30 awesome fundraising ideas for sports teams
Fundraising ideas don’t need to be overly complicated to raise money for youth sports. In fact, sports fundraising can be a great team builder while working to meet fundraising goals. School sports always need funds to keep up with training, new gear, supplies, field maintenance, and resources to get team members prepared for their season. Givebutter has 30 of the best fundraising ideas for youth sports.
Fundraising Ideas for Sports Teams:
1. Mascot Game: This hilarious and silly fundraising idea is perfect for sports fundraising. Gather local mascot costumes or rent them from a costume shop and use this as a team fundraising event. You choose the sport: mascots playing against each other in a baseball fundraiser? Mascots in a golf tournament? Community members and family members alike purchase tickets as attendees to watch sports mascots play each other on the field or court of your choice. This event is great to raise money and raise awareness of youth sports teams on social media.
2. Shoot-a-thon: Contestants pay a small entry fee to participate in this fast-paced fundraiser built for raising money. Put 30 seconds on the clock and see how many baskets each competitor can make. Up the ante and make this a team fundraiser against local high schools. This easy fundraising idea takes nothing more than a couple of basketballs and a hoop.
3. Pump-a-thon: Just like a shoot-a-thon, but with pumping iron. Contestants pay a small entry fee to participate in this weightlifting fundraiser built for raising money and raising the bar. Who can lift the most amount of weight (safely)? Or who can do the most amount of curls?
4. Cheerleading Competition: “We raise money! Yes we do! We raise money, how ‘bout you?” Dust off the pom-poms for this sports team fundraising event. Rally local high school cheerleading squads for a cheerleading competition. Each cheerleading squad pays an entry fee to compete against local schools. Use your local gym or community center to host the fundraising efforts. Cheerleading squads won’t want to miss competing for titles such as “Most Spirit”, “Best Vocals” or “Most Creative.” Host this sports fundraising event to offset the costs of your own team’s fees for other competitions, travel or spirit wear.
5. T-shirts: No school fundraiser would be complete without a t-shirt sale. Sports teams are prime for selling custom t-shirts. Senior night t-shirts, homecoming weekend t-shirts, alumni t-shirts, the list goes on. Customize t-shirts with your school logo, personalize with names and numbers and raise money while promoting school spirit.
6. Home-run Derby: Who doesn’t want to relive their high school glory days and dust off the old cleats? Relatively low cost - a bucket of balls, and BYOB (bring your own bat). Baseball fundraising can be simple by recruiting a local business to sponsor the sports fundraising event for free publicity. For an added boost to raise money, have Babe Ruth wannabe’s set up an online fundraising campaign with Givebutter, taking pledges for home runs hit, or a flat pledge amount for participating.
7. Sudden Death Shoot Out: One goalie vs. one soccer player. Like home run derby, but with soccer. How many shots can you make against the clock with a goalie blocking your best shot? Have your Megan Rapinoe wannabes set up an online fundraising campaign with Givebutter, taking pledges for each goal made, or a flat pledge amount for participating.
8. Kids vs. Parents scrimmage game: Rally your biggest fan base and challenge parents to a scrimmage game with this sports fundraising idea. Parents of players on one team, and students on the other. This sports fundraiser is fun to watch and will raise money while bringing families closer together over the love of the game. Softball, baseball, basketball are all easy ways to rally a scrimmage game of parents versus kids. Keep raising money straightforward with this sports fundraiser by asking for a small donation per participant or per family and use Givebutter to collect donations.
9. Celebrity Guest: If your team is nearby a major league team, contacting their public relations department may get you a few hours with a player donating their time to your sports team. Pair the celebrity guest with an exclusive dinner and ask them to speak on their career in sports. Local businesses will jump at the opportunity to sponsor an event with a celebrity guest and attendees can purchase tickets to this fundraiser. Givebutter makes ticketing simple for events. Sell unlimited paid or free tickets and manage attendees with our built-in features. Boost your fundraising efforts by offering ticket holders to the option to add donating to their ticket fees.
10. Bowl-a-thon: Rent out a bowling alley and raise money at the same time. Participants collect pledges for a night of all you can bowl. Collect donations per pin knocked over, or a flat donation to help support your cause.
11. Candy bar sales: Tried and true, selling candy is one fundraising idea for sports teams that seems to work. But one way to avoid burnout (and cavities) is to sell something more unique. Brainstorm ways to incorporate candy sales into seasonal holidays and upcoming community events.
12. Swim-A-Thon: Just like a walk-a-thon, but swimming. Collect pledges for how many laps you think you may complete either collecting pledges per lap completed or at a flat rate. This team fundraising idea is perfect for setting up online donation page and encourage friendly competition among swimmers. Givebutter is designed for sports teams to raise money as a team. Find out why over 1,000 teams, schools, and sports clubs are already using Givebutter to raise money.
13. Students vs. teacher games: Another fundraising option is to raffle off the chance to skip class and play in student vs. teacher games. Simple relay races, obstacle courses, or brainteasers can all be set up at your high school, middle school or grade school as a fundraiser for sports teams. Students enter the raffle to participate in “skipping class” to compete against teachers in a variety of fun challenges.
14. Fill in the Blank for Fill in the Blank: Endless possibilities. Fundraisers love alliterations and the possibilities here are endless. Pinot for Point Guards! Host a wine night to support the basketball team! Or try Hamburgers for Hockey! Host a grill out to raise money for the hockey team’s new jerseys. Or try, Beers for Baseball! Partner with your local bar to have a $1 give back for every beer purchased to benefit the little league team.
15. Shave Me for a Good Cause: Enroll prominent teachers, coaches or student to enter into this bizarre fundraising contest. The person with the most dollars in their jar at the end of the week gets shaven at a pep rally before a big game to raise money for the team. Participants must eir agree opt-in to have their head shaved in front of the school. Works best in grade schools and high schools!
16. Wet Sponge: Couple the “wet sponge” fundraiser with the above and you’ve got a wacky day at school that kids will remember. $1 a sponge and students get to throw them at each other in the gym during a pep rally.
17. 5K and Marathons: There’s no shortage of runners these days, and a 5K or marathon is a sports fundraising idea that is sure to attract local and regional talent to compete. Kol Hanearim planned a marathon in 2018 and using Givebutter, raised nearly $50,000 from people donating to support their mission through the marathon fundraiser.
18. Ask For What You Need: You don’t always need to brainstorm a fundraising event or come up with a new fundraising idea to raise money. Some of the best sports fundraising ideas are just asking your community for donations. Crowdfunding is a popular way to raise money for youth sports. The Cunningham PTO did just that with Givebutter by running an annual fund campaign and asking for donations to get the little league team to Cooperstown!
19. Fitness Class: Engage with your local community center and ask for a fitness class on one evening to be donated to your team. Promote the fitness class on social media, attend, and raise money while staying in shape at the same time.
20. Food Truck: Invite food trucks to the Friday night lights and work with the local business to donate a portion of all food sales back to the team. Many local food trucks would be happy to set up their truck at a local high school football game. And many attendees would be happy to purchase quality food truck food over stale popcorn, candy bars, and burnt hot dogs.
21. Alumni Night: Wine and dine the alumni from your high school with a special alumni night. Sell tickets to an all-inclusive dinner before the big game and recognize them at half time, on the court, or by the announcers. Alumni love to feel special when they visit their old high school, and engaging with them makes it more likely that they’ll be donating to support their old sports teams if asked.
22. Pay You Not to Ask Me Again This Year: Why not give busy parents an option to opt-out of year-round sports fundraising with one big check or online donation via PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay? After the magazine sales come the candy bar sales, the Girl Scout cookies then the popcorn and candles… Give parents an out and ask for cold hard cash. Set a top tier donation amount for the sports team booster club and let parents buy their way out by donating cold hard cash. You might find you reach your fundraising goals faster by giving this as an unorthodox option.
23. March Madness Watch Party: Use your local community center or high school gym, set up multiple TVs or projectors and host a March Madness watch party. Attendees can purchase tickets for entry, and pair their ticket with food donated by local businesses. Raise money while cheering on your favorite NCAA sports teams.
24. Fund-An-Athlete: Similar to ask for what you need, Fund-An-Athlete can be a great way to tie your sports team’s needs directly to someone who wants to support a student-athlete directly. When a donation is made to Fund-An-Athlete, share stats and updates with the donor on the teams progress.
25. Driving Range Derby: Just like home-run Derby, but with golf. Relatively low cost - a bucket of balls, and BYOC (bring your own club). Golf fundraising can be simple by recruiting a local business to sponsor the sports fundraising event for free publicity. For an added boost to raise money, have PGA wannabe’s set up an online fundraising campaign with Givebutter, taking pledges for longest drive, or a flat pledge amount for participating.
26. Skills Clinic: High school students can use skills clinics as one way to raise money for their sports teams. Partner with area grade school sports clubs or community centers and plan a skills clinic. Charge an fee for participants to learn with the team and sell t-shirts to attendees.
27. Mini-Golf Tournament: This fundraising idea take the class golf tournament and adds a bit of whimsy. With a miniature golf tournament, the aim is more fun than form. Assemble teams to compete for best score and use Givebutter’s platform to manage all entry fees, keep track of attendees and manage check-in.
28. World Series Watch Party: Just like the March Madness viewing party, but the final game of the World Series. Due to the unpredictable nature of the World Series, this sports fundraiser is best done among friends. Have each friend donate $10 for food, drinks, and a few dollars for the local little league team.
29. Sponsors: One of the best fundraisers for a sports team is to have a sponsor. Raising money directly from a local business is a great way to meet your fundraising goals. Restaurants, doctors, attorneys, even mechanics all are potentials when it comes to sponsoring your team. Give local businesses the ability to advertise on jerseys, in programs, or on your banner and you might have the funds you need for the season.
30. Water Sports: This Givebutter user raised nearly $6,000 for water sports by integrating Givebutter into their fundraising. Water slides, squirt guns, hoses, water balloons. Charge an entry fee for participants to join the makeshift water park with this wet and wild sports fundraising idea.
No matter what you come up with, raising money for your team is always worthwhile. Brainstorm with your team, sports club and get to it. Givebutter is ready to help make your fundraising easier, better, and save you time and money while doing so!
Candice is a nonprofit professional with over a decade of experience in fundraising, civic engagement, staff and volunteer management, writing, and project coordination.