From uniforms to travel costs, there are many reasons your cheer or dance team might need to raise a little extra cash. Either way, select a fundraiser that donors and the team will be excited about. Everyone has a car wash or sells coupon books. Creating a connection with donors through your fundraiser will increase community reach, engagement and, of course, donations.
Fundraisers can go further than raising money for a cause. They are a great opportunity for building friendships through experiences while teaching responsibility. USASF encourages athletes to create long-lasting connections through the team and the community. Even if you don’t currently need to raise cash, consider the list below as activities you can use to connect with the community.
All ideas are dependent on your team’s fundraising goals. Feel free to tweak them as you wish to fit your team’s goals.
A popular yet effective fundraiser is a partnership with a local business where they donate part of their daily or weekly revenue to your cause. Whether it be an eatery, a retailer, or even the zoo, make sure to tell everyone you know to get in on it!
Who doesn’t love trivia? Especially themed trivia. Connect with your target donors to see what they are passionate about. For example, we know many people love certain TV shows or movies. Encouraging people to dress up as their favorite characters while testing their Harry Potter knowledge will connect positive memories with your fundraiser. Who knows, it could be a yearly event. There could also be an opportunity to team up with a local restaurant and do a trivia night, generating donations through trivia entry and a percentage of the restaurant’s revenue.
A popular game to play at cookouts, tailgates and parties, cornhole has gained in popularity in recent years and is now considered a sport. Hosting a cornhole tournament will bring together people of all ages to enjoy a little fresh air. Use an entry fee for the tournament and consider offering customized cornhole sets to increase donations. Take it a step further and get some local businesses to gift prizes to the winners.
Too often are shoes left in the corner of a closet. Make use of those forgotten and unwanted shoes by starting a shoe drive. There are partner websites that want to buy old and used shoes. Get some buckets and boxes and watch them pile up. You’d be surprised how many people are holding onto platform shoes.
This one requires access to a stream or small river, or something homemade if you’re handy enough. Rubber ducks are cheap to get in bulk. Offer 1 or 100 for a fee with a prize going to the winner of the race. Get creative and offer various ducks for different prices. Make sure to mark them with names or initials to tell them apart.
With access to cameras on all cell phones, this fundraiser is fun for all ages. Depending on your target donor, there are countless options for what you want to make the photo contest. A few examples are cutest pet, hometown pride or hobby/passion. Let the donors get creative and enter the contest with a small fee. If there is interest, create small books, calendars or videos to purchase of all the photos entered in the contest.
Potentially the messiest of the bunch — or the most fun, depending on how you look at it — is offering a dog walk and wash. Most people love dogs and most people love to treat their dogs. What better way to get some extra cash than to love on some dogs?! Try partnering with a local pet groomer to get some essential supplies and some tips/tricks. A bonus offer could be baking some pet-friendly treats to sell as well.
Depending on the time of year, there could be a potential connection with a holiday or season. In the spring, you’ll find Easter, Mother’s Day and Earth Day, so an Easter egg hunt or planting flowers/trees would make sense. For summer, there’s Independence Day and Father’s Day, when a cookout or BBQ sound really good. Fall holidays include Halloween and Thanksgiving, so a costume contest, pumpkin smash or turkey trot are options. Finally we have winter, which includes some gift-giving holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Valentine’s Day, all of which could use some gift-wrapping help.
Let your creative side shine with a T-shirt fundraiser. Various websites offer T-shirt design and purchase, so have some fun creating a shirt promoting your team/event or something completely random, like popular movie quotes. Either way, people love to get something in return for their donation and a T-shirt is a great way to offer that.
There are organizations out there that can help set up and manage fundraising drives for you and your team. The USASF partners with Double Good, an organization that makes it easy to earn money with the members keeping 50% of the sales. They can take a lot of the management pressure off you and your team while you make money toward your goal.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Make the selection of a fundraiser or activity a team discussion. Foster a culture that allows the athletes to speak their opinion and think creatively. It’s about doing something fun for everyone involved. I mean, isn’t that why it’s called a FUNdraiser?