Fundraising Ideas for Youth Soccer Teams
Fundraising is a way players can help subsidize the cost of playing on a youth sports team. The costs may not initially seem like much, but league fees, equipment costs, and travel expenses can all add up to a hefty bill. This guide covers the basic aspects of fundraising and also offers some creative ways your soccer team can raise money.
Fundraising is one of the ways your team can get a new set of jerseys that maybe you can’t otherwise afford, or potentially go and play at an out-of-state tournament. It’s also important for players to help with the financial burden of playing on a sports team. If players contribute to the cost of playing through fundraising, they will appreciate the gift of team sports that much more.
The Role of Parents
The primary role of parents in fundraising events should be to provide adult supervision and facilitation. By no means should parents avoid involving themselves in team fundraising, but it’s important that they remember to allow the players to take the lead. Learning the value of money, as well as the importance of earning the right to be a part of a team are lessons players should take away from a fundraising campaign. Parents are simply there to ensure the process runs smoothly.
There are some standard methods that teams use to raise money. Below are a number of fundraising ideas that you can use to help your team reach the next level:
Car washes are often done in cooperation with local gas stations. They are a mutually beneficial arrangement because the car wash draws patrons to the gas station and the gas station is the natural place you would expect to find cars.
Reach out to one of your local stations and ask them if they would be willing to let you conduct a car wash on their property. Most businesses are always on the lookout for ways to establish roots in community organizations so you should be able to find success.
Have players operate in small groups and wash cars together. If you are unsure about what price to set for a car wash, consult one or more of the parents on what a reasonable expectation would be.
Garage sales are normally a good way to raise a little extra cash, but what happens when you get together 15 to 20 families worth of stuff? You have yourself a mega garage sale! Reach out to the parents and see if one of them lives in a neighborhood with a lot of foot traffic. Once you have you destination set, put up signs in the neighborhood and advertise it as a “fundraising” garage sale. Make sure the signs say where the sale takes place and what the funds will go towards.
Bake sales are a great way to raise a lot of money in a short amount of time. Hopefully the team has a number of willing participants to bake goods that the players can sell at a popular destination with plenty of foot traffic. Players shouldn’t just count on parents to bake the goods, but should also be active participants in the process. Cooking is a valuable life skill and parents can even help their children grow as people with this fun activity.
Pledge drives can be anything from a walk-a-thon to a soccer-related skills competition. There are two common payment options with a pledge drive. Donors can either offer you a flat financial pledge if you hit a certain milestone, or a performance pledge based on how many stats you rack up.
An example of a performance based pledge would be someone donating a set amount of money for each goal a player scores in a season. It depends what type of pledge drive you decide to host, but remember to give donors as many options as possible, since a flat donation might make them more comfortable than the uncertainty of a performance-based pledge.
Magazine or Candy Sales
Magazine and candy sales were a very popular model several years ago, but they have been phased out in recent years primarily due to fundraising fraud. The problem with candy or magazine sales is that the players usually operate individually and as a result donations are harder to come by. Donors are less willing to give money to an individual than to a team because the validity of the sale can be called into question. If you do elect to do magazine or candy sales, make sure to travel in groups and always bring documentation on your fundraising event.
The best way to avoid suspicion of fundraising fraud is to have all players operate in groups, and to wear their team uniforms while they are seeking donations. Dressing as a team will project honesty and integrity which should make the donation money flow!
Sadly there is a tremendous amount of fundraising fraud in the world for youth sports teams. This shameless crime has made it difficult for honest youth players to run sound fundraising campaigns, but there is still hope. Make sure you always have documentation of your project, and if you can, an adult on hand to alleviate any concerns a potential donor may have.
Create Your Own Fundraiser!
Just because an idea isn’t on this list doesn’t mean it won’t work! New innovations are being dreamed up every day and you have the power to bring your creativity to the fundraising world of youth soccer. Put on your thinking cap and raise some money!