4 Unique Fundraiser Ideas for Your School’s Sports Team

For many school sports programs, fundraising dollars ensure the team can provide a meaningful experience for the students. But school fundraising can be tricky, as students are less likely to have the means to donate than financially independent adults. This means schools will need to host fundraisers that engage students but earn donations from parents. 

That’s why school fundraisers need to be accessible for both students and their families. This means reducing barriers to entry and adding competitions and fun prizes to encourage participation. 

Everyone loves to cheer on their favorite team, and you can leverage this energy with unique fundraising ideas. Let’s explore some fundraising solutions for school sports teams that will put some pep in your step!

The Importance of Volunteers

Before we discuss sports fundraising ideas, we’ll highlight the most critical assets to your campaign: volunteers

Though this is a school fundraiser, teachers and coaches already have a lot of responsibilities on their plates. This means diehard fans willing to act as volunteers are the backbone of your operations. They can assist in staffing events, training new volunteers, and spreading the word about your campaign. Your more experienced volunteers can even help plan campaigns as part of a fundraising committee.

Fortunately, you can recruit volunteers from a variety of communities, such as:

In your fundraising strategic planning stage, be sure to factor in volunteer support. Decide which events need volunteers and how many. Getting sign-up sheets out to your supporters far in advance will help you stay organized. Also, establish open communication channels with your volunteers and listen to their feedback so you can enhance future experiences.

Your job doesn’t end once your event is over! Be sure to express your gratitude for your volunteers by giving them rewards, such as game tickets and invites to exclusive appreciation events.

1. Concession Stand Fundraiser

Besides selling tickets to your games, your sports team can monetize another part of the event: concession sales. 

A concession stand is a great addition to your school’s sports games or after-school programs. Purchase snacks in bulk from a product fundraising partner and sell them to attendees for a profit. Consider investing in these popular treats:

  • Soft pretzels
  • Nachos
  • French fries
  • Trail mix
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Bottled water
  • Sports drinks
  • Soda

If you have the infrastructure for a full-service snack bar, you can offer more filling foods, such as burgers, hot dogs, and chicken wings. Don’t forget to train your volunteers and research permits you may need to get started. Your snack bar will likely be a hit; kids are always hungry for a yummy snack!

2. Branded Apparel Sale

If you’re looking for a fundraising method that boosts school spirit and revenues, we’ve got you covered. A branded apparel sale is perfect for school sports teams, as your patrons will get perfect game-day attire. Here are some popular merchandise items you can offer:

  • Hats
  • Jackets
  • T-shirts
  • Jerseys
  • Water bottles
  • Socks
  • Face masks

To get started, you first need to find a business to supply the merchandise that you’ll sell to your supporters. Your best bet is to work with a product fundraising partner. They’re experts at fundraising and know how to create unique, memorable, and high-quality merchandise. Plus, they’ll provide you with an online web store to streamline the process. 

3. Matching Gift Campaign

Matching gifts are the nonprofit world’s best-kept secret. In fact, according to Double the Donation’s matching gift statistics, $4–7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year. And, with 26 million individuals working for companies with matching gift programs, it’s likely some of your adult supporters will be eligible to have their donations matched. 

So many matching gifts go unclaimed because many individuals simply don’t know about their employer’s matching gift program or how it works. That’s why your school’s sports team should heavily publicize the power of matching gifts and how your supporters can get involved. It can be as simple as including a matching gift program integration on your online donation page or handing out informational flyers to parents after a game. 

You can take it a step further and encourage matching gifts even more strongly by gamifying a matching gift campaign. Measure who can donate the most with the help of matching gifts in a given period of time and reward the winner with a prize.

The magic of matching gifts is how little effort is required from the donor to double (or even triple) their impact. Emphasize this throughout your promotion and do everything in your power to make the process run smoothly. This is too valuable an asset to go unclaimed!

4. Discount Card Fundraiser

Get your entire community involved with the help of a discount card fundraiser. A discount card is essentially a punch card that gives your supporters exclusive deals at local businesses. Plus, you can reap up to 93% of the profits working with a product fundraising partner. 

Reach out to businesses near you and recruit them to participate. You’ll agree on the discount value featured on the card, and you’ll sell the card to your supporters. The value of the discounts will pay for the card, so it’s a win-win for you, your donors, and local businesses.

The easiest way to host a discount card campaign is in collaboration with a product fundraising partner. They’ll negotiate the discount and create the discount card for you. So, make your lives easier and consider teaming up with professionals.

Of all extracurricular activities, school sports fundraisers naturally have a leg up. The community is naturally infused with competitive and motivational energy that you can leverage to raise more money. All you have to do is infuse that spirit into your events, and the crowd will go wild for your fundraisers!

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