So your child’s youth sports team wants to do a fundraiser? Buckle up because you can expect a lot of planning and brain storming ahead of you. Hopefully by the end you won’t have pulled out all of your hair. Preparing for a fundraiser can seem like a colossal undertaking, one filled with seemingly countless tasks. Fundraising is a team sport in and of itself. It takes collaboration, preparedness, and devotion for it to be a success.
While fundraisers are a lot of work, they can be extremely beneficial for a team. Youth sports can get very expensive. Parents can only be asked to pay for so much. Fundraising is a crucial tactic for teams searching for some extra funds for equipment, uniforms, facility use fees, or whatever else they need. Meticulous planning is vital to guarantee a successful fundraiser. Make sure that all of these aspects are taken care of and you’ve set you and the team up for an awesome fundraising experience.
Form a planning group
First things first, to get the fundraiser off the ground, you need a group of people (most likely team parents) that are willing to devout a sizeable chunk of their time to organizing it. Dependability is a must-have trait for anyone in this group. Everyone is going to have a lot of responsibilities.
The appointed group should discuss everything that’s needed for the fundraiser before purchases and commitments are made. This includes things like finding a venue, food, fundraising method, advertising, and sponsorships. The group’s main goal is to accomplish all of this while not spending a lot of money. Keeping costs down is tough, but the less you spend on the fundraiser, the more profit you’ll earn from donors.
The phrase, “you have to spend money to make money” certainly applies here. There’s no way around paying for some aspects of the fundraiser. But where can you minimize costs during this whole process? Here are a few ways to keep you from reaching into your wallet too much.
- Venue – If a team parent has a large enough home and is willing to host the event, that can save you a huge expense. The venue is always a tough problem to solve. Subsequently, if a parent owns a local business like a car wash than you lucked out big time. You can host a car wash fundraiser. Try to play to parents’ strengths. You should take advantage of anything a parent can contribute that makes planning easier.
- Volunteers – Calling for volunteers is common practice in fundraising. Everyone recognizes that you are working to raise money for the team. Parents, players, and even fans will be more than happy to volunteer their time to set up and work the fundraiser.
- Depending on the type of fundraiser, if you need referees, ask around the league for any refs that would be willing to volunteer or charge a cheap rate.
- Food – The easiest way to save money on food is to ask every parent to bring a dish, kind of like a potluck. This saves you the hassle of getting a restaurant to cater the event. If you’re fortunate enough to know a team parent that owns a restaurant, than you’ve hit the jackpot. They might be able to supply the food for free or for a significantly reduced cost.
Remember to think hard about setting a date for the fundraiser. If you plan on having an event that needs to be outside, the warmer months are the way to go. Try and pick a day where you know a lot of people will be free. Your goal is to get as many people to the fundraiser as possible. The worst thing that could happen is after you set the date, you find out that there’s another big event going on that will hurt your attendance.
Spreading the word
Advertising for a youth sports fundraiser is crucial. Casting a wide net is the best approach for getting the word out. Players and parents should announce the fundraiser on social media. This is the easiest form of advertising. Don’t forget to announce the event on any team social media accounts. Frequent updates from the team account, players, and parents are a smart idea. Whenever substantial progress is made on the event, a quick announcement can keep everyone informed.
Hang flyers around town or in local business that consent to it. Social media can reach a large chunk of the community, but flyers extend your advertising campaign. They can spread the word to anyone who isn’t on social media.
Selling tickets to the fundraiser is one of the best things you can do. Tickets serve two purposes. One, it raises more money for the team. That one is obvious. Give every player some tickets to sell. You can even set a quota that each player should strive to reach. The other benefit of tickets is it’s another form of advertising. Players and parents can go around town talking with people about the event as they sell tickets. People who buy the tickets can show them to others and spread the word by mouth.
One method of advertising that takes things to the next level is seeking out sponsors. Partnering with businesses can pay dividends very quickly. It’s a win-win situation. The team gets a donation from the business which helps it achieve its fundraising goal. In return, the business can get brand awareness which will most likely result in more sales.
Give donors and attendees an experience
The day has arrived. The fundraiser is underway. Make it an event to remember. Good food, a live band or DJ, and a fun activity are three amazing ideas to try and include. The activity could be a homerun derby, flag football game, Bingo, or Dance-a-thon. Get creative with your brainstorming. If the donors are having fun, they might be even donate more. A memorable fundraiser also makes things easier the next time you host one. People will be more willing to donate or help out because they’ll be looking forward to another event.
More money making ideas
Earning as much money as possible is the team’s goal. Having a raffle or auction are simple additions that can produce some desirable results. The items raffled or auctioned off could be a variety of things. This is another time where donations from businesses would be immensely helpful. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on items for these ideas. In the end, you’ll make that money back plus extra. Another cool idea that raises money and can increase fan support is selling team jerseys, hats, and other gear. Now fans can show up to the games decked out in your team’s gear. How cool would that be?
After it’s all said and done and you’ve had a successful fundraiser, it’s time to show your gratitude to the donors. Announce your appreciation on social media and talk about what a success the fundraiser was. Thank everyone for donating and attending. You could also go above and beyond and write individual thank you notes to everyone. This action isn’t expected as much as the social media post, but it adds a nice personal touch.
The to-do list for organizing a fundraiser is a lengthy one. The responsibility of planning it requires a group effort. Fundraising is tough. As long as you put in the effort and plan things out, you will put the team in an awesome position to raise a considerable amount of money.