Parks and Rec director, Jason Schaitz, shares tips and suggestions to ramp up youth sports fundraising.
Fundraising is a large part of any youth program, especially in the nonprofit sector. It’s important you get creative with your fundraising and find additional ways to generate revenue to make sure you have the necessary funds to keep the program afloat.
Here are some additional tips and suggestions to ramp up your youth sports fundraising.
- Have a Plan: The first step to fundraise or try to generate any additional revenue is to have a plan. Outline your goals and how you plan to achieve them.
- Just Ask: A lot of times the hardest thing about fundraising is asking someone for money, but sometimes that’s all it takes.
- Show the Value: Show your donors and sponsors where the money is going and how it impacts your program. Put together informational packets for them as well as end of season reports. Keep a list of everyone you have asked to donate. Keep track on when you talked to them, what the result was, when you need to follow up, if or what they donated, etc.
- Tell Your Story: To really show your value you want to tell your story. Let potential donors and sponsors in to get to know you, your organization, and the impact you have on the community. A great story will build trust and make donors feel like they are part of your organization and making a difference.
- Say Thank You, A Lot: Just as we thank our volunteers, we must thank our sponsors and donors as well. If you have the ability, send them something such as a team picture of the team they sponsored or a framed picture of your ball field with their banner on it.
Here are 10 ideas you can use to raise additional revenue for your organization.
1. Concessions: Offering a concession stand at games is the most common way to raise money without just going out and asking for sponsors or donations. You can either run your own or contract it out and take a percentage of sales or charge a flat rate vendor fee. Having food, drink and snacks at your games not only provides a service to spectators, it will bring in another valuable revenue stream.
2. Hold an Event: Hold a car wash or set up shop in front of a retail store to solicit donations. Take it to the next level with things like casino nights, dinners, 5K races, tournaments, luncheons or a food truck event. Invite your entire league to attend, plus the local community.
3. Get Creative with Sponsors: The most basic and easiest way to get a sponsorship is on your jerseys or a banner at the field – something we all do. Research the company you want to sponsor and get creative with a sponsor based on something that would give them more value. This can bring in the bigger sponsors. You can also look at in kind sponsors as well who will provide a service for free to save your program the expense.
4. Get a Photographer or Videographer: Most if not all of us have photographers to do league team pictures. Your program will take a cut of those revenues. You can also look into a photographer to do action shots or video of the kids and sell those as well, resulting in more revenue for the program.
5. Sell Multimedia: To take your pictures and video to the next level you can create a highlight reel. Put it on a CD to sell at the end of the season. You can try to do this in-house or have a company do it and you get a cut of the revenue.
6. Sell Merchandise: There are several websites where you can set up a team or league store. They will do all the work for you and you get a percentage of each sale. This will also help market your program if participants are out in the community wearing your apparel.
7. Sell Goods: It’s common for teams or leagues to sell things like candy bars, popcorn or coupon books. There are companies out there you can get set up with that have you sell their goods for a share of the profits. Girl Scouts selling their cookies is the most well-known example of this. Each child can sell to friends and family to raise money. You can also hold contests within your program for those who sell the most and an incentive to raise more funds.
8. Silent Auctions: Get donations from local businesses and hold a silent auction. This can be a one-time event, on a game day or throughout the season. You can use a website for the bidding or do it in person.
9. Raffles: Similar to above you can get donated items and raffle them off throughout the season, at an event, or on your game days. You can also hold a 50/50 raffle where 50% of proceeds get paid to the winner and your organization keeps the other 50%. This is a great way to raise money for the organization or a specific cause like sending a team to a tournament.
10. Get More Vendors: Most of us have concessionaires for our programs. If you have a large program with a lot of people at your park or gym, you can also invite vendors out to set up a table to either sell or promote something. You can charge a vendor fee for being on site to promote their product or service. This can be an add on to your current sponsors or a way to recruit additional businesses to be a part of your program.
Having a plan and getting creative with your youth sports fundraising will lead to better success. It will also bring in necessary funds to keep your program flourishing for the long haul.
For more resources on youth sports, visit the League Source website.