Youth sports need funding in order to run at maximum capacity – or to be able to run at all. Sports can be an expensive hobby or pastime for some families and the coaches and organization members who make it all possible, so fundraising events are common in order to help collect cash to outfit teams, sign on new players and upkeep equipment. Organized youth sports will often get some funding from sponsors and organization heads, but if a team wants new jerseys or other equipment, that kind of cash has to come out of their own pocket most of the time.
Thus, fundraising is almost always necessary for youth sports leagues, especially if they are in low income or impoverished areas. Funding youth sports is vital – when a community’s youth sports programs are active and equipped, the community as a whole prevails.
For those considering fundraising for their own youth sports league, whether it’s to buy equipment or to garner funds to start an organization or team of their own, it’s imperative you know how to fundraise and the potential mistakes you may need to avoid along the way.
Popular Fundraising Methods
You may think that most of the ideas that pop into your head when you think of fundraising are too cliché to work, but in general the most well-known methods of raising funds are the ones that work the best. However, feel free to get creative.
- Bake Sales – This is the obvious, most popular choice. Why? They work. If you want to keep up with the sports theme and set a healthy example for the kids, request their parents and others provide only healthy dessert and baked goods options – but truthfully selling some cupcakes will do you well.
- Car Washes – Another popular choice, a car wash is a great way for kids to have fun, get wet and make money all at once. As long as you’re supervising this is a method that is a great option for kids seven and up.
- Local Business Coupon Books – Many local small businesses will be more than happy to help out with youth sports groups, including offering special discount coupons that the team can use for fundraising. Contact local businesses, collect enough coupons and sell them as a package deal. Businesses will reap rewards and your cause will make money.
- Garage Sales & Auctions – Ask parents and the community if they have any old furniture, clothes or other items they’d like to sell. They can keep a portion of the profits, but the idea is to give a majority of the funds to the cause.
- Sponsored Events – It can be easy to get foodstuffs and a location donated for a pay-for event. Consider dances, concerts, parties and barbecues that require tickets with proceeds going to help your cause.
Any fundraising idea can be a great fundraising idea with a little workshopping. Pitch ideas to parents and kids and see what they go for!
Mistakes to Avoid
Before you solidify your fundraising plans, make sure you’re not falling victim to one of these common pitfalls:
- The fundraising venture isn’t fun. Remember that the best kind of fundraiser is one the kids can get involved with. If it’s all work and no play, no one will enjoy themselves – including donors.
- Never make fundraising a solo activity. No door-to-door sales alone or push all the responsibility onto the child and not the parents and the community as well.
- Always have your purpose and cause clearly outlined. Make a fundraiser not just a way to get money, but a way to get to know you and your league or team.