Finding resources to support your school’s sports teams isn’t always easy. Uniforms, training equipment and away game travel expenses add up quickly — often surpassing what you can raise through student athletic dues and event ticket sales.
And when budgets dwindle, it not only affects your teams’ success on the field, but it can impact the quality of materials in your athletic training kits, too. And that, in turn, can jeopardize their ability to recover from injuries.
If you’re inching closer to the end of your budget, it may be time to consider other means of revenue.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways sports departments can generate significant income in a short period. Here are seven sports teams fundraising ideas to inspire you:
If you’re looking for a simple fundraising event you can tackle in just one Saturday, car washes are always a safe bet — and require little prior planning. All you’ll need is a highly trafficked location, supplies (such as hoses, buckets, sponges, soap, and towels) and eye-catching signage.
Encourage athletes, student’s parents and faculty to participate, and divide volunteers into teams for maximum efficiency (and a little friendly competition).
If you can’t hold the event on school grounds, ask to borrow space from a local car dealership or another facility with a large parking lot in exchange for free or discounted advertising at your next game.
Consider roping off a section of front-row or courtside seating for home events, and charging a higher price for “VIP” tickets. You could even assign the section its own concession runner to take orders and deliver food and snacks to create an even more premium-feeling experience.
If VIP sections don’t fill up, allow general admission ticket holders to upgrade for a fee. And give people an opportunity to buy season-long VIP passes to ensure they always have the best seat in the house.
Reserved Parking for Home Games
Two of the most frustrating aspects of attending any sporting event is finding parking beforehand, and sitting in parking lot traffic afterward. If given the opportunity, many parents and fans would pay to avoid these inconveniences.
Consider selling season-long reserved spots that allow people to park in the front, and then ensure the ushers or traffic guards dismiss them first so they can avoid traffic.
Local Business Raffle
Raffles are another one of the most common and effective sports teams fundraising ideas.
Simply contact local businesses and ask them to contribute products or gift certificates for a raffle at your next game. Because local sporting events provide excellent opportunities for brand exposure, companies are often willing to offer their products or services free-of-charge.
Those donated items, along with other goodies like spirit attire and season passes, can help you sell a significant number of raffle tickets.
What student-athlete wouldn’t love the chance to dunk their coach — especially after a particularly grueling practice session?
Consider lining up coaches and trainers — as well as other well-known personnel like the principal and administrators — to take turns in a dunking booth at your next pep rally or school-wide event. Sell tickets for several days beforehand to drum up extra interest, and consider letting fellow staff members get in on the fun too.
Spirit Wear Sale
From t-shirts and hats to foam fingers, picnic blankets, socks and coffee mugs, those who support your athletes are always looking for new ways to show their team spirit. And there’s almost no limit to the types of swag you can create for die-hard fans.
To boost sales, set up a merchandise booth not only at games, but also in the entrance before class, in the cafeteria during lunchtime and at every school open house. Consider including a donation jar for those feeling especially generous.
Faculty Talent Show
Talent shows always draw a big crowd, but asking athletic department faculty members to compete can make the event especially successful. (It’s also an excellent way for parents to meet and connect with their children’s trainers and coaches.)
Whether it’s singing, dancing, stand-up comedy bits or magic tricks, encourage staff to put their favorite passions and hobbies on display. Charge admissions, sell concessions and ask attendees to vote with cash for the performance they love most. The person who raises the most money can earn a prize — or just a year’s worth of bragging rights.
Coaches and athletic trainers know the size of their budget can directly impact the quality of training, the level of athlete care they can provide after an injury and the success of their season. When schools lack the funds to pay for necessary equipment, it puts student-athletes at a significant disadvantage.
The good news is, by activating your community and planning a few engaging events, you can help quickly secure the money you need to invest in high-quality equipment and supplies. And by leveraging these seven sports teams fundraising ideas over the school year, you can help secure resources you need to give student-athletes the best experience possible.