8 cheerleading fundraising ideas that will wow your fans

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Rachel MillsWhite arrow icon

8 cheerleading fundraising ideas that will wow your fans

Need a new roster of awesome cheerleading fundraising activities? We’ve got eight fundraising events, campaigns, and challenges to keep your squad geared up and ready to go every season. Jump into these all-star ideas that are perfect for any age group. 

1. Concession stand

Jimmy Fallon Popcorn GIF

Cheering goes hand-in-hand with sports, so create a concession stand that’s main-event ready for the next game. This cheer fundraiser idea doesn’t cost a lot of money and is sure to be popular with fans and athletes. 

Pick up crowd favorites like caramel popcorn, pickles, candy bars, hot chocolate, coffee, and sunflower seeds at a discounted rate from wholesalers. You can also partner with a franchise that has a fundraising program, like Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, or Krispy Kreme. You can make up to 50% profit just by reselling these tasty snacks. Or, go the healthy, homemade route and sell lighter fare like fruit, granola, yogurt, and baked chips. 

Have members of your cheerleading squad partner up and walk through the stands and lawn chairs to sell your concessions. 

Another pro tip? Come up with a combination cheer-and-sales pitch. Use a free fundraising tool like Givebutter to take every payment option, including credit card, Venmo, and text-to-pay.

2. Rah-rah raffle

Learning complex routines and stunts is hard work, but holding a raffle isn’t. A raffle is simple, effective, and a great way to increase awareness about your cheer fundraising efforts. You can adapt this for any demographic, whether you’re trying to motivate college students, parents, eighth-graders, or church members. 

The key is to source cool products and worthwhile packages from local businesses. For instance, if your raffle targets adults, dangle enticing prizes like a massage package, cooking class, or household items. Sell raffle tickets directly from your fundraising page and use the social media megaphone to promote your latest prizes.

3. Pop-up clothing shop

Thrift Shop Happy Music GIF

Yard sale? Bring this classic cheerleader fundraising idea into the 21st century and make it a pop-up shop! This is great for cheerleading teams of every size because you call on your community members for help. Similar to tag sales and rummage sales, ask people to purge their wardrobe for a good cause.

Then, find a venue where you can artfully organize and arrange your digs. A garage, gym, or auditorium works just fine; however, hosting your pop-up shop in a nicer location could play to your advantage. See if a local business will clear out space for a couple of days in exchange for free publicity and a wave of new shoppers. 

Before the big day, share a fashion newsletter that rounds up the best of the best on your cheer squad’s social media pages. Shout out your designer finds and on-trend items — whatever appeals most to your target buyers. 

4. You name it

Come up with a fundraising idea and give it a name that’s as snazzy, clever, and creative as your cheers. You can come up with a name or concept first, whichever is easiest. The best way to explain this idea is to give you a few examples. 

For instance, host a “Pancakes for Parents” brunch or a “Chicken Wings for Cheerleaders” fundraising night at a local restaurant. Using alliteration is fun, but you can also try out puns and rhymes, like “Lend an Ear for Cheer,” a school concert fundraiser.

As simple as it sounds, these campaigns work because they’re catchy and easier to remember than something like “Eastmoor Cheer Team Fundraiser.” (Although “Eat-moor Chicken Fundraiser” might work!) 

5. Mascot showdown

World Baseball Classic Mascot GIF By MLB

For this next cheer fundraiser idea, you’ll partner with other schools or sports teams in your area and pit mascot against mascot in an epic showdown. 

Relay races are very popular, but you can also try a mini-golf, basketball, or flag football game. If you don’t have access to mascot costumes, don’t worry. You can also have members of your cheer team dress up in wacky outfits or Halloween costumes. 

Sell individual and group event tickets for this unique event and have people make donations to vote on which mascot they think will win each competition. You can easily live stream the event. There are few things funnier than people running around in clunky mascot costumes — and it’s a great way to raise money! 

6. Social media challenge

You’ve already got passionate, top-notch performers on hand. Throw in a quick and trendy social media challenge, and you’ve got another great cheerleading fundraising campaign. 

For a challenge that kids and teens will love, you don’t need to look much further than TikTok, Twitter, or Instagram. Have your team members film their own take on the “Say So” dance challenge, Mannequin Challenge, or ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The idea is to have each person post their video or picture, and then tag at least three people to participate. If the tagged person doesn’t accept, they have to make a donation to your team. You should also encourage people to donate alongside their videos. 

Make sure to choose an age-appropriate idea, and provide a fun offline option for kids and adults who aren’t on social media.

7. T-shirt design contest

Episode 6 GIF by BBC Three

A T-shirt design contest is a solid standalone fundraising idea. It’s also an easy add-on to many of the other campaigns we’ve mentioned. All you need to do is provide some simple T-shirt requirements, create a fundraising page to show off the best submissions, and have people make donations to vote on their favorites. 

Share your cheer team name, logo, and colors, as well as any other requests. Then, put out the call for enthusiastic artists and designers at your school or in the greater community. Offer a prize like a gift card to attract even more contestants. 

And merchandise options don’t end with T-shirts. You can use the winning design on sweatshirts, backpacks, frisbees, stickers, and more. You’ll raise funds and team spirit at the same time!

8. More money, no problems

Let’s face it: Many family members, friends, and co-workers would rather just make one large donation than answer every car wash, walk-a-thon, and cookie dough fundraiser request. So, instead of trying out one creative idea after another, why not go straight for the gold? 

Ask your cheerleading team supporters to donate a specific amount for the entire year. Work backward: Take your annual fundraising goal and divide it by how many people you think will donate to a one-time campaign like this.

For this cheerleading fundraising idea, it pays to spend some time on your fundraising request letters. At a minimum, suggest different gift amounts and explain what each level will buy. For example: “$45 will pay for one complete cheerleading uniform” or “$125 covers yearly transportation costs for one squad member.” 

Raise a cheer for fundraising

cheerleaders pom poms GIF by University of Florida

We hope these cheerleading fundraising ideas have put some pep in your step! Here are a few more places you can get some campaign inspiration: 

Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.