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Fundraising Ideas for Sports Teams

UCLA Spirit Squad

UCLA Spirit Squad

Raising money for a team can be difficult, especially when it comes to putting together ideas for a group fundraiser.

The following ideas work for teams and groups of all sizes, which make them perfect for small groups who are just getting started but work well for larger teams who want to really rake in cash. Go through the following list and write down some ideas that really appeal to you. Ask your team what they think so that everyone can tailor the perfect fundraiser for the team!

Getting the cash your group needs is a team effort, so it's a good idea to get everyone involved in the planning process. It will not only help you find the best way to bring in extra money, but it'll really strengthen the team.

Product Sales Fundraisers

Some of the most successful fundraisers (in terms of profit) are those that revolve around selling something. This is simply because people not only like to donate but also like to get a little reminder of their help.

It's a great way to motivate people to support your team! Plus, think about how your potential donors feel: it's always nice when part of your purchase goes to help a charity or sports team!

There are seriously TONS of different products that can be sold for nearly double the initial purchase price. While this method often requires money up-front, there are some companies that actually DON'T require money up front if you're looking to save some cash.

Sound like your cup of tea? Get everyone together and come up with a list of things that your team can sell. Need some ideas? Here is a list of some things that are popular in fundraisers:

  • Frozen cookie dough
  • Candles
  • Movie Tickets
  • Poinsettias (Beware, these aren't pet-friendly)
  • Cookbooks
  • Candy bars
  • Cookbooks
  • Coupon books
  • Lollipops
  • Wristbands
  • Tupperware

One of the most important questions to ask is: "What will sell?" Think about your potential audience. Will teenagers have an interest in buying cookbooks? Will parents be interested in purchasing wristbands? If you know of a group that has run fundraisers in the past, ask them what worked for them.

Scratch Cards

Scratch cards are really fun for potential donors because it adds an element of surprise to their donation. There is a huge number of companies that produce these cards, but they essentially work the same way:

Each member of your sports team receives a scratch card that has 50 or so dots on it. A donor scratches off a circle to see how much they are supposed to donate. (The amount is generally low, like 50 cents to $5.)

The donor then makes their donations and receives a small coupon book in appreciation. Since each scratch card has a large number of dots on it, many teams purchase one card per member.

While scratch cards can be really fun for the donor, there are a few drawbacks. They have a high profit-margin (getting your team $100 in donations,) but often have high upfront costs at approximately $20 per card depending on the company.

Another drawback is that, while potential donors could walk away with a warm, fuzzy feeling for helping out, they really might not be interested in a coupon book. I highly recommend figuring out, before shelling out the cash on scratch cards, whether or not the element of mystery surrounding each donation amount and the coupon book will be enough to get people to donate.

Text Donations

You're probably well-versed in text message donations as this is a highly successful method that the Red Cross uses to bring in funding. It's not just for the Red Cross anymore, companies like CauseCast are allowing nonprofit groups to do text message fundraisers! If you're not familiar with this method, here is a scenario that describes how it works:

To donate to your sports team, a person sends the text "Donate5" to 12345. Their cellphone company is charged $5 (which shows up on your donor's bill.) The $5 (or a portion of it) goes to your team.

This method can be extremely difficult as donors won't receive any "token of gratitude" and can be difficult to advertise. Do you buy a billboard that says "Text Donate5 to 12345?" If you have the ability to market this way to donate, go for it! If not, then perhaps a different fundraising method would be better for your sports team.

A yard sale is a great way to bring in money. (Plus it can help with spreading the word about your team!)

A yard sale is a great way to bring in money. (Plus it can help with spreading the word about your team!)

A Team Yardsale

If someone on the team lives in a location that a lot of cars drive past or you guys have permission to use a parking lot for a day, host a team yardsale (err parking lot sale!)

One of the things that make for a successful yard sale is having a ton of stuff for people to rat through. Have team members donate items (have their families, friends, roommates, neighbor's, neighbor's friend's sister's former roommate, etc... donate items) so that your team has one monster-sized sale. This will bring in some big crowds and big bucks!

Remember to have cash on hand for change. So many people forget that customers will need change. Go to the bank and break a $100 bill in as many ways as the teller can think of. Bring your piggy bank to the sale, too! A great way to put a damper on a great yard sale is to run out of change.

Tip: If it's a hot day, have some ice cold bottled drinks available for sale -- patrons will actually thank you for the slightly over-priced drink!

A Silent Auction

If your team is semi-popular or you've got someone in your group that's comfortable talking to local business owners, a silent auction could be perfect.

Get your local business owners to donate an item. For example, a car wash owner could donate a gift certificate for a free wash and the bakery could give away a basket of some goodies. Then, at a festival or carnival, your team puts all the items up for display allowing passersby to make a bid on an item. When the auction ends, your sports team gets the proceeds.

Why this works: Your team gets all the profits, business owners get their name out (this is a fantastic marketing method for many businesses), your teammates get to know new people, and buyers get to bring something home!

A car wash is affordable for both your team and your customers, which is why it's such a popular fundraiser!

A car wash is affordable for both your team and your customers, which is why it's such a popular fundraiser!

The Carwash

This is an age-old idea, but it works! Get your group together, put up signs, and hold a car wash. This is a great way to bring teammates together and to have fun in the sun! Before skipping ahead (I know you're thinking this is bland and overdone,) consider this:

When you get your car washed it costs something like $5. Your team can pick up car soap and sponges for next to nothing and water can come from buckets or a hose which, again, is inexpensive.

Since the supplies for a car wash cost very little, you can still charge your donors just $5 to wash their cars. That way, they can drive off with that warm, fuzzy feeling and a clean car. It'll cost them $5 regardless of where they get it done, so getting people to donate will be a piece of cake. Plus, it'll raise awareness of your team! (Looks like you've got a new fan-base!)

Everybody Loves Raffles

Just the whole feeling that "I could be the big winner" is why raffles appeal to me! Appeal to the crowd at one of your games with a raffle. If your team has the cash to front for something cool like a PlayStation 3, a TV, or something, this is a great way to rake in the bucks! No money? No problem! Do a 50/50 raffle. For every dollar that's donated, 50 cents is your team's profit and 50 cents goes to the big winner!

While this is a great way to bring in money, check out your local ordinances regarding raffles. Some areas don't allow this as it can be considered a form of gambling. If you check ahead of time, you'll thank yourself. Red tape can make things un-fun, I know, but seriously, go to your city hall and find out so you can avoid a HUGE headache.

Coming up with the money you need to keep your sports team can be difficult, but even so, make sure that it's fun. Be sure to include everyone (and everyone's input.) Have a blast at your fundraiser!


Athletics12 from Dallas on October 29, 2011:

Thanks for your ideas. Good hub I voted up and a follower

Shelly on August 27, 2011:

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I did no small number of car washes for soccer teams in my day! We made pretty good money. It probably has one of the lowest initial investments, too (or at least, it did for us).

I've been trading ideas back and forth for my nephew's team, so this particularly useful at the moment. Voted up and definitely useful!

Liam Hallam from Nottingham UK on August 21, 2011:

Great hub. In the UK there's an organisation called Fundrazor who offer sports and voluntary organisations cut price tickets for events (Greyhound racing tickets are free) for clubs to sell them on as social events to make extra money

dmnsgirl38 from Washington State on August 16, 2011:

Looks like you are helpful to me also! I am Assistant Coach on my daughter's Cheer squad and we are looking for some fundraising ideas there as well. I didn't even know that text fundraising existed. Thanks for the info! ;-) I am voting this hub up ;-)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 15, 2011:

Great ideas and help. Thankyou.

Billy Hicks on August 12, 2011:

Amazing Hub! Voted up!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 10, 2011:

Oh, I loved this hub-chockful of healthy fund raising ideas. Good for you! Welcome to the hubchallenge. I voted this hub up, useful and interesting. :)

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on August 07, 2011:

These are great fundraisers.

Recipe Gal on August 07, 2011:

Great ideas! I just wanted to add one more to your list. When I was in high school, a local restaurant used to let us take over as waitresses/bus boys for one evening. We would make a certain percentage of the profits. It was good for the restaurant too because everyone who supported the team came out and ate on a night that was typically not busy (like Tuesday or Thursday).

annmackiemiller on August 07, 2011:

great ideas - voted up and stuff

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