Effective School Fundraising Ideas: The Sports Team Edition

It’s the bottom of the ninth, and your little league team is down against its hometown rival. Your underdog player takes a swing and hits the game-winning homerun — the crowd goes wild! Your team goes out and celebrates its undefeated season.

Fast forward to your PTA meeting, and your team is facing some budget cuts. How can you beat the costs and still come out on top? By trying out effective school fundraising ideas! And, though you may not be facing severe budget cuts, your team could most likely benefit from additional funding for new equipment, staffing needs, or travel fees.

Level up your game with these five sports-centric ideas:

You can adapt these fundraising ideas to your team’s needs based on their age and specific sport. For instance, field day activities could include football-themed activities like powderpuff football or field goal competitions.

Let’s jump in!

Hit-a-thon or Shoot-a-thon

Add some healthy competition to your fundraising by hosting a hit-a-thon or shoot-a-thon. This flexible fundraising idea can be adapted to baseball, track, swim, soccer, or basketball to help your players get in reps while generating revenue.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Supporters choose a player to support.
  2. Supporters pledge to donate a fixed amount of funds.
  3. Players generate funding for every lap they swim, goal they score, or ball they hit.

For a greater fundraising impact, encourage players to create and share individual donation pages on social media leading up to the event. That way, they can add excitement and reach more supporters. Additionally, consider adding competitive elements like scoreboards and awards for the highest earners.

Just make sure to have each participant (and parent, if applicable) sign a liability waiver before the event begins to cover all of your bases should an injury occur.

Athletic Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Not sure what to do with your old athletic shoes? Host an athletic shoe drive fundraiser to earn money for your gym, sports club, or athletic group in exchange for funds. This fundraising idea is easy to pull off as it’s low-cost and only takes a few steps:

  1. Partner with an athletic shoe drive fundraiser facilitator like Sneakers4Good.
  2. Collect gently worn, new and used shoes from players and other supporters.
  3. Place athletic shoes in provided, pre-shipped bags.
  4. Ship shoes off through your local UPS.
  5. Receive a check in the mail for your athletic shoes.

Post collection boxes outside your school’s gym and other fitness facilities to generate interest and remind supporters to donate their athletic shoes. You could even make it a competition between teams to see which sport can contribute the most footwear.

Fitness Challenge

Get in shape for the season with a fundraising fitness challenge! Motivate your team and community to participate in a fitness challenge event to have fun and increase team-building. These challenges are flexible for any grade level and can be a great way to get your entire school community involved.

Here are a couple of popular fitness challenges to consider:

  • A-thons: There are near-limitless a-thon possibilities — walk, jump, dance, jog, bike, you name it. Or, you can take your walk-a-thon to the next level with a fundraising 5K or full-blown relay race by combining it with a swim and bike-a-thon.
  • Yoga and stretching: Encourage players and your community to opt into a stretching or yoga activity as part of a dedicated wellness day.
  • Fitness bootcamp: Host a fitness bootcamp over several days or as an after-school program to prepare for the upcoming season. Just ask a qualified professional to lead it to avoid any mishaps.

You can easily take these fundraising challenges online for increased ease and flexibility. For instance, you might invite your school community to start a running group and participate in virtual training runs before your big fundraising 5K.

Sports-Themed Auction

You’ve probably heard of a school fundraising ideas, but what about a sports-themed auction? Add a sports twist to your event by auctioning off:

  • Framed team photos
  • Signed sports gear
  • Season tickets
  • Tailgate items such as coolers or bleacher seats
  • Running gear like headphones or a fitness tracker

As a general rule, auction items are best bundled together. So, make sure you’re bundling things that make sense to purchase as a package deal. For instance, bundle together your tailgate items like water bottles, season tickets, and branded team merchandise.

Additionally, you can streamline your event with auction software that offers features like mobile bidding, online registration, and payment processing. That way, your team can focus on procuring items to throw a game-changing auction.

Field Day

Field days are inclusive, exciting events that are open to players and supporters alike. During fun activities, teams compete to raise money for their sport against other teams.

You can also adjust your field day activities to match your grade level, too. For instance, perhaps tee-ball would make more sense for younger elementary schoolers, while high school students might prefer a good old-fashioned flag football game.

Best Fundraising Ideas suggests these quick steps for field day success:

    1. Set a fundraising goal that aligns with your event’s purpose.
    2. Determine an entry fee based on your fundraising goal and expected participation rate.
    3. Choose an ideal location, such as a community park or your school’s football field.
    4. Recruit volunteers for set-up, event management, and clean-up.
    5. Create a schedule to plan when each event will take place.
    6. Market your event using flyers, social media, and emails to get the word out.
    7. Gather prizes to incentivize participants and add another level of excitement.

Quick tip: Check the weather leading up to the event and adjust your schedule as needed. You might want to rent out a gym just in case and have a list of backup indoor activities.

Raising money for your sports team can be just as fun as participating in your championship game. Try out these sports-centric fundraising ideas and consider creating a fundraising schedule with multiple events per season to increase your revenue. Game on!

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