Hit-a-thon fundraisers are an excellent way for softball and baseball teams to raise money. Based on peer-to-peer fundraising, each hit-a-thon participant raises funds by asking friends and family to donate to the team. Pledges are collected after the hit-a-thon when the best hits have been recorded or as a flat donation collected in advance of the event.
Many softball and baseball teams have successfully used our free crowdfunding websites for hit-a-thon fundraisers. We can make your event a success!
Now, let’s get into our easy guide on successfully hosting a hit-a-thon fundraiser.
Here’s What We’ll Cover
- Secure the Hit-a-thon Logistics
- Plan the Hit-a-thon Fundraiser Marketing Collateral
- Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software for the Hit-a-thon
- Motivate Your Team to Participate and Raise Money
- Reach Out to Potential Hit-a-thon Sponsors
- Hosting the Hit-a-thon
- Wrap-up Fundraising and Send Thank Yous
Plan Financial Goals for a Hit-a-thon Fundraiser
As with all fundraising events, setting a fundraising goal is crucial. Decide how much you want to raise. Then, review the costs required to host a hit-a-thon fundraiser. One of the best things about hosting a hit-a-thon fundraiser is that the costs are minimal. Still, costs will be incurred and may include the following:
- T-shirts and participation awards
- Prizes for the top fundraisers and best hitters
- Food and drinks for the participants
- A crowdfunding website to take online donations
- Printed marketing materials (i.e., pledge sheets or posters)
Now, decide how much is needed to achieve the fundraising goal. After deciding on the top-line fundraising goal, establish the registration fee (if any) and the minimum fundraising goal for each participant to reach the overall goal. For example, if the fundraising goal is $20,000 with 150 participants, each participant should aim to raise a minimum of $133. Clearly communicating reasonable goals provides a higher chance for participants to achieve these goals.
Secure the Hit-a-thon Logistics
It’s time to determine the logistics – where and when will the event be held? Here are some items to consider:
- Venue: Reach out to the baseball fields where your team plays to secure the event’s location, date, and time. Inquire about a rain date, as well.
- Vendors: Find trustworthy and reasonably priced vendors for the accessories needed for the event, which may include t-shirts, baseball caps, and other items.
- Game Equipment: Discuss who will supply baseball bats and balls for the hit-a-thon if your team doesn’t already have enough of these.
- Field Logistics: Decide if the organization will provide an umpire, dugout coordinator, or someone to record the distance of hits and outfielders.
- Prizes: Prize ideas can include one for the longest hit and one for the highest funds raised in each age group. If your hit-a-thon is a league event, be sure that teams compete against each other for the most money raised. Also, consider other fun prizes that would attract players and raise the camaraderie of the game. Kids love prizes and will work hard to win even a small prize.
- Volunteers: Establish the volunteers needed for the event, including people to register hitters and give out t-shirts, distribute refreshments, set up/breakdown, record hitting distances, or do other necessary tasks. Parents are the first volunteers that come to mind for hit-a-thons.
Plan the Hit-a-thon Fundraiser Marketing Collateral
Once the logistical details are finalized, plan the marketing collateral. This includes flyers, posters, and digital banners for social media (i.e., Facebook and Instagram). Flyers and posters should include the time and location of the hit-a-thon fundraiser, registration information, and information about your organization and cause.
Plan a social media calendar to promote different posts around the promotion of the hit-a-thon fundraiser, such as stories about the participants, achievements from the funds raised in the past, sponsor highlights, and other helpful posts.
Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software for the Hit-a-thon
One of the most critical steps in hosting a crowdfunding event is to find fundraising software that can handle your crowdsourcing needs. Our donor-friendly platform allows participants to fundraise by sharing their personal fundraising page through e-mail or social media. Donors can give donations and per foot (or meter) pledges and see how far the participant is from reaching their fundraising goal. Use the software for free when optional tips from your donors cover the fees.
Motivate Your Team to Participate and Raise Money
The success of your hit-a-thon lies in your participants’ ability to raise money. Therefore, motivating them is key.
To start, make it easy for your participants. Most everyone is busy and will want to streamline fundraising efforts as much as possible. Be sure that the registration process is easy for participants, and your software can be used to collect t-shirt sizes and any other helpful accessory details. Then, provide batters with peer-to-peer fundraising tools; don’t ask them to create everything from scratch.
Be sure to let participants and donors know what your cause is and be specific. Why are you raising money? This isn’t just an obligation; it’s essential. Monetary funds may be needed for field renovations and improvements, field and team equipment, team uniforms and travel expenses, or other team operating expenses such as lighting and umpires for games.
Finally, don’t forget to incentivize them with prizes and awards for their hard work.
Reach Out to Potential Hit-a-thon Sponsors
A critical planning step that will help maximize the baseball or softball hit-a-thon fundraising goal is to seek businesses and organizations to sponsor the event. Whether offering refreshments or snacks for the hit-a-thon, printing services, prizes, or other in-kind or monetary donations, anything that helps decrease the hit-a-thon costs helps your team reach your goal.
Remember that companies are looking to benefit from sponsorship when seeking charity sponsorships. What can you offer them in return for free pizza for your batters? You can promote them on your website, in emails, with physical banners and flyers. This face-to-face discussion is a great opportunity to find community and local business sponsors for your team.
Baseball and Softball Team Sponsors
One of the biggest money-makers for baseball fundraising is soliciting team sponsors. Players, coaches, and parents can help identify and contact local businesses to ask for donations. The team may want to establish various sponsorship levels and outline the benefits sponsors will receive at each level before requesting donations.
A basic sponsorship requires a smaller donation (i.e., $100 – $250). At this level, sponsors receive benefits such as a link from the team website and the sponsor’s logo on the team banner. Offering larger sponsor levels, such as the Title Team Sponsor, can bring in much larger donations ($1,000+). This sponsorship level will receive enhanced benefits such as their logo on team jerseys, a featured advertisement on the team website, and recognition on team plaques and trophies. If the title sponsor is a local restaurant, offer to host team parties at their location. This is a great benefit as you’ll bring customers in and introduce parents and community members to their restaurant.
Hosting the Hit-a-thon
On the day of the event, each participant heads to the field to bat at home plate. Based on the age of the participants and how many participants are playing, each player usually gets three to seven hits. Many teams use a tee to ensure that the length of the hit is the most important factor in the hit-a-thon (rather than the pitch). The ball hit the longest is recorded as the best hit for that player.
Older teams can host a Home Run Derby, similar to the major leagues. This is where the top four players in the first round (or the top player in each division) compete to see who can hit the ball the furthest overall. A Home Run Derby also provides an opportunity to build excitement, promote the event to spectators, and sell refreshments.
The event coordinator should keep the pace of the event going so there is no backlog of participants. Participants should be broken up by arrival times to begin registration for their time slot. After their hits, participants should be given a copy of their scores so they can reach out to their supporters if the donations are based on units of effort (such as feet hit). When an administrator finalizes the campaign, per unit of effort pledges are automatically charged with our platform.
Wrap-up Fundraising and Send Thank Yous
To follow up on the baseball hit-a-thon fundraiser, contact the participants to remind them of the final date for collecting cash donations and to give any helpful tips to finish strong.
It’s important that your hit-a-thon planning team finishes strong as well. Send thank you messages to the participants, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and other parties that have made the event successful. Let them know how much money was raised and how it will be used. Highlight your top fundraisers and top hitters. Since the hit-a-thon fundraiser happens in staggered time slots, you may need to reach out to the event winners to give them their prizes and promote the winners and event successes through team newsletters or e-mails.
Evaluating the event’s success is another great idea that will help you grow the hit-a-thon fundraiser from year to year, and this is best done within a week of the event to keep it fresh in mind.