Tired of selling cookie dough and candy bars? Here are some unique and fun ideas for raising funds for your youth organizations.
1. Rent-a-kid. Set up opportunities to serve. Kids can clean, mow the yard, read to someone, or even babysit--whatever the buyer needs for an afternoon.
2. Auction. Get donated items from local businesses and auction off at a dinner, a dessert, or even a halftime of a sports event.
3. Shoot-a-thon, walk-a-thon, or hit-a-thon. Kids collect sponsors for every basket made, mile walked, or home run hit.
4. Professional photo sessions. Arrange for a professional photographer to come for a day or evening. Book time slots for families or individuals. Your organization earns a commission. Have your group reserve time slots with an online sign up on SignUpGenius.com, so everyone knows when their session will be. That way you can send important details, and each family can also receive an email or text reminder.
5. Website marketing. Does your youth sports team have a web page? Could you set up a cost-free blog to keep individuals up to date? If so, think about promoting advertising space to nearby vendors who may be interested (i.e. the neighborhood sports shop).
6. Pizza kits. Some pizza companies will provide the kits and the opportunity for your group to earn funds with each kit sold. The idea? Each kit will contain everything needed to make three pizzas for a great price, and your group earns about $5 on every kit sold.
7. Sell batteries. You can’t go wrong selling something everyone uses and needs!
8. Sports night out. Is there a local restaurant in town that would partner with your team for a sports night? A set percentage of the profits from that night will go back to your team. The local restaurant benefits from getting an influx of loyal players and fans that want to support their team.
9. Hold a clinic. Have a high school or college team put on a clinic for young players who will pay to attend. Have participants sign up and pay online to make registration check-in a breeze!
10. Create a calendar. Print a calendar with team photos and sell at games.
Organize a sports camp or clinic with an online sign up. SAMPLE
11. Be jeweled.
Sell team jewelry at games or even find a vendor online that will offer fundraising options to earn back on each piece sold.
12. Coordinate a booth.
Sell items at local basketball tournaments or big events, like water bottles, face-painting, sports drinks, etc. You can coordinate your rotating volunteer schedule via an online sign up, so parents or youth know when it’s their turn to help!
13. Marketing for local businesses.
If your field is surrounded by chain link fence, sell billboard space to local businesses. Charge a set price for the entire year if it’s a multi-purpose field.
14. Make it personal.
Type up a fundraising letter asking for donations. Give 10 to each player and ask that he fill out the address of a family member or friend, and write a personal note on each. Collect them and mail out with a return envelope.
15. Solicit community donations.
Send letters to your local American Legions, Lions Club, Kiwanis, etc. They typically have money set aside to support community groups/organizations, and it never hurts to ask!
16. Ask for corporate sponsorships.
Ask them to donate $250 and in return, they get their logo and link on the team website and a plaque at the end of the season.
Sell tickets, sponsorships, or fundraising items with online sign ups. FIND OUT MORE
17. Vendor outsourcing.
Sell the right to concessions to a local coffee store on game day. Get Starbucks or another franchise to have a small stand at your event and give you a cut from the profits.
18. Local business partnerships.
Ask a local sports store chain to give discounts to the players and give a percentage back to the league.
19. Money made in the shades.
Sell custom sunglasses with your team's color and logo.
20. Organize a talent competition.
Hold a singing competition or talent show. Provide a small prize for the winner and sell tickets to raise money. Organize your talent and volunteers via SignUpGenius, so people can see who else is participating and man up!
21. Custom cookbook.
Collect your community or team members' favorite recipes and compile them into a cookbook. Sell it at a games, community events, and from your website.
22. Sell scratch-and-win cards.
Buy scratch-off coupon booklets and when you approach someone to buy a booklet, scratch off the top cover to reveal the price. The purchaser receives the coupon booklet for that amount and your group receives part of the purchase price.
23. Host a tournament.
Other teams will pay to play, plus you have concession stand profits to consider.
Hire a roving photographer to take pictures in the stands of spectators or of players during a game. He hands out his card so they can go to his website and buy photos. Your team makes a cut.
Have players invite supportive teachers, parents or community members to play against them. Each participant would have a fundraising goal to reach by selling tickets to the event or getting sponsors.
Youth sports fundraising needn't be boring or monotonous. This season, change it up and go fun with your money-making efforts!
Janis Meredith writes Jbmthinks, a blog on sports parenting and youth sports. After being a coach's wife for 27 years and a sports parent for 17, she sees issues from both sides of the bench.