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Hosting a swim-a-thon and exploring swim team fundraising ideas can be a great way to bring in extra funding for your swim team. Just like many other sports and team organizations, swim teams often find themselves in need of additional funds to help team members cover expenses for equipment, training tools, and travel expenses for competitions. Swim team fundraisers can also be great for improving current facilities, updating the pool, bleachers, and more. Below we've outlined some basic guidelines and ideas for hosting a swim-a-thon and included a few interesting swim team fundraising ideas.

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A swim-a-thon is a swim team fundraising event designed to raise money for swim teams and clubs. A swim-a-thon works just like a walk-a-thon event, however, participants collect pledges and donations for swimming rather than walking. This concept seems to work well for swim teams because team members are able to earn funds and entertain the community while doing what they love to do the most... swim! Participants agree to swim for a set amount of time such as one hour. During that time the goal for each participant is to swim as many laps as possible. A maximum number of laps may be established. Team members may collect pledges per the completed pool length they swam, or contributors may also choose to donate a set amount.

Swim-a-thon Variations

There are a lot of variations that you can plan as a part of your swim team fundraising event to encourage teamwork and add an extra element of excitement. Arrange participants into teams and offer awards for the team that swims the most laps during the event. Add a twist to your swim-a-thon and host a swim-a-thon relay. A relay removes the pressure from one individual as team members alternate laps, giving them a short break to catch their breath between turns and encourages teamwork! Don't forget that a swim-a-thon can be created for any level of swimmers. If you are raising funds to help support development for a children's "learn-to-swim" program, your swim-a-thon event can be based around laps swam by kids on kick-boards, or amount of time spent treading water. Dive teams could create "dive-a-thon" events in which divers are challenged to execute a number of different dives in a specified amount of time. The creative options are endless!

Swim Fundraising Event

Swim-a-thons are great fundraisers because not only are they bringing money in to support the swim team or club, but they also provide an opportunity for teams to interact in a fun, social environment while increasing community awareness. Some organizations choose to make an entire event out of their swim team fundraiser. Following the actual swim-a-thon event attendees and participants are invited to a community picnic or BBQ. Food and drinks could be donated by local businesses. Perhaps a local band is interested in performing in support of your cause. There are a number of additional activities that can be included as part of your Swim Event such as a fundraising raffle in where local businesses donate gift certificates, goods and services to auction off as prizes at the event. Raffle tickets can be sold during the swim-a-thon and the winners announced at the social gathering, along with awards for the top performing swimmers.

Swim-a-thon Sponsors

Another great way to bring in funds for your swim group is to look for local sponsorships. Businesses are often looking for ways to engage with the local community by supporting a noble cause. Use your networks to reach out to businesses and encourage their participation through becoming an official sponsor of the swim-a-thon through a tax-deductible donation. Offer benefits such as recognition in event programs, on the club website and in signs placed around the pool. In addition, a company can choose to sponsor a student by matching the amount of donations the student will raise. Ask sponsors to help spread the word about your fundraising event by posting announcements on bulletin boards, special mentions on web sites and encouraging employees to get involved. Lastly, be sure to thank your sponsors for their contributions! If they feel appreciated there's a good chance they could come on board as a sponsor again in future years.

Collecting Donations & Pledges

An effective way to obtain a lot of pledges easily and quickly is through an online fundraising software like DoJiggy Pledge for Swim Teams. Team members will create personal pledge pages where they'll upload photos, explain their mission and have people make secure donations online. Participants can send out an email donation request which includes a link to the online pledge page, making it very easy for potential donors to contribute. Be sure to add a link to your online donation page on your organization's web site, and encourage team members to post links on social networking sites. Encourage healthy competition to motivate participants to raise more pledges by providing incentives and exciting prizes for the best performers.

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Other Resources

For additional information about hosting a swim-a-thon, walk-a-thon or any other sort of "a-thon" event you may visit our Walk-a-thon Resource Center. There are a number of guidelines and templates to assist you in your planning efforts including sample walk-a-thon flyers, pledge forms and tips to help you recruit event sponsors and create a sample press release to promote your fundraising event.

Sports Fundraising