Fundraising for youth sports can be a bit tricky! A lot of coaches and teams must fundraise every year for their equipment needs, tournament trips and team camps. The unfortunate truth is that youth sports can be expensive and not everyone can afford them. As a result, fundraising has to be efficient, effective and highly profitable.
Since many teams have started to use TeamBoost to generate money, we’ve done our research to help them create best in class fundraisers for youth sports. We found that a team fundraiser is simplified and amplified dramatically with the power of TeamBoost’s crowdfunding capabilities. A crowdfunding campaign for your youth sports team along with a live fundraising event can dramatically increase your team’s earning and lower the cost of participation for everyone.
In this story, we've put together an extensive list of tips and tricks on running the best fundraisers for your youth sports team or club.
1. Fundraising Event for Youth Sports
Holding a live event is a great way to raise funds for your sports team or club. Bringing people together adds a layer of excitement to your fundraiser. Combining the power of a live event with the worldwide reach of a crowdfunding campaign can really drive results. Of course, we recommend TeamBoost as the best platform for your crowdfunding activities because of its social media capabilities.
It is not as complicated as one might think to create a live fundraising event. As the organizer, your first mission is to book an appropriate venue for a specific date and select the type of fundraisers that will occur during your live event.
a . Venue for the event
Let’s get started with the venue. Most people think that finding a venue will be difficult, however it can be very simple. The first option is that it can be hosted at the home of an athlete or parent. Another choice is to explore local spaces that would gladly host your event for free or in exchange for advertising and exposure. Many hotels or local event-venues want to get involved in local sports for just those reasons. Don’t be afraid to approach and ask any owner or manager of a qualified space for this kind of trade.
b . Choose a date
A lot of people get stuck on dates as well, trying to find that perfect date when everyone will be able to attend the event and no one will be excluded or prevented from coming. The problem is, of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect date because we all lead such busy and highly scheduled lives. However, your crowdfunding campaign is a perfect alternative channel for people who can’t attend your event to still support your effort with a contribution. In fact, depending on the nature of your event, an online donation may even be significantly more profitable for your group then having the donor attend your live fundraiser.
Your next mission is to actually draw the largest possible group of people to the event. We all like to have fun so the more entertaining and creative your event is, the more likely people are to show up. That’s why your event ticket should clearly communicate what you’ve cooked up to ensure everyone will have a good time while supporting your team.
a . Food
Although feeding a large amount of people can sometime be a daunting challenge, I promise you with the right planning, it can actually be fun! The first thing that you need to do is make sure that all the players and parents are involved and engaged in the effort. Some of the ways to spark participation and enthusiasm are:
- Have a cooking contest. Something like “the best chili or the best BBQ ribs”. You can have parents and coaches competing or even form small teams made up of parents and their children.
- Have a food eating contest that team members to can collect bets on with a team keeping a significant share of the proceeds
- Have a “potluck” where families are encouraged to bring their favorite foods to share with everyone else.
b. Live music
Live music is another great and inexpensive way to attract people to your fundraising event. I guarantee that among your athletes, there is someone who is in a band themselves OR personally knows people in a band. Use your personal and team network of parents to seek out your live music connections. Often times, the band you invite to your event will perform for free or for a very minimal fee.
Two more fun fundraising ideas that can attract attendance and help drive contributions: a scavenger hunt and face-painting. Both of these fun activities can be monetized for even more money for your youth sports team.
3 . Selling tickets to the event
Once you have the basics of your event organized, it’s time to start selling tickets. I would recommend that you sell tickets both online (directly on TeamBoost's platform, for example) as well as in the traditional fashion of paper l tickets. It’s so easy today to design nice tickets online today, print them and give them to team members to sell to friends, family and neighbors. Ideally, ticket selling should start months prior to the actual event so people are less likely to have scheduling conflicts You can also choose to sell raffle tickets at the same time as the event tickets (more on raffle tickets below). Each athlete should be responsible for selling a set amount of tickets. Again, the combination of selling tickets online and in person will increase the amount of tickets sold and your team profits.
Partners and sponsors - Advertising?
Tickets and online campaigns are also opportunities to gain exposure to a wide circle of people, some of whom may be interested in providing your event with services, a venue or a sponsorship. Partners and sponsors have numerous ways to participate including::
Donations to live auctions
For any sponsor, in addition to involvement in the the live event, you can also attach their logo on your crowdfunding campaign. When the campaign goes viral, it generates even more exposure and value for your sponsor. The fact is that the more exposure and advertising you deliver to potential partners, the more likely they are to get behind your event.. Here is some more information on getting your crowdfunding campaign sponsored.
4. Choose a type of fundraiser for your sports team
Every successful event needs to have at least 2-3 types of fundraisers on its schedule. While it’s often a challenge to drive attendance for your event, the truth is once people are there, holding different types of fundraisers fills up the time and generates lots more revenue. Again, taking some or all of those fundraisers online is another way expand your pool of contributors and your profits. Your TeamBoost page allows you to do exactly that! For example, you can create auctions on TeamBoost. Here are some ideas for additional fundraisers that can be part of your live event.
a. “anything-a-thon” - swimming, punching, kicking, wrestling, dancing - whatever it might be
An “anything-a-thon” fundraiser is a fantastic way to raise funds for your youth sports team because it gets everyone actively engaged in raising money. It also creates healthy competition and exercise. Once you select the sport or the activity for your anything-a-thon, the athletes can start collecting as many sponsors as possible. There should be a set price for each, lap, dance, fight or whatever the anything-a-thon you choose.
There are two ways of doing this:
- Collecting the funds before the event - you can collect the money prior to the event where each athlete will know how many laps, dances or fights they need to accomplish going into the event
- Collect the funds at or after the event which may allow you to receive extra funds when team members go beyond their participation goals.
Fund-a-thons are made much simpler on TeamBoost’s fundraising platform. Each athlete can have their own fundraising page where they can collect sponsors for the fund-a-thon. This can be done in the reward section of each athlete’s campaign. Every time a contributor “buys” that specific reward on the athletes page - the athlete will have to do an additional lap, goal, dance, fight or whatever the fund-a-thon activity is.
b . Silent Auction - getting silent auction items from professional team
A silent auction is another fundraising event that you can have for your sport team. You can have the silent auction directly on your TeamBoost page as well as during your live event. The first step in bringing your silent auction to life is collecting the items for bidding. You should try to get the entire team, both individual athletes and their parents, involved in collecting the auction items. You can also get items donated from professional sport teams that will help you get even more and higher bids. Also ask local businesses to donate items for your auction in exchange for advertising. To help make that happen equip your athletes with fundraising letters that describe your group, its mission and fundraising goals. Once you have collected auction items, you can also place them on your TeamBoost fundraising page. Write a description for each auction item, add a starting price and set an end date for bids for before the actual event takes place.
At your live event, you should be sure to display all of the auction items nicely on tables. In front of every item you should have a bid form like the one below. Each item’s description will based on the description you posted online and the first bid amount should be the last bid amount placed online. Dedicate a time during your event for people to walk around and put bids on the various items.
c . Service auction
The service auction is another type of auction that is great for raising money for your sports youth team. This type of auction involves both the kids and the parents offering their personal or professional services. The kids can form groups and offer to perform manual work like lawn cutting, window cleaning, car washing, etc. These jobs will obviously have to be supervised by an adult. Next, the parents can offer their professional services such as accounting or legal advice, music lessons, tutoring, etc. You can place these service auction items on your TeamBoost fundraising page. For even more exposure, you can also place posters or cards on the live event auction tables describing the available services. You my even want to set aside some time at your event to give parents and athletes a chance to present their services and answer any questions from the crowd.
d. Raffle tickets
Holding a raffle is another proven type of fundraiser for your youth sports team fundraising event. To maximize the fundraising at your raffle, we recommend having 1 big ticket item such as a vacation or even a motorcycle or car plus 2-3 smaller items. As for the big ticket items, you can sell raffle tickets for as much as $50-$100. The smaller item raffle tickets can be sold for lower amounts. Having two price tiers for raffle tickets makes participation more affordable for a greater number of people, which translates to more funds for your team.
It may seem a bit scary to get a big ticket item such as a car or motorcycle. But with a bit of math you can see that a motorcycle raffle can be extremely profitable. For example, if your raffle has a Harley-Davidson for $15,000 and your raffle tickets are $100 each, all you have to do is sell 300 tickets and your total revenue will be $30,000. Once you pay for the motorcycle, your group earns $15,000.
Selling 300 tickets should be achievable -- players and parents -- are working together. So before committing to auctioning a big ticket item with a major cost, such as a motorcycle, make sure that you have the commitment of the entire team to participate in the raffle ticket promotion.
Those are some of the best tips and tricks that we found to raise funds for your youth sports fundraiser. Be sure to start planning your youth sports fundraiser directly on your free TeamBoost page. If you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to comment below or email us at info@ teamboost.us.
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