In March, college basketball takes center stage as the NCAA basketball championship tournament kicks off. Basketball fans, college students, and general sports enthusiasts are all rooting for their favorite teams. Don’t underestimate the significance of March Madness; it’s almost as popular as the Super Bowl or World Series. So why not take advantage of all this energy and host a March Madness fundraising event?
A school basketball team fundraiser makes a lot of sense during March Madness, as this mirrors the team’s mission. But your organization does not have to have basketball as part of its mission to participate in March Madness fundraising. The basketball theme just provides a creative platform and fun ideas to include in your fundraising campaign. This could be the perfect time to introduce your organization to a new audience or bring fun to high school fundraising.
Let’s review the most popular March Madness fundraising ideas for charities of all kinds.
Plan a March Madness Bracket Tournament
This easy fundraising idea can fly with almost any organization. How does a bracket tournament work? Your organization asks supporters, volunteers, and community members to pay a set fee (i.e., $10) to submit a bracket denoting their picks (predicted winners) for each of the March Madness games. Whoever has the most picks right wins. Offer donated prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. These items will cost your organization nothing and incentivize people to participate in the tournament.
Create a free fundraising website where you can sell tickets, post a fundraising thermometer that displays how much money has been raised, and list the prizes for winners. Announce the Bracket Tourney several weeks before the NCAA tournament kicks off to get people excited and give them enough time to submit their picks before the games begin.
Host a March Madness Viewing Event
This is an especially great idea for a team fundraising event or fundraiser for your school. Host your event at a community gymnasium where baskets are readily available, in case anyone gets inspired. Air the championship game on a large screen and have other activities going on simultaneously, such as food and drink sales, games, and contests. Staff volunteers can grill burgers and hot dogs and offer soda (and beer, if possible) to sell at the event for additional revenue. Offer basketball-themed cupcakes and cookies for dessert to further support your March Madness theme.
These viewing events can even be run virtually with live-stream integrations.
Everyone Loves a Chance to Win Prizes
Hold a silent auction or fundraising raffle. Manage the silent auction online with our charity auction platform. Have local basketball celebrities donate autographed jerseys or auction season tickets for your local NBA team. Remember that not every item has to support basketball and tie in some items that will appeal to a broader audience, such as spa treatments, restaurant gift certificates, shopping sprees, hotel or B&B stays, and more.
Add Half-Time Fundraising Contests
Have some fun activities during game half-times. Have volunteers from your school and engage your PTA fundraising team to compete against community members in a fun game of H-O-R-S-E. Ask all participants to make a small donation to play in the half-time game. Change the name of your game to support your organization. For example, if your fundraising event is to raise funding for The Boy Scouts, instead of spelling out “H-O-R-S-E,” spell “S-C-O-U-T-S.”
There are also plenty of crowdfunding activities you could include. During half-time, showcase a consecutive basket competition or a pass-the-ball contest. Before the big event, have participants collect online donations and pledges with crowdfunding software. People can donate a set amount or choose an amount based on how many consecutive baskets a participant can make. Or, for a team event, alternate players so all the pressure is not on one individual. The consecutive baskets must carry from one player to the next. A similar idea would be to spread team members up and down the court and have them pass the ball from one player to another. See how many times they can pass it within a certain amount of time without dropping the ball. Collect pledges based on the number of completed passes.
Use Our Free Fundraising Websites for March Madness Campaigns
All of these events are easily handled with our robust online registration and donation capabilities. Get your March Madness fundraising event started today!