20+ Best Sports Fundraising Ideas

Sports Fundraising Can Be Easy AND Effective
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Sports fundraising is a great way to earn money for extra-curricular activities while teaching children and youth about teamwork, working hard to accomplish a goal, and serving the community. Many groups and school teams participate in sports fundraising initiatives to help provide funding for sports programs. Whether raising funds for new equipment, team uniforms, or travel funds for competitions, find the best ideas for your sports fundraising campaigns here.

Our Favorite Sports Fundraising Idea: Team Peer-to-Peer and Crowdfunding Campaigns

Team Crowdfunding Campaigns Work for Sports Fundraising

The perfect fundraising events for teams are active peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. Walkathons and Fun Runs are quintessential crowdfunding efforts that almost everyone enjoys. But why not customize the fundraiser for your sports team to get the kids really excited? Baseball and softball teams can host hit-a-thons and volleyball teams can run serve-a-thons. Players ask relatives, friends, and neighbors to donate to support the campaign. The cause might be to cover tournament fees, pay for new uniforms, or travel expenses. Pledge amounts can be calculated per completed hit or longest distance hit, with each participant getting a certain number of pitches, or contributors can choose to donate a fixed amount.

A great way to obtain a lot of donations easily and quickly is through our online peer-to-peer fundraising platform. Players create personal fundraising pages where they upload photos, explain their mission, and have people make secure donations online. Participants can send out an email donation request letter or social media appeal that includes a link directly to their personal fundraising page.


Our Donor-Friendly Websites Win for Sports Fundraising Campaigns

Sports fundraising websites
Using a fundraising platform makes fundraising easy and convenient. Participants create their personal fundraising page where they can upload photos, set fundraising goals, and explain their cause.

More Sports Team Fundraising Ideas

Best Sports Fundraising Ideas: Youth Community Service Projects

Youth Community Service Projects

Since we are interested in teaching our children through their fundraising and youth sports efforts, another great option is hosting an event encouraging the athletes to give back to their community. What better way for kids to do that than by donating time to serving the needy through a serve-a-thon event? Parents and coaches can set up a project or multiple projects – cleaning a local park or highway, painting the bleachers, reading to the elderly, or delivering gifts to cancer patients – and children commit to helping with the project. Family and friends make donations to support the effort. The options are endless.

10 Fundraising Events for Youth Sports

There are many different fundraising events that work well for sports fundraisers. Plan something that kids will have fun participating in while raising money. Take some time to brainstorm with team members and parents to find out what type of fundraiser they’d enjoy participating in. If participants are invested in the activity and can have fun while raising money, chances are you’ll have a successful fundraiser.

  • Fundraising car washes work great as a youth fundraiser. Add in a dog wash and sell handmade sandwiches and snacks to add to the fun.
  • Community yard sale fundraisers can bring in a great deal of money with a little planning and promotion. Every year people clean out closets, garages, and storage units to discover things they no longer need. Why not take this opportunity to reach out to your community and provide them with a reason to donate old items for a great cause?
  • Rather than a charity golf tournament, what about a mini-golf fundraising event? Mini-golf events are great, as almost everyone can participate – even younger siblings.
  • Hold a breakfast fundraiser and include pancakes as well as more gourmet fare. Get the coaches cooking and the kids will be excited.
  • Aluminum can drives: Kids collect as many used cans and bottles as possible. The student who collects the most wins a prize, and everything they collect can be turned into a recycling center for funds.
  • Bakes sales are a classic youth sports fundraiser. Families can bake pies, cookies, or other items and sell them at games to raise funds. Consider offering gluten-free and dairy-free options so that everyone can enjoy a treat.
  • Pizza parties have a broad appeal because everyone loves pizza. Charge by the slice or whole pie, with the profits going to raise funds for your youth sports team.
  • Potluck dinners can be great for school or youth sports fundraising. Have everyone bring a dish to the potluck. Sell tickets for each plate and drink, to raise funds.
  • Scavenger hunts: Another exciting idea for teams with older participants is a team-building fundraising event, such as a fundraising scavenger hunt or relay race. With an Amazing Race fundraiser, teams travel to various checkpoints and conquer challenges and detours to make it to the finish line. Teams must strategize about the most efficient route, assign team members’ roles, and work together to accomplish their goals. Funds are raised through team crowdfunding efforts.
Fundraising Events for Youth Sports

Online Sports Team Merchandise Sales

Online Team Spirit Merchandise Sales for Sports Teams

Product sales are another option for team fundraising. In youth sports fundraising, it’s important to select the right products to sell. Kids are learning lessons here, and promoting candy bars and cookie dough sales may not be the best lesson. Products should have mass appeal, be relevant to the sport and time of year, and be sold at an above-average price point so you can make good profit margins. Scratch-off cards and fundraising discount cards have large profit margins and are relatively easy items to sell.

Team Merchandise

If your team has a following, selling branded items works well:

  1. Custom T-Shirts: Sell custom-made team T-shirts, a great fundraising idea that promotes team spirit.
  2. Team Caps: Sports fans love caps! Create stylish team caps to raise funds.
  3. Branded Water Bottles: Promote hydration and team spirit with branded water bottles.
  4. Wristbands: Low-cost but popular, team wristbands can boost your fundraising efforts.
  5. Team Calendars: Create and sell a team-themed calendar, perfect for club sports teams.

Seasonal Sales

Consider choosing items that are top of mind during the time of year you are hosting your fundraiser. If you are part of a softball or baseball team and are conducting a summer fundraiser, consider selling back-to-school items: backpacks, t-shirts, lunch boxes, pencils, and notebooks. Similarly, if the fundraiser is for a fall sport, consider selling holiday items such as wrapping paper, holiday cards, candles, and tree lights. 

Merchandise Sales with No Inventory to Manage

Online merchandise sales via a team store is an easy way to bring in some dough. Simply design your team gear on Printful, a company that prints and ships your items on demand. You can sell t-shirts, hoodies, hats, bags, socks, cell phone covers, and more. Then add the products to your online store at a price that guarantees your team profits from each sale.

Team Sponsorships Work Well for Sports Fundraising

Sports Team Sponsorhips

One of the biggest and easiest money-makers for sports teams is soliciting team sponsors. Players, coaches, and parents can help identify and contact local businesses to ask for donations. Team sponsorships work best for sports that are highly visible within the community. For example, a soccer team that competes weekly at a community center where hundreds of parents, children, and locals are present gives businesses exposure to a large audience through logo presence on banners and team uniforms. There may be community bulletin boards or a community center newsletter where sponsors can post advertisements and coupons.

Establish Team Sponsorship Levels

If your team is soliciting sponsors, establish levels of sponsorship and outline the benefits sponsors will receive at each level before requesting donations. Businesses will be more likely to support a team, knowing they will receive promotions in exchange for their donation.

  • A Title Team Sponsor can be $1,000+. This sponsorship level receives 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, 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.
  • A smaller sponsorship package requires a smaller donation (maybe $250). Sponsors receive benefits such as a link from your fundraising website, and a logo on the team banner. 

Be sure to thank sponsors for their contributions. Sending a thank-you letter at the end of the season, recognizing sponsor contributions on a team website or newsletter, and inviting sponsors to team parties are all great ways to show appreciation and possibly bring them back again in future years.

Fundraising Ideas for School Sports Teams

School sports teams hold a special place in every student’s heart. They instill teamwork, discipline, and school pride. Here are five fundraising ideas perfect for school sports teams, combining education, fun, and community engagement.

  • Pep Rally Fundraiser: Charge a small entry fee for an exciting pep rally event. It’s a great way to drum up school spirit and raise funds at the same time.

  • Homework Pass Sale: Sell ‘Homework Passes’ that allow students a one-time exemption from an assignment. It’s a light-hearted idea that can be surprisingly effective.

  • Teacher-Student Game: Organize a fun match between teachers and students, with tickets sold to spectators. It’s a unique twist that promises lots of laughs and school spirit.

  • School Sports Calendar: Create and sell a calendar with pictures from your sports seasons, school events, and team members. It’s a great keepsake for students and parents.

  • Study Guide Sale: Older students can create study guides or note sets for exams and sell them to younger students. It’s an educational fundraising idea that benefits all involved.

Considerations for Sports Fundraising Campaigns

Not all sports fundraising ideas and campaigns are created equal. Important questions and factors to keep in mind when starting your sports fundraising campaign include:

  • How much volunteer time will the project take? Do you currently have committed parents or other volunteers to assist in your planning process?
  • How will your team recruit more volunteers?
  • How will players be involved? What roles can players, parents, and coaches play?
  • What are the upfront costs and how will you cover these?
  • What are you teaching members of your sports team through your fundraising campaign?
  • What kind of prizes are you offering to the top fundraisers? Anything that makes the event more fun for kids, means that your event will be more successful and raise more money.

Sports Fundraising Tips and Strategies

Children are wonderful fundraising participants who are enthusiastic about almost everything they do. They learn new things every day, and are genuinely interested in the activities offered through their school and team activities. Fundraising for youth sports teams should be positioned as a fun event rather than a task, and as something children can enjoy working on with their teammates, coaches, and parents.

Parents are Key to Youth Sports Fundraising Success

One factor to consider with youth sports fundraising is that parents must be heavily relied upon for much of the workload, so gaining the support of the parents is key. It’s parent involvement that makes for the most successful youth fundraisers! Encourage parents to be proactive. Not only should children talk to friends, family, and neighbors, but parents can help by reaching out to co-workers, church groups, and other social networks.

Take the Time to Prepare the Team Participants

Part of youth sports is teaching and helping kids with their sales skills, so you don’t want to send them out unprepared. Not only will this help them do better raising money for the fundraiser, but it will also help them build confidence. Here are some pointers:

  • Be friendly: Make eye contact, smile, and introduce yourself.
  • Provide a quick overview of why you are raising funds. Contributors will want to know what their money is going to support.
  • Kindly ask for their support and explain how their contribution will help.
  • Offer a sample item, catalog, or order sheet for them to look at so they know exactly what they are signing up for.
  • Suggest bundles for larger sales.

Create a Donor Prospect List

Help the children participating in the fundraiser understand the planning process. After all, this will be something they do throughout their life. Work together to create a list of prospects (family, friends, neighbors, church groups). Have everyone share their lists, as it may spark ideas for other team members. Put together a fundraising game plan – share ideas about how children plan to reach out to their prospects. Encourage team members to commit to raising a certain financial amount. Set minimum amounts and encourage competition by offering prizes for various achievement levels.

Have Fun!

Best Sports Fundraising Ideas for Youth Remember to organize youth sports fundraisers that are fun for the kids. If they are smiling while cheerfully communicating the purpose of the fundraising event, then chances are good they’ll get a favorable response. A well-planned and enthusiastic fundraiser kick-off where you establish goals and rewards can motivate participants. Similarly, hosting a rewards party after the fundraiser wraps up is a great way to congratulate all participants and share success over team bonding and pizza.

Award Prizes to Top Performers

Children (particularly those involved in competitive sports) are motivated by prizes, so why not encourage some healthy competition? Offer prizes for the highest sales or donations earned, and you will see your fundraising sales increase significantly. Regardless of performance, remember to encourage all team members and recognize their efforts; even if they aren’t top performers, every contribution counts.

More Sports Fundraising Ideas for Your Team

Many different fundraising initiatives work well for teams, so visit our unique fundraising events page for more ideas and tips for planning your fundraising campaign. Our fundraising tips section offers additional guidelines to help you set goals, identify fundraising sources, prepare a timeline, recruit participants and volunteers, and promote your fundraising event. 

We’ve created sports fundraising ideas for nearly every type of sports team here.