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Since 2012, crowdfunding for athletes, teams and sport organizations has been becoming increasingly popular. Prior to 2012 and the launch of MAKEACHAMP, there were mainly 4 ways to raise funds for your athletic goals


  1. Sponsorships

  2. Donations

  3. Selling goods/services

    1. Physically (baked goods, carwash, etc...)

    2. Online (selling t-shirts online)

  4. Grants

Now, we are introducing the 5th way to raise funds - crowdfunding. Without a doubt, crowdfunding for athletes, teams and organizations is effective and powerful.

However, it can be hard to define and categorize. Where does crowdfunding stand in the categories specified above? Does crowdfunding lay under sponsorship or is it selling goods online? Below, we'll define the categories and find a unique place to categorize and define crowdfunding for athletes.


Sponsorship is a two way transaction where both the sponsor and the sponsoree benefit. For example if company X sponsors athlete Y, the athlete would have to provide a service that would cover the benefit or cost of the sponsorship. To learn more about sponsorship, read this guide on how to find sponsors.


A donation is a one way transaction where the majority of the benefit (other than ‘feeling good’) lies on the athlete’s side. A donation can come from an organization, company, or even an individual. Furthermore, a donation can come online and although rare, it can also in person. Also, a donation can be a product such as equipment or clothing, but it can also be financial.

Selling goods

Selling goods is another way athletes raise funds for their athletic goals. Some might do it in person such as holding auctions or selling t-shirts at a competition. Others might sell goods or services online. For example, an athlete might sell t-shirts online.


Grants is a slightly more complicated way of raising funds. Not a lot of athletes leverage the opportunity to grab the grants available to them. One of the reasons is that grants might be difficult to find. However, every major city in the world has a reward system to help its athletes. The majority of the rewards are for student athletes but some a for non-students as well.

and now, crowdfunding...

Given all the methods above, crowdfunding has to be placed in a league of its own. There are many reasons for this. One of them is that crowdfunding encompasses all the methods mentioned above. Crowdfunding is a blank slate of online real-estate provided by platforms such as MAKEACHAMP for athletes to take advantage of. A crowdfunding campaign covers ALL the levels mentioned above (except for grants) by providing the online public the option to choose from being a sponsor, giving a donation or buying a product or service offered by the athlete.

The reason that crowdfunding for athletes has become so popular is that it gives the athlete the exposure they deserve. Every single athlete or team in an amateur and sometimes professional field, lacks exposure. When you launch a campaign and your online community starts to share the campaign, you finally get the online exposure you were looking.