I am curious about the steps that clubs (in particular smaller clubs) take to increase their vitality, and appeal.
Certainly coaching, services, equipment and facilities go a long way, but not all clubs have the resources to expend on big ticket items (like, salary ).
One not-for-profit club (they operate out of a community center) that I have been associated with (on and off) over the last several years recently decided to put aside some money to help subsidize the costs of having certain members attend local ref clinics based on the understanding that those members will seek to attain (or increase) their certifications. The concept being that improved reffing will help raise the performance ceiling for club members. Having more rated refs within the club should also help expand the local footprint and visibility of the club. To me this seems like a pretty high value play for the club, though obviously results are still pending.