My club is looking at what it can do to attract more members to get involved with road & crit racing, and have also secured a small amount of funds to support this growth. There is a small group of around 5-10 that regularly race and another 15 or so who have expressed an interest.
I wondered if there were any inventive things your club or team does to attract new riders while also looking after existing ones, this can’t be purely financial as the funds will not go very far (small amount of kit, subsidised race entries, some small social gatherings etc).
Putting on skills sessions and rides aimed at developing race skills as well as fitness. Getting racers in the club to share their experience and help to demystify racing and prepare new racers with what to expect. That could be on the road, chatting over coffee, or maybe even hold some off the bike sessions to talk through things like tactics.
Support through first few races can also help make sure it’s a positive experience they want to repeat. E.g. Making sure they have team mates there, if not in the same event then at least racing another category or just supporting so there’s somebody to shout for them or to talk to after and make them feel more a part of it. Little things like if you can’t be there then having club members remember to ask how it went, give kudos and congratulatory comments on Strava, etc. First races can be pretty intimidating, particularly if it doesn’t go that well and you get dropped early or DNF.
And give back to the sport by putting on events or having your members help out at events if there’s not enough of you to host events on your own. Could be races, or could be hosting skills sessions or race training rides that are open to non club members (which in turn is a good way to attract new members). Being a volunteer at a race and seeing it first hand can be a good way of preparing for your own first race, and helping host races is a great way of generating goodwill for the club and building awareness of your club as one that is actively involved in racing.