Fundraising ideas for sports teams
Are you part of a sports team in need of funding? Whether you’ve made it to State Finals or are desperate to get to the biggest tournament of the year, fundraising can be an easy way to solve your problems. Although those participating in sport have a big passion for their activity, it doesn’t mean they always have the necessary needs to fund it. Not only are there kits to buy, there are events to take part in, insurances to account for and possibly the biggest unsuspecting add on – gas. Gas prices can make or break a trip in terms of affordability, especially if you live in the Midwest where you’re traveling for hours just to get to a game.
What type of team sport are you looking to raise funds for? We have dedicated idea guides for baseball, football, soccer, ice hockey and basketball.
The last thing you want to do is to pull your child out of sport, or yourself, due to lack of funds. So get fundraising. We’ve created a comprehensive list of fundraising ideas for sports so you can remove the pressure and get back to enjoying sports.
The majority of sports require some sort of running. Whether that’s running the length of a field for a touchdown or tumbling across a mat. It’s why when it comes to raising money for sports, running is so accessible. There will be supporters lining up to take part meaning you’ve got no worries about your event raising enough money. Offer some sort of prize for completion such as a medal or certificate and you’re done!
You could even reduce the upfront costs of hosting a 5km run by doing it virtually. Instead of marking out a course and having people marshall it, ask participants to run a 5km on a certain day, in their own time. They can send you Strava results for proof and you can validate and congratulate them by posting a medal to them. Minimal organizational effort, maximum financial gain.
This one is perhaps our favorite and is great for getting families involved. Organize a team rally. You can go all-out here, and be wild with this type of event. Ask people to incorporate a dress code, submit team names, make the rally lengths silly activities. Rallies don’t always need to be running around a track. You could have teams go back and forth doing all kinds of things. Three-legged races, cartwheeling, crab walking, running backwards, even walking while bouncing a ball on a tennis racket. Think outside the box with this one, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
If you receive a lot of sign ups for a rally, don’t fret. There’s no need to keep things traditional with a team of four. If you have 100 people in attendance, why not make it four teams of 25? You could even make it a specialized event by holding it on 4th July and making the theme red white and blue. Have fun with this one and make a team rally for the annual event that everyone in your town is looking forward to.
It costs a lot of money to get teams to tournaments, but if your team are struggling to afford attending, why not host your own? Use your current facilities and host nearby teams in a tournament. The entrance fee for teams will be more than enough to see the event make profit, then you could add to it by selling vendor spots to food trucks and small businesses in the local area.
Hosting your own tournament can require a high level of admin, so make sure that those who are on your team’s committee are prepared to put in some extra hours. You’ll need to consider where participants are going to park, how they’ll get to the venue and if the facilities are suitable enough to host a large volume of people.
Is there anything more traditional than a bake sale? We think not. Typically in the US, it is the moms that drop off kids to sports practice. Which is why bake sales are so common – they also tend to be the better bakers at home! Host the bake sale at a location where there’s a lot of people walking by. This might be in a school parking lot, at the mall, or even in your street. We recommend organizing the event on the weekends at a time where people are out and about running errands. They’re more likely to be in a state of hunger and therefore more tempted by some delicious cake.
But where does the cake come from? You can buy them from a store, but like we said, moms tend to make great bakers. By asking the moms of the sports team to get involved you can save a lot in setup costs. It’s far cheaper to get involved in baking cakes than it is to buy them in order to support the team so moms will flock to your aid to support their best sponge. Provide a theme such as team colors or team name and your cakes will sell even faster as passersby quickly recognise it as a way to support the team.
Like the idea of a bake sale? Head over to our how to run a successful cake sale page.
Getting team sponsorship
If there’s one quick way to get funding for sports teams it’s sponsorship. It can work in a lot of different ways but traditionally it involves printing on team shirts. Find a local business to support you, the majority of companies these days have a dedicated pot of funding to help fund local initiatives so be sure to ask around. When you find someone to sponsor your team by printing their logo on your team shirt, don’t stop there! You can have multiple sponsors.
Your team shirt might have a logo on the front, another on the sleeve, your training kit might be sponsored by someone else. Then there’s your social media. Social platforms are powerful tools and should be treated as such. Your sponsors can pay for a package where it’s simply a logo on a shirt or they can pay extra to be posted on social media a certain number of times a week. It’s completely scalable, one platform is $100 a month, two is $200 or look at it for 3 social posts a week is $30. Think outside the box with your sponsors and don’t limit yourself to just one.
It’s one thing to host your own tournament, but why not save yourself the hassle of an entire event and simply run a competition instead. It might be to see who in the local area can run the furthest, lift a weight for a number of reps, do the most push ups, who can hold a plank the longest. The key to this, is making it over a long duration. It’s not a single day event, it’s a month long, maybe even more. This allows people to add to their total as much as they want.
By removing the need to do it all in one day, you remove any pressure on people ‘performing’ – making it more accessible. The easier it is to take part in an event, the more people want to do it. You can run a month-long event for the most number of sit ups and have someone do 100 per day, or 10 each week. The important thing to note is that it’s scalable. People pay an entry fee to take part in the competition and from that, you could provide a cash prize to the winner or person who progresses the most in the set amount of time.
Hosting a cookout
Is there anything better than a cookout on a hot summer’s day? If your team’s offseason is during the warmer months, a cookout is a great way to get everyone back together. People pay for each ticket which provides them entry. You can have all sorts going on with live bands, inflatables, and even a few games for families to get involved with. By hosting a cookout you provide a chance for the team to reunite, but also to prospective players to come and join in. The ideal pre-season fundraiser for any sports team.
Fundraising for sports with a gala
Sports always involve sweat. Sometimes mud and dirt too. So if there’s one type of fundraising you should host, it’s a gala. The perfect way to end a season is by hosting awards and a gala. The event should be in the evening so that it can easily incorporate a three course meal. It should also be dress coded as smart. Adding a sense of sophistication to the event will signal to people that they need to reach deep into their pockets.
The key with hosting a gala is not to stop when ticket sales are completed and you’ve made profit on the three course meal. Add in other fundraisers to your gala in order to keep people entertained. It could be something simple like a raffle or bingo. Alternatively, you could host something like a silent auction. It’s up to you how much you try and cram into the event, just be sure to leave the awards presentation until last so you don’t end up with people leaving halfway through!
Store bag packing
Local stores are always great at getting involved with sports teams. If they have the capacity it’s certainly worth asking them if your team can do some volunteer bag packing. It’s a great way to raise some extra funds, especially if it’s done in uniform. We’ve discovered over the years that people are more likely to donate to a bag packing cause if it is clear who is asking for donations at the checkout.
There you have it, nine essential fundraising ideas for sports. There’s plenty in this list to choose from no matter what sport you’re playing. It doesn’t always need to be related to physical activity. We didn’t even get to mention the talent shows, virtual horse races, danceathons and pep rallies. But they’re pretty straight forward so we’re sure you’ll have no problem coming up with ways to incorporate them into your fundraising plans.
There are plenty of ideas to raise funds for your sports fundraising event. The best thing about a sports team fundraiser is you have plenty of players and people within the club to help you promote your event. Even a simple idea of a field day for your team with a car wash for guests can help. All of your team members have family members so you have a great network to promote your event and secure donations.
If you’re a sports club looking for fundraising ideas, we hope this article has helped. If you need a solution to run your fundraising event, take a look at Live Fundraising, Virtual Gala’s and payment processing.
Vice President of Sales
Dan has served in the fundraising space for over a decade, consulting and assisting non-profits all over the world to become more effective and efficient by implementation of interactive digital solutions.
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