If you manage a sports team, you probably have some idea of how important fundraising is for every season. Whether you’re working with Little Leaguers or adults, raising the funds for uniforms, travel costs, and team equipment is a big responsibility. Your team may be big or small, from the city or the country, with a large budget or a tiny one. Wherever you find yourself, as a team leader you may have to get creative when it comes to finding the resources needed for a variety of necessary expenses.
Most of us, at some time, have been approached by someone wanting to raise money for a worthy cause, whether it be school, a charitable organization, or a sports team. These fundraising products can run the gamut of candy bars, wrapping paper, calendars, and cheese dips. Although these methods may be effective, they can become monotonous and costly.
While fundraising may seem like a chore, for many players it may be the only affordable option. The many expenses which go into being a team member can be high, and fundraising offers an opportunity to put everyone on an equal playing field.
Team leaders need to find a balance between asking for money without any effort and selling a product which has little to no value for the donor. At the same time, team members should have some ownership in the process, which not only allows them to see how their efforts make a difference, but can also prove to be a learning experience. The more input and involvement from others, the greater the sense of accomplishment at the end of the process.
For both on and off the field, fundraising ideas have come a long way from hosting a bake sale outside of the local grocery store. With the rise of online sites and social media outlets that have bolstered efforts, coaches and parents have a variety of creative options available when it comes to raising funds for the little (and big) sluggers under their care. Read on to see how these team fundraising ideas can work for your group.
- Use social media: No need to print a bunch of flyers that will get eventually get tossed. Create a colorful and bold announcement to put on all of the social media outlets (and there are plenty) in order to get the word out. Plan ahead to modify, if necessary; for instance, you will need to convert documents to a photo-friendly format in order to post to Instagram. Ask everyone you know to share, and you may be amazed to see how far your reach extends.
- Use team members: No matter the ages, team members can be “rented” for a variety of simple chores and tasks, including yard work, general cleaning, and pet care. These opportunities can be purchased by supporters who need a babysitter, basement-cleaner, or car washer for the afternoon. Modify tasks based on age and ability and be sure to send a thank-you note to all of the “renters”!
- Use sponsors: Do you have extra space on a fence or on your website? Corporate sponsors who give at a certain threshold can be thanked with a sign on the team’s property, uniform shirts, or with a link on your blog or social media site. Get creative! Whatever space you have, use it to promote these supportive businesses and raise funds at the same time.
- Use customized products: Are game supporters sitting in the hot sun? Did they forget sunglasses, water bottles, or ball caps? Share a little team spirit and raise some money by selling products like accessories, water, and snacks with the team logo imprinted on them. This can take a variety of forms and the sale table can be manned by a parent or other team supporter. Custom plastic water bottles not only serve as great incentives for donors as a token of appreciation for their support, but also support health, hydration, and the environment.
- Use the ideas of others: Team fundraising ideas shouldn’t be the product of one person’s efforts. Gather a group of committed supporters who can give input, which ensures that there is a variety of suggestions and resources. The stay-at-home-parent can contribute just as much as the business owner, and together their ideas can prove to be invaluable.
No matter the time of year, some type of sport is happening on fields all across the country. For every age, gender, and skill level, teams and their leaders need to be armed with the right tools and resources in order to consider and implement fundraising ideas. It may seem easier to go the route of a website which simply asks for money, but in the end it teaches little by way of life lessons and team ownership.
You may be a fundraising pro, or it may be your first time attempting to find the necessary income for your various expenses. Whatever the size of your group or your budget, remember these important aspects when it comes to team fundraising:
- Set realistic goals and plan ahead
- Meet people where they are (sunglasses on a ball field!)
- Speak to a practical need
- Involve everyone, no matter their age (this also encourages a sense of ownership)
- Take all ideas into consideration and see if they are workable
- Celebrate accomplishments and recognize supporters
Team leaders may feel overwhelmed with the prospect of having to raise money for the upcoming season, but there are great alternatives to the same old methods. When you utilize all of the resources at your disposal, you may find that your next effort brings in more than ever before! Fundraising doesn’t have to be a boring sales pitch to help your neighbor add to his growing pile of expensive gift wrap. With a little creative thought and team involvement, your next event to raise funds can actually be fun and worthwhile!