Team fundraising is a great way for sports teams, dance teams, cheerleading squads, debate teams or any group organization to raise additional money to support their activity. Money raised for team fundraising typically goes towards new uniforms or equipment, training tools, and often for travel expenses for competitions or tournaments. Although there are many fundraising initiatives that work well, team fundraising ideas that encourage teamwork while allowing team members to have fun often work best. Make sure to explain the cause for the fundraiser, as people are more willing to contribute to help if they understand exactly where their money is going. Below we’ve outlined some team fundraising ideas and guidelines to help you be more successful in your fundraising efforts.
Team Walk-A-Thon (or any “A-thon” variation)
Walk-a-thon fundraising events have become a very popular means for teams raising fundraising dollars to support their sport or group organization. In addition, these types of events support health and wellness, encourage teamwork, and create a fun community gathering, tying in local sponsors and offering event participants and attendees food, beverage, entertainment, prizes and more! Many of our clients have achieved great success through hosting a walk-a-thon and have incorporated this type of fundraising event on an annual basis. Visit our Walkathon Resource Center for all the tools you’ll need to organize a successful walkathon event.
A “walkathon” is not the only answer. Why not create an interesting variation of a walkathon that is in-line with your team’s mission? Here is a great example: A dance team is looking to earn dollars for travel expenses to compete in a national dance competition and decides to host a dance-a-thon. This type of fundraiser works just like any walk-a-thon, however instead of walking… participants are dancing! For an entire weekend, dance team members and teachers (perhaps you may even be able to recruit some big-name dancers to donate their time) teach dance lessons to others in the community. Include classes for adults and children! Parents can learn ballroom dancing or swing, while children are learning tap-dance or ballet. Incorporate fun dance performances throughout the weekend. Perhaps the dance team members pair up and create their own dance routine, and instructors can show off advanced levels of different dance styles.
How is the money raised? Dance team members ask relatives, neighbors and friends to make a pledge donation for the Dance-A-Thon weekend. Perhaps they come up with a catchy phrase like “Dancing our way to Nationals”. A great way to obtain a lot of pledges easily and quickly is through an online fundraising program like DoJiggy Pledge. Team members create personal pledge pages where they upload photos, explain their mission and have people make secure donations online. Participants can send out an email donation request that includes a link to the online pledge page, making it very easy for potential donors to contribute.
Additional revenue can be made by charging an entry fee for community members who want to learn to dance, as well as through selling concessions and merchandise throughout the weekend. Consider hosting a fundraising raffle as part of the event where attendees buy raffle tickets for a chance to win various prizes donated by businesses in the community.
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. Sounds like a great fundraising idea for a debate team or chess team. Funds are raised through team registration fees, plus individual pledge donation requirements. To see an example, visit their DoJiggy website at http://rmt.amazingrace.llsevent.org.
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 creative fundraising events page for more ideas and tips for planning your fundraising campaign.
One of the biggest 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 donations. Team sponsorships can really work for any sport: baseball, softball, soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, etc. 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 (i.e. $100 – $250), and sponsors receive benefits such as link from team 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 ($1000+). This sponsorship level will receive enhanced benefits such as 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.