Creating an AppleID for use by a committee (or sports club)

Apologies in advance for the long post…
What are the (short and long-term) downsides to creating an AppleID for a local sporting organisation (incorporated or not) with say 200 to 500 members (and running it alongside one’s personal AppleID) … which is run by volunteers, and admin access can be given to key committee people (Secretary, President, Treasurer etc), which will change over time as people come and go?
The purpose is to utilise all the features of iCloud, for example, for storage of documents (i.e. Constitution of club; code of conduct rules; general rules; minutes etc) and all kept in one place.
iCloud Photo Library (Album Sharing) is also an option but not needed to be discussed in this post unless someone deems it necessary to comment on it.

By taking advantage of items being in iCloud documents can be set up as a collaborative document accessible and editable by anyone (with link) on any device (Mac or windows and iOS) whilst in creation stage; then “locked” to view or download only when finalised. And unlocked and altered for updating when required, then re-locked, with the external links remaining active for sharing purposes.
This would have the effect of just one document floating about and be editable by the key admin persons but accessible to all.
(I’m trying to avoid a document sitting in someone’s hard drive who may happen to leave the club unexpectedly etc etc )
My idea is that within this Club’s AppleID iCloud account all documents and spreadsheets would reside as Pages, Numbers, PDFs, other file types with Folders (some obviously locked and some only available to executive committee).
Now that Catalina allows Folder sharing the perceived benefits are greater.

I’m thinking the primary account holder would be the “Club”. It would have a password shared by the executive committee and changed when someone leaves the committee.
There would be no mobile phone number attached to the AppleID (as it is a Club). What problems does that toss up?

As well, Mailchimp would be used for database and emailing etc.
Square may be used to accept payments.
Google Docs used for questionnaires and surveys etc using their Forms feature (resulting spreadsheet data put into Numbers).
In short, what problems would show with having an AppleID for a Club that has no mobile phone attached, and has executive committee changing every year or two, and can run alongside one’s personal AppleID and iCloud services?
What problems would show with the resetting of passwords and two-factor verification processes being involved? (No mobile number remember!).

Or is there another way? Dropbox, GoogleDrive, OneDrive or ???

Oh, and it needs to be free! :grinning:

Oh, I’d use Google Docs, Photos, Sheets for this.

If an iCloud account is not affiliated with a device I think the free account is very limited 2Gb, with a device it’s still only 5Gb. You’ll get 15Gb with Google.

All of the advantages you list would apply and familiarity with Google would extend to your PC owning fellow members not to mention Android.

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Thanks Tommy for your response. I am seeking what the negatives (as in bridges to be crossed) with using AppleID along with iCloud are or could be. Along with that what would those “bridges” are and could be with Google’s options (and the other alternatives).
Your mention of a 2GB restriction for non-device accounts is very relevant (but could be upped to 5GB relatively simply, which would be plenty of storage).
I have used Google’s online web-based applications, however I do very much prefer Apple’s ease of use and many benefits of the Pages and Numbers programs.
I am assuming that there is probably an Apple Business program that would allow employees (“club members”) to access their companies’ data etc, as well as their own personal Apple iCloud data (without “cross infection”), and was seeking if there was something a volunteering group of like-minded people could utilise for little or no cost.

Multiple iCloud accounts can co-exist on Apple devices. However, only a primary iCloud account has full access to all features and must be the physical device owner of an iDevice. Secondary accounts access a limited set of features including, in particular, Mail. Only where multiple user account logins are available (macOS) can iDrive be used by creating a organization account separate from individual user accounts. iPhone (and, presumably, Android) users can only set up access for Mail and Contacts, but not iDrive and some other features.
An iCloud-based solution for you would be a club master user account on a system where data storage and backup of all club documents happens. The credentials for the associated iCloud account would be used for shared access to club Mail and club Contacts. iCloud sharing can be used to publish other shared data as determined by the club master user account for access by others.
The biggest risk in multiple account ‘ownership’ is data loss. First is human error in deletion of data, next is confusion as new devices are added to access shared data, and, not in any way the least, is loss of access due to deliberate or accidental credential changes including second factor access.
This means a certain measure of ‘trust but verify’ is required along with a rigorously regular multiple backup schedule performed by at least two group members to separate physical repositories.
All the above applies regardless of the implementation details (iCloud, Google, etc.).

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Speaking as someone who has done and is doing this, don’t even think about using Apple services for this. They’re not designed for group use at all, and having a single Apple ID is a recipe for utter disaster. Seriously. And that’s even before you hit the problem of someone important not being an Apple user.

My solution for the Finger Lakes Runners Club has been to build everything around Google services. There’s a single club account that’s used as the primary address for the club but that can be checked by multiple people. That account also shares a Google Drive folder that contains all shared files, either normal files or Google Docs/Sheets/Forms. The shared folder is shared with every member of the board using their Google accounts, and private links are used for pointing to files in the shared folder (such as the monthly financial reports that are part of the monthly board agenda). Google Photos works for albums of race photos, but I’m fairly unimpressed with it as a group sharing situation. All this is free, and we have our own domain and email hosting through DreamHost (again, free for a non-profit).

We’re also using Discourse for the club discussions, with public categories for everyone on different topics, and then private categories and groups for the board and all the board committees. Discourse itself is free, but we’re paying $6 per month for hosting at DreamCompute (with setup by a paid developer). That’s a little less than the $10 per month we pay for TidBITS Talk hosting at Digital Ocean, but our developer wasn’t as happy about using DreamCompute—he thought it was funky.

I won’t pretend that this modernization and digitization effort has been trouble-free, mostly because the range of technical experience is broad, and people who are only really comfortable with email and basic Web browsing often feel overwhelmed. I’ve addressed some of that with a few in-person (earlier this year, when that was still possible) setup and training meetings. They ended up being largely standard computer consulting, since the people in question needed accounts cleaned up, bookmarks created, and the like. So there will be push-back. And you do need to be somewhat technically savvy to be able to set all this up.


Thanks JRC and ACE for your thoughtful and insightful comments. Much appreciated.
ACE, your solution re the FLRC is what I needed to hear. Actual, hands-on experience with a real group of people with exposure to limitations etc. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
It looks like Google’s services will become the “Hub of the Club” !
Discourse looks a good option for future implementation.
Would SLACK be better than Discourse for committee members to communicate amongst themselves on the “not for public consumption” club-based deliberations?

My immediate response would be to check carefully the terms of service agreement for iCloud and make sure you’re not running afoul of something in the legalese.

You might be required to have a credit card associated with it…but if the group has a bank account then that shouldn’t be too hard and since the bank and credit accounts are routinely transferred as officers change…same as with the associated email address.

Assuming there are no legal or financial issues…I can’t think offhand of any obvious drawbacks to the plan…and no other obvious and free solution comes to mind.

So that’s a good question. Slack is for real-time chat-type conversations, so it’s essential in groups where you need an answer to a question as soon as possible, or where resolving an issue needs back-and-forth conversation in a short time.

In contrast, Discourse is for asynchronous, longer-form conversations (like you see here). The idea with Discourse is that people have more time to think and write considered questions and responses, and they can get to it much more on their own schedules.

I never really considered Slack for FLRC, since the board was accustomed to an old mailing list and once-per-month meetings. The immediacy of Slack wasn’t necessary, and I figured it would be harder on the older members. Indeed, when I made the presentation about Discourse, I was asked if it was like Slack, with the definite implication that that would be a bad thing.

I won’t pretend that Discourse is the easiest transition to make with a non-technical group, but with constant help and cheerleading, I think it becomes worthwhile in the long run. Particularly if you have the combination of public and private conversations that we have. You can check it out (at least the public side) at:

In our case, we moved from a decades-old mailing list with about 600 subscribers and maybe 10 non-staff posts per month (and no non-subscriber readership) to a situation where we’ve had 322 posts in the last 30 days and over 10,000 page views. The engagement level is vastly higher.

Has anyone managed a group at I’m subscribed to a couple of those, and I’ve liked the few features that I’ve used. The mailing lists work well (better than discourse) with useful options, such as plain text and image size choices, including none. I’m considering moving the remaining lists I host there since they should fit well enough into the free tier. Then I can ditch my mail server and have a great reason for a happy dance.