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Booster Club Fundraising 101

Posted by on in Fundraising Ideas

Clubs and sports hold the power to making a school’s educational experiences more enriching. Sometimes extra fundraising help is needed to support these initiatives, which creates a great opportunity to begin or participate in booster club fundraising.

What is a Booster Club?

Booster clubs are organizations that support initiatives to raise money for school clubs and sports teams. Booster clubs are typically run by the parents of the students who are involved in the sporting groups. One of the things that is most important when participating in or starting a booster club is having a plan of action for booster club fundraising.

What are some things to consider when planning for your fundraising efforts?

Booster club fundraising can be an empowering experience for students when planned correctly. The club is a part of a bigger picture, where they’re serving the needs of the students and the administration, teachers and coaches behind the scenes. For starters, it’s always a good idea to meet with the administration and either coaches or teachers of the teams or clubs you are fundraising for to get an idea as to what their needs are, what can or can’t be done and what has been done.

Once you get an idea of what your fundraising needs are, start planning the map for the school fundraising year (what fundraising ideas you’re doing and when they will happen). It is best not to overwhelm your overall fundraising effort by doing too many fundraisers; if you plan just two or three a year with strong, focused efforts behind planning and promoting, you can be quite successful in reaching your goals.

What are some fundraising options for booster clubs?

As the sage advice goes in marketing, get to know your audience. Your friends, family and community are going to be your go-to customers in your fundraising events. What do they like to do? What are their personal interests? Do you want a one-day event or a long-term campaign? Also, with consideration to execution, how big is your booster club and how much can everyone contribute in planning and executing the fundraising ideas?

Let’s talk about some ways to go about booster club fundraising.

1. Host an Event or Tournament

While community participation can be rewarding, going this path often comes with a bit of logistical planning. The ideas can range to include BBQ/tailgate and gala events, basketball tournaments, bingo, carnivals, golf tournaments, karaoke competitions and more. Based on the attendee capacity of your event, the gross revenue from this effort can be several hundreds to several thousands of dollars. For an effort like this, consider the costs of running the event to make sure that what you get out of it is worth the effort. Also, make sure you have willing club members that will help plan all the logistics involved with hosting such an event, which may include soliciting local sponsors to cut down on the costs.

2. Crowdfunding or Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This trendy and successful way of fundraising has taken a popular rise in the past few years. This idea is simplest to execute but also requires diligent participation of all parties, since it relies on soliciting donations solely because it’s for a charitable cause. If the students and parents put in the effort to reach out to loved ones and friends and family to request donations for a cause that benefits their school, the chance for success may be high. The reason for this is that your reach that once was restricted to the local community is now expanded to anyone who can donate and has access to the Internet.

3. Affiliate Fundraising

This option allows you to solely focus on just selling an item that was already packaged and is ready to go from another company. You can choose this option based on the interests of your audience. For schools in areas that have plenty of restaurant options, selling gift cards for restaurants or dinner/movie combos can be a great choice. Or you can go the classic route, where the go-to choice for boosters club fundraising is typically sweets of all kinds: candy bars, chocolates, frozen cookie dough and lollipops. For rural and suburban areas that tend to have space for avid gardening hobbies, there are options to purchase planting kits or seeds. These profit shares can go from 30% to as high as 90%, which are on the higher end of volume sales. This also gives a great teaching opportunity for the students to learn about business, marketing and selling, as well as gaining confidence, when aiming towards their fundraising goal.

4. Sell from Within

Instead of relying on affiliate companies and pre-made goods, you can also sell from within. The effort is considerably less than hosting an event or tournament because you really just have to find willing volunteers to prepare the items to sell. These can include a bake sale, a movie premiere of a film made from a local student, garage sale, pancake breakfast or artwork sale, in which the latter can come from the students themselves and gives more reason to support the cause. Or instead of selling goods, you can sell services, which can include a car wash, gift wrapping service or snow shoveling. Since the goods or sweat effort comes heavily from volunteered donations, the costs are cut down considerably. The remaining considerations would be scheduling shifts and making sure you have enough inventory/volunteers for the effort.

5. Giving the Booster Club a Boost

There are also ways to increase your revenue during events. One way to increase the sales is through raffles. Raffles can be in different forms, where you can sell the tickets for a set prize or you can sell a ticket for a chance to pick from a selection of prizes.

Utilizing a Fundraising Website for your Booster Club

One of the things to consider when planning a booster club fundraising effort is that “cash is king” shouldn’t limit the way you receive funds for your efforts. While the traditional method involves door-to-door knocking and cash collecting, you can use a fundraising website that can make planning and collecting funds much easier. For ticketed shows or events, a DoJiggy fundraising website does the job of selling tickets online without having to chase down a person to get the money. For events that involve registration, easily track and plan the participants and their registration fees so that you have all the information in one place and in real-time. If you’re selling services or goods, using fundraising software opens up doors for pre-sales, which can help with preparing how many brownies or other goods that will be sold the day of the sale.

To make sure that you have the lowest fees in your booster club fundraising efforts while having powerful tools for planning and reporting, check out DoJiggy for cost effective online fundraising software or crowdfunding software to help make reaching your goals a success.

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Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.