Youth sports fundraising is a great way to earn extra money for extra-curricular activities while teaching children about teamwork, working hard to accomplish a goal, and serving the local community. Children are wonderful fundraising participants. They are enthusiastic about almost everything they do. They learn many new things every day and they 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 friends, teammates, coaches and parents.
Youth Sports Fundraising Ideas
Whether your youth sports fundraiser will help raise money for team uniforms, training tools and equipment, weekend training camps, or travel expenses for tournaments, youth sports fundraisers do not need to be difficult. We have done some research to bring you interesting ideas to help you create the best fundraising strategies for youth sports.
Our #1 Youth Sports Fundraising Idea: Active Crowdfunding Events
Nonprofit crowdfunding events make great youth fundraisers. After all, these are children who are part of a team and are learning to work together already. 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? Perhaps a baseball or softball team wants to host a hit-a-thon or a dance studio hosts a dance-a-thon competition. Whatever crowdfunding event you choose, the idea is the same – kids ask for donations and pledges in support of your cause. Friends and family share in the effort by financially supporting their favorite athlete via personal and team fundraising pages.
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Youth Community Service Projects
Since we are interested in teaching our children through their fundraising and youth sports efforts, another great option is to host an event that encourages the athletes to give back to their community. What better way for kids to do that then by donating time to serving the needy through a serve-a-thon event? Parents and coaches can setup a project or 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 and pledges to support the effort. The options are endless!
Product Sales for your Youth Sports Team
Product sales are always an option for team fundraising. In youth sports fundraising, it’s important to select the right products to sell. The 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. But remember, the kids are learning lessons here and promoting candy bar and cookie dough sales may not be the best lesson. 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 fundraiser at the end of the summer for a tournament, 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. Lastly, it’s important that your fundraising product has a high profit margin. Often scratch-off cards and fundraising discount cards have large profit margins, and are a relatively easy item to sell.
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Fundraising Events for Youth Sports
There are many different fundraising events that work well for youth sports fundraisers. Plan something that kids will have fun participating in while raising money for your cause.
- 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!
- Rather than a charily 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.
- Aluminum Can Drives: Kids collect as many used cans and bottles they can find. The student who collects the most wins a prize, and everything they collect can be turned in to 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 everyone can enjoy a treat.
- Pizza parties have a wide 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 drinks, to raise funds.
Youth Sports Fundraising Tips
Parents are Key to 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 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 Participants
Part of youth sports is teaching and helping kids with their sales skills, which means you don’t want to send them out unprepared. Not only will this help them do better raising money for the fundraiser, but will also help them build confidence. Here are some pointers:
- Be friendly: Make eye contact, smile and introduce yourself.
- Provide a quick overview about 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 is going to be something they do throughout their life. Work together to create a list of prospects (family, friends, neighbors, church groups). This may be an activity that a coach leads at practice, where all team members take some time to create a list of potential prospects. 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, and do practice sales pitching. Encourage team members to make a commitment to raising a certain financial amount. Set minimum amounts and encourage competition by offering prizes for various achievement levels.
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. Having a well-planned and enthusiastic fundraiser kick-off event where you establish goals and rewards can be very effective to motivate participants and parents. Similarly, hosting a rewards party after the fundraiser wraps up is a great way to congratulate all participants, share success over team bonding and pizza.
Using a fundraising software platform to manage donations or products sales and track participant success can be a fun experience for participants. Not only do children get to create their own personal fundraising page with photos and goals, but they can track their success against other team members. Children—particularly those involved in competitive sports—are motivated by prizes or incentives for doing a good job, so why not encourage some healthy competition? Coaches can also post a list of top sellers each week at practice for additional motivation. Perhaps offer a weekly prize for top sales or donations earned, and then one grand prize for the largest contributor at the end of the fundraiser. Regardless of performance, remember to encourage all team members and recognize their hard efforts… even if they aren’t a top performer, ever contribution helps!