals. Because, as everyone knows: • stands for positive. An attractive football club, with an appealing game, on and off the pitch. • stands for more. More football club with added value, in sports and in the community. stands for together. Together we can make a difference. • In short: apply for your logo with the Football use the .

Foundation and


Belgian Football The KBVB sits on the board of the Football Foundation and as such plays a crucial role in achieving its objectives. For example, the KBVB wants its Foundation to extend the concept of ‘community work’ to the lowest football division. For that purpose, an inventory has been compiled of the social activities of football clubs from the third national to the fourth provincial divisions. These ‘good practices’ can in turn inspire other clubs and allow the Football Foundation to adapt its service to the different demands and requirements. In addition, the Football Foundation will help shape the KBVB’s thematic campaigns. For example, in the areas of respect and fair play. Of course, the standard bearer of our Belgian football remains the national team. Carried along on the new momentum, the Red Devils too will play a key role in spreading the objectives and achievements of the Football Foundation.


Marc Wilmots: “Off the pitch, the Red Devils are often Red Angels. The most well-known case is probably the strong performance by my captain Vincent Kompany for SOS Kinderdorpen (SOS Child Villages). He goes the extra mile there too. Various other Devils have also done their social thing, within their club or on a personal level, often inspired by their own experiences. So, off the field, they are role models for the football fans. The Devils’ community is extensive. And the interaction between fans and Devils is on the increase. Yet we can do more. Social activities with and for the wider population can enlarge our community. Every fan can use the power of football to score for a good cause himself or to get his favourite club interested in it. Everyone will reap the benefits.

And just to make myself absolutely clear: I challenge you to become



1895, the year in which the KBVB was established, is the name of the umbrella organisation of Red Devils fan clubs. It grew out of a collaboration between the KBVB and the National Supporters Federation (NSF). ‘Voetbal een feest!’ (Football is a party!) has proven over the years to be not just an empty slogan. Quite the opposite! More fans are coming to the stadium again, in particular more women and children. 1895 aims to stimulate positive fan behaviour and increase the interaction between fans and Devils. Social action with and for the wider population will also enlarge the 1895 community. Fans, neighbourhood residents and disadvantaged groups such as youths with behavioural problems and the disabled: the objective is to give them all a place in the Red Devils’ story.


Every fan can use the power of football to score for a good cause. 1895 is participating in several concrete actions: • During Red Devils’ matches, 1895 will organise a txt campaign to choose the ‘Man of the match’. The profits from this campaign will help fund social (football) projects in Belgium and abroad. • 1895 offers practical help and tips to Red Devils fans who want to stop smoking. • 1895 organises a fans’ tournament during the Christmas Truces 2014 event with the participation of the official fan clubs of the participating nations.

Young players form the foundation of football. Boys and girls come along every week to have fun on and off the pitch. For many parents too, the football club is a place to socialise. Football is deeply entrenched in the social life of every village, neighbourhood, town and city quarter. The VFV and the ACFF are sports federations that are close to their members and accessible to them. It achieves this by offering support to its clubs. We interpret the social and educational role of football in society in an open, dynamic and innovative way, assisting and supporting young people so that they can enjoy playing football. Furthermore: “What is your place in the world?” It’s about solidarity, solidarity with those who are not there, in the club or in the community. It’s about being aware that not everyone gets the same opportunities. An ethical organisation that demonstrates solidarity is a strong organisation. Many clubs from the lower divisions have indicated that they want to set up social activities. Together with organisations that work in the field of welfare, poverty, third world, integration, health, education, ...Together with the Football Foundation we would like to give them our wholehearted support. So organise something and tell us about it, and you will receive the much coveted logo!

On the initiative of its women’s team, KVK Ninove has signed up 200 new blood donors for the Red Cross, earning it the honorary title of ‘Football club with a Heart’.

SK Berlare is taking part in traffic safety awareness campaigns: wearing safety belts in the car and using bicycles for short distances.

Tempo Overijse is organising Dutch lessons for its foreign youth players to facilitate their integration in the club and the community.

Benny Mazur, Secretary-general VFV Gérard Linard, President ACFF

KSK Retie has given a chance to a deaf-mute player in its A team. With the right support from fellow players, trainer and club, a player with an impairment can function perfectly well in the normal circuit.



The Football Foundation found a great deal of inspiration for its community concept in models abroad. We highlight a few of those here. The Football+ Foundation knowledge centre aims to serve as a conduit for existing and new international good practices.

CREATING CHANCES WITH KICKZ: WHERE COMMUNITY WAS INVENTED Great Britain is a country with a solid history of community activities as a part of club operations. Under the banner ‘Creating Chances’, the Premier League has developed various subprojects. KickZ is one of these; it was started up in London in 2006. Clubs work with local partners (e.g. the Metropolitan Police) to make the local community safer and stronger. The subproject consists of two to three football sessions per week, while other sessions provide programmes on drug prevention, health promotion, volunteer work, career guidance, … At the moment, 42 football clubs are working on 112 projects throughout England. With a reach of 45,000 children and an output of 5,000 competence certificates for the participants, this can only be described as phenomenal.  (section ‘creating-chances’)


MORE THAN FOOTBALL: GET STARTED WITH NAC BREDA The Netherlands has also built up an impressive reputation in the community movement. The foundation ‘More than Football’ helps Dutch clubs to set up a sustainable CSR policy. NAC Breda is one of those clubs with a strong community policy. With their employment project ‘Get Started’, NAC helps mobilise young people between the ages of 16 and 27 without qualifications. During a fourteen-week programme, the youngsters are offered tailor-made career guidance in the inspirational setting of NAC Breda’s Rat Verlegh Stadium. At the end of the fourteen weeks, NAC Breda offers them an apprenticeship with one of the club’s many business partners. This is the club’s contribution to a solution for the high youth unemployment in certain areas of Breda. 

CELTIC GLASGOW: THE CLUB’S IDENTITY AS THE ENGINE For Celtic Glasgow, the social aspects of football are in the blood. This Scottish club was set up in 1888 by Brother Walfrid – a Scottish version of Father Daens – to help meet the material and spiritual needs of the poorest during the industrial revolution. Football became synonymous with emancipation. This identity has not been diluted and endures to this day. Celtic Glasgow was one of the first clubs to have a Corporate Social Mission. Today the deeply rooted social engagement of Celtic Glasgow takes the form of a Charity Fund that funds social projects, a well-equipped teaching centre where 10,000 children and young people acquire advanced ICT skills every year, a health programme for fans, etc.  corporate_socialmission

FONDATION DU FOOTBALL: LOCAL EFFORTS FOR CITIZENSHIP The French Fondation du Football sets great score by the development of a sense of citizenship. And that is not just an empty slogan made up in posh Paris headquarters. On the contrary, this message is conveyed by the 17,753 clubs that constitute the closeknit network of the Fondation. In particular, the Fondation makes great efforts to share ‘good practices’ that the clubs, both small and big, have developed themselves. They are centered around five themes: health, fair play and arbitration, citizenship, equal opportunities and environment. The Fondation acts as a hub that provides the clubs with useful formats to use in the context of their own social policy.  (section ‘outils à disposition’)




The Football Foundation aims to give enhanced visibility to the social engagement of the many football clubs in our country. All clubs are invited to communicate in the same way about the added value for the community of their social projects. The Football Foundation provides a number of tools for the graphic streamlining of this external communication. Please use these whenever possible. This will help your club to become a visual part of the global project. Consistent use of the logo also offers added value in terms of making your social activity known to the wider public: it increases the visibility and distinctiveness of the project and immediately singles it out. You can download the logo and slogan in various versions and formats from the Football Foundation website. You can use the on various promotion materials and products: T-shirts, mugs, print work, posters ... In this manual you will also find a number of examples of what communication could look like.




SLOGAN The slogan may be used in Dutch, French or English. The slogan is always shown in the same way and should only be used in black or white on colour. Narrow version:

Long version:




The slogan may also be used in combination with a club logo. Here too, the slogan should be used only in black or white.










banners Banners integrating the club colours can also be made. Below are a few examples.

A FOR FOOTBALL AND SOCIETY The banners can be used in print and web applications. The club can choose to use elements of the Football Foundation’s house style or integrate the logo in its own house style.






Colophon Publisher Jean Claude Van Rode Chairman Football Foundation Av. Houba de Strooperlaan 145, 1020 Brussels Follow the Football Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Date of publication 2013, second edition Editing Soraya Benyoub, coordination Peter Craeyeveld Guido Poppelier Stijn Van Bever Lieven Der Kinderen Translation Concept / Artwork No part of this publication may be reproduced and/or made public in any form without prior written authorisation of the Football Foundation.


Av. Houba de Strooperlaan 145 1020 Brussels Follow the Football Foundation on Use the hashtag #footballplus.


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