Many students, coaches, parents, and schools 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, the following information will help you better plan for your sports fundraising campaign.
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.
Our #1 Sports Fundraising Idea: Team Crowdfunding Campaigns
The perfect fundraising events for teams are active crowdfunding campaigns. Walk-a-thons 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? As an example, baseball and softball teams can host hit-a-thons. Players ask relatives, friends, and neighbors to make a pledge or donation to help a certain cause (to cover tournament fees, pay for new uniforms, etc). Pledge amounts can be calculated either 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.
Keep in mind that with every sports fundraising campaign, you are teaching team members about community service and being part of something larger than themselves. In addition, using a fundraising platform can be a fun experience for participants. Today young adults spend a lot of time on the computer – emailing friends, updating Facebook pages, watching funny videos, and more. Using a fundraising software service makes fundraising easy and convenient for participants. Not only that, but they get to create their own personal fundraising page where they can upload photos, quotes, and explain more about the cause of the fundraising as well as set goals. They are not only helping to raise much needed funds, but learning that helping out can be fun and rewarding.
More Sports Team Fundraising Event Ideas
Many teams have been successful with fun community events such as a Fundraising Car Wash, Bake Sale, or Yard Sale. A Yard sale 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? Host the yard sale at an accessible location familiar to your community… a local recreation center, school gymnasium, or church cafeteria. Promote your yard sale through bulletins, in the local paper, and on Craigslist. Encourage team members and parents to send emails and post announcements on Facebook. Find parents and volunteers with large trucks who would be willing to offer a “pick-up” service to travel to homes to pick up boxes of donated goods, encouraging even more contributions to your sale. For more yard sale ideas, read through our fundraising yard sale blog post.
Another interesting idea for teams with older participants is a team-building fundraising event, such as a fundraising scavenger hunt or relay race. One of our clients hosts an annual event called “The Amazing Race”. Similar to the television show, teams are challenged to travel to various checkpoints and conquer many challenges, detours, etc. in order to make it to the finish line. Teams must strategize about the most efficient route to take, assign team members roles, and work together to accomplish their goals. Funds are raised through team registration fees, plus individual donation requirements.
There are many different kinds of fundraising initiatives that work well with teams, so 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. Visit our unique fundraising events page for more ideas and tips for planning your fundraising campaign.
Team Sponsorhips Work for Sports Fundraising
One of the biggest and easiest money-makers for sports teams can be through soliciting team sponsors. Players, coaches and parents can help identify and reach out to local businesses to ask for sponsorships and donations. Team sponsorships can really work for any sport: baseball, softball, soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, or gymnastics. Team sponsorships usually 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 even be community bulletin boards or a community center newsletter where sponsors can post advertisements and coupons.
If your team is soliciting sponsors, it may be wise to establish various levels of sponsorship and outline the benefits sponsors will receive at each level prior to requesting donations. Businesses may be more likely to support the team, knowing that they will receive something in exchange for their donation. A basic sponsorship requires a smaller donation (maybe $250), and sponsors receive benefits such as link from your organization’s website, and logo on the team banner. Don’t forget to ask sponsors permission to set up a donation jar at their establishment. You may be able to bring in some extra revenue from customers visiting their location who are willing to throw in a few extra bucks to support your cause.
Offering larger sponsor levels such as a “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 web site, 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 be bringing customers in and introducing parents and community members to their restaurant.
As with any fundraising sponsor, 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 web site or newsletter, and inviting sponsors to team parties are all great ways to show appreciation and possibly bring them back again in future years.
More Sports Fundraising Ideas
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. If you still aren’t sure the type of fundraising activity you’d like to host, we’ve created a list below to get you started.
We’ve created sports fundraising ideas for nearly every type of sports team.