Steps To Planning a Successful Sports Fundraiser
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While watching your child participate in youth sports is a lot of fun for you and a great learning experience for your kids, it’s usually not cheap. There are league dues, uniform costs, equipment costs, facility use fees and costs to pay officials. And that’s not even counting the costs associated with travel teams!
That’s where team fundraisers come in — they can help cover some, if not all, of the team’s expenses, making it more affordable for parents. However, there’s a fine line between success and failure when it comes to a youth sports team’s fundraiser — and it all starts with planning.
Before you start planning a fundraiser, it’s important to have an idea of how much money you want to raise, as this will often determine what type of event is hosted. Here are some popular ones:
- Golf outings: Arguably the most lucrative fundraising option, it’s also one of the most challenging to plan — and its success largely hinges on the weather.
- Car wash: Find a local business that’s willing to host your team’s car wash and then put the kids to work washing cars. There’s little upfront cost (sponges, soap, towels, possibly water fees), and it can be a profitable fundraiser — especially if the location is right and you ask customers to pay what they deem appropriate, rather than setting a price.
- Bottle drive: Have players go door to door in local neighborhoods collecting used bottles and cans, which can then be returned to reclaim deposit fees. Note: This fundraiser is less lucrative than the others mentioned here and is only applicable in certain states with bottle returns.
- Partnerships: Various restaurants and businesses will offer sponsorship packages, where players sell their items and then receive a kickback on the money received. This is a win-win, both for the business and for the team.
Once you have your goal amount in mind and have decided on what type of fundraiser you’ll have, it’s time to really start planning:
- Form a committee: Ask parents to volunteer to be on a sponsorship committee, where they’ll aim to organize various fundraisers throughout the year to help manage team costs. Forming a committee can help narrow the focus and increase productivity in terms of planning fundraising events.
- Make banners: One way to add more money to fundraising events is to create sponsorship banners. This is successful on golf outings, as hole sponsors can be sold where a banner or sign is then created and placed by the hole that a business sponsors. Banners can also be applied to car washes and other types of fundraisers to bring more revenue.
- Make it fun: If you’re involving the players in fundraisers — which should be done, as people are more likely to buy products or attain services if children are involved — make sure it’s something that they can get behind, succeed at and have fun in the process of doing it.
- Plan fundraisers per parent strengths: Say, for instance, a parent on the team owns a car wash or a car dealership. That could be an ideal location to host a car wash fundraiser without the cost of picking up the water bill. The bottom line is to always play to team strengths when it comes to fundraisers. That’s because if there’s a connection in there somehow, the fundraiser can be even more rewarding for the team.
- Work as a team: If you’re trying to secure sponsorships, you can save a lot of time and effort if each parent is assigned a territory in the area. This way, there aren’t multiple parents going to the same business around town attempting to secure sponsorships for a fundraiser. This makes gaining support for a fundraiser more effective and efficient.
Organizing a fundraiser is a lot of work. Ensuring that a fundraiser is successful is even more work. Yet it all starts with smart planning and maximizing the team’s resources. It could mean the difference between a successful fundraiser and an unsuccessful one.
Shana Brenner is the Marketing Director for CoverSports, an American Manufacturer of sports covers, protectors, and banners.