Whether you’re coaching a little league baseball team or managing a high school football squad, chances are you’re going to need some extra funding at some point. From purchasing new uniforms and equipment to covering travel expenses for away games, the costs associated with running a sports team can quickly add up. But don’t panic! There’s an entire playbook of excellent fundraising ideas out there that can help generate the funds you need.

In this article, we’ll explore a wide variety of different fundraising strategies, from traditional to innovative, and everything in between. Ready to kick off your fundraising game? Let’s get started!

1. Car Wash Fundraiser

Car washes are a tried-and-true fundraising method for sports teams. This is because they have a low budget requirement and can bring in substantial profit if organized well. Here’s how it works: your athletes get together on a sunny day, ideally in a high-traffic area, and offer car washes for donations. Remember to promote the event ahead of time on social media and via flyers around town.

2. Team Calendars

Selling calendars featuring photos of your team players is another excellent fundraising opportunity. Parents, grandparents, and friends will love having a keepsake that showcases their athlete throughout the year. Plus, it’s an easy way for fans to support your team financially.

Golf Tournament

3. Sports Clinics

If you have experienced coaches or older players on your team talented in their sport, consider hosting a sports clinic for younger players in your community. It’s a win-win situation – the younger players get valuable training, and your team raises funds.

4. Themed Fun Run

A themed fun run can be an exciting and active way for the community to help support your team. Runners can dress up according to the theme (for instance, team colors), and the entrance fee goes directly to your sports team.

5. Silent Auctions

Silent auctions can be a bit more work to organize, but they can also bring in a significant amount of money. You’ll need to solicit donations from local businesses, but in return, these businesses get free advertising, and you get items to auction off.

6. Restaurant Nights

Many local restaurants offer fundraising nights where a percentage of the profits from that evening’s sales go back to your sports team. All you have to do is promote the event and encourage people to dine out!


7. Bake Sales

This old-fashioned fundraising strategy still works wonders today. Homemade cookies, brownies, and other sweet treats almost always draw a crowd, and the cost of ingredients is usually quite low.

8. Raffle Tickets

Selling raffle tickets for a prize is a great way to raise funds. The prize could be anything from sports equipment signed by your players, tickets to a big game, or even a dinner at a local restaurant.

9. Team Merchandise

Who doesn’t love sporting their favorite team’s gear? Selling T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, and other merchandise with your team’s logo is another awesome way to bring in some funds.

10. Fundraising Cards

Fundraising cards are essentially small discount cards that people can purchase from your team. The buyer gets excellent deals from local businesses, while the proceeds from card sales go directly to your sports team.

11. Sponsorships

Local businesses often love to support their community, and sports team sponsorships are a great way for them to do so. This could be as simple as having a business’s logo on your team jerseys or as involved as naming rights to your venue.

12. Crowdfunding

With the rise of the internet, crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular method of raising funds. Websites like GoFundMe make it easy for friends, family, and even strangers to donate to your cause.

13. Trivia Night

A trivia night can be a fun event that brings your community together while raising money for your team. Participants pay an entry fee to compete, and you can also sell drinks and snacks at the event for additional earnings.

Garage Sale

14. Team Yard Sale

A team yard sale is another low-cost fundraising option. Team members can donate items they no longer need, and all profits from the sale go directly towards the team’s expenses.

15. Pancake Breakfast

Hosting a pancake breakfast (or any meal!) at your school or local community center can draw a crowd and raise funds quickly. Charge a small fee for a plate of delicious pancakes cooked by your athletes!

16. Scratch Card Fundraiser

In a scratch card fundraiser, people scratch off sections of a card to reveal how much they’ll donate, anywhere from free to $100. It adds an element of surprise to the donation process!

17. Charity Match

A charity match involves hosting a game where all ticket sales go towards your team’s fund. You could even spice things up by playing against local celebrities or teachers!

18. Online Store

If you have a lot of merchandise to sell, setting up an online store can be very profitable. It also allows people who can’t attend games in person to support your team!

19. Movie Night

Host an outdoor movie night at your sports field. Concessions like popcorn, drinks and candy can be sold to generate additional funds.

20. Coin Drive

Ask team members to collect loose change from friends, family, and neighbors. While it may not seem like much, a coin drive can quickly add up!

21. Sponsor a Mile

If your team travels for games, ask supporters to sponsor a mile of the trip. They can donate a set amount for each mile the team needs to travel.

Softball fundraising ideas

22. Skills Challenge

A skills challenge where players compete in specific sport-related tasks (like fastest pitch or most accurate kick) can draw a crowd and raise money through entry fees.

23. Fan Clubs

Create a fan club for your team where members get exclusive perks like early ticket access or special merchandise. Charge a small membership fee to generate funds.

24. Game Day Concessions

If you don’t already sell concessions at your games, you’re missing out on an excellent fundraising opportunity! Even simple snacks and drinks can bring in decent revenue.

25. Partner with a Sports Company

Finding a partnership with a local sports company could provide your team with funds or equipment in exchange for advertising or other benefits.

Fundraising for your sports team doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. With creative ideas and proper planning, you can make the process fun and successful. Remember, the key to successful fundraising lies in engaging your community, showcasing your team’s spirit, and offering worthwhile items or experiences in return for their support. Now go out and score some funds for your team!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best type of fundraiser for a small sports team?

The best type of fundraiser depends on your specific circumstances, such as the size of your team, available resources, and community support. However, car washes, bake sales, and raffle ticket sales often work well for smaller teams.

2. How can we make our sports team fundraiser more successful?

Promoting your event well in advance and staying organized are key factors in successful fundraising. Also, try to offer value to those who donate – this could be a service like a car wash, a product like baked goods, or an experience like a trivia night.

3. Can we ask local businesses for donations or sponsorship?

Yes! Many local businesses are willing to sponsor sports teams or donate goods or services for fundraisers like silent auctions. In return, they get free advertising and the chance to support their local community.

4. What are some unique fundraising ideas?

Hosting a skills challenge, creating a fan club, or organizing a charity match against local celebrities are all unique ideas that could help your sports team fundraising stand out.

5. How can we keep track of funds raised?

Keeping detailed records is crucial. This could be done using simple paper and pen, a spreadsheet program like Excel, or fundraising software.

6. Can we do online fundraising?

Absolutely! Online fundraising platforms like GoFundMe are popular and easy to use. You can also consider setting up an online store to sell team merchandise.

7. What if our fundraiser doesn’t meet its goal?

If your fundraiser doesn’t meet its goal, don’t worry. Every bit helps and it’s important to thank everyone who contributed. You can always try another type of fundraiser next time.

8. How can we involve our athletes in the fundraising process?

Athletes can be involved in many ways – from helping to plan and promote the fundraiser, to physically running the car wash or bake sale, to reaching out to potential sponsors.

9. How can we show appreciation to our donors?

Thanking donors is very important. This could be as simple as a heartfelt thank you note, a shout out on social media, or recognition at a sports event.

10. Can we hold multiple fundraisers at once?

Yes, holding multiple fundraisers concurrently can help reach your target faster. However, make sure you have the resources to manage all of them effectively.

11. Are there any legal considerations for fundraising?

Yes, laws regarding fundraising vary by location so it’s important to be aware of any legal obligations or restrictions in your area.

12. What kind of items are best for a silent auction?

The best items for a silent auction are those that are desirable and provide good value for money. These could be donated items from local businesses, experiences like dinner with a local celebrity, or exclusive team merchandise.

13. What are fundraising cards?

Fundraising cards are small discount cards sold by your team that offer deals from local businesses. The proceeds from card sales go directly to your team.

14. What is a charity match?

A charity match is a sports game where all ticket sales go towards your team’s fundraising goal. To make it more interesting and draw a larger crowd, you could play against local celebrities or teachers!

15. How can we use our team’s travels for fundraising?

If your team travels to away games, you can ask supporters to sponsor a mile of the trip. They would donate a set amount for each mile your team needs to travel.

Ending Note

Always remember, the heart of any successful fundraiser is the spirit of giving, the joy of participation, and the sense of community it fosters. As you explore these fundraising strategies, remember that their success lies not just in the funds raised, but also in the bonds strengthened among team members, supporters and the wider community. Always strive for a win-win scenario where everyone who contributes feels valued and engaged. Good luck with your sports team fundraising endeavours!

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By Published On: November 21st, 2023Categories: Fundraising Tips0 Comments

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About the Author:

Michael Braunstein

is a fundraising expert and founder of Hour-A-Thon.

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