There are a lot of costs involved with managing a cheerleading squad.
You have to pay for competition costs, uniforms, and spirit fees (megaphones, posters, and signs).
You also want your cheer team to bond, practice skills, and learn new routines. So remember cheer camp and coaching expenses, too.
Your cheer team will need a lot of money to operate. Ahead, you'll learn 21 unique and DIY cheer fundraiser ideas to meet your fundraising goals this season.
20 best cheerleading fundraising ideas
1. Run a bake sale
A bake sale is a classic fundraising campaign that is easy to organize and very profitable.
Gather a group of team members who want to bake and sell their favorite treats. They can sell their favorite treats like cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies.
You can set up a bake sale at:
- Your office
- Neighborhood school
- Community center
- Popular grocery storefront
- A local farmers' market
Consider selling drinks like water and coffee alongside your baked goods. It’s also a good idea to promote the sale on your cheerleading website and in the local area with posters.
💡PRO TIP: Promote your bake sale on the team schedule through your website’s events page. People visiting your site can join the event and buy your goods.
2. Host a Dance-A-Thon
A Dance-a-thon is a fun and energetic way to raise funds for your cheerleading team. It’s also simple to set up:
- Choose a venue. Find a location with enough space for people to dance, like a community center, park, or school gym.
- Promote the event. Use social media, your website, posters, and email to encourage people to sign up. Charge an entrance fee.
- Set up a DJ or music system. Hire a DJ or bring your own music system to keep the party going.
Sell snacks, drinks, and cheerleading merchandise to raise additional money. Remember to keep the energy high and people dancing!
3. Pancake breakfast
Pancake breakfasts have been a popular sports-related activity since 1948. And they still work today to fundraise for your cheer squad, too.
Get the ingredients for pancakes, syrup, and toppings, like fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate chips. Set up a serving line with pancakes, syrup, and toppings, and have volunteers serve the food to guests.
Sell tickets for the pancake breakfast in advance or at the door. Consider offering a discount for families or groups.
4. Run a Candygram
A Candygram is a great school fundraising idea during holidays like Christmas or Halloween. Your squad can prepare bags of treats, like candy canes or candy bars, and classmates can send them to each other with a message for a small fee.
5. Have a fashion show
Fashion shows offer a unique and entertaining way to raise funds while showcasing the cheerleaders' talents and creativity.
Choose a theme that aligns with your squad’s interests, such as a show that highlights the latest fashion trends or a 70’s-themed show. Find a venue that can host the show, like a school auditorium or community center.
Reach out to local businesses for sponsorship and support. They can give you money or lend stylists for the event in exchange for business promotion.
💡PRO TIP: Make it easier for local businesses to sponsor your squad by adding a sponsorship form to your website. Set up this page in minutes with a Jersey Watch Account.
6. Request donations on your website
Online fundraising is an easy way to raise money for your squad. Add a donation page to your cheerleading team’s website to increase donations.
With Jersey Watch, you don’t have to pay any crowdfunding platform fees. Every donation goes straight to your team.
Tell people why they should donate to your squad. Will they get recognition? Free tickets to events? Give an incentive to donate. Then, promote the page across your social media platforms and website to get the word out.
7. Sell merchandise online
Selling team merch gives you a consistent income stream year-round. It’s also an excellent way to inspire team spirit.
You can create an online store easily with Jersey Watch, then sell fundraising products your fans would want to buy, such as:
- Seat cushions
- Spirit wear
- Gift certifications
- Seasonal goods (like gift wrapping)
You can sell merch during a pep rally or in-person fundraiser, too. It’s hassle-free. Partner with a local printing company or online company like Printful or Ares Sportswear to create your products. Then sell wherever you want.
8. Request donations during registration
Let people donate when they register for a season or event. This is easy with sports registration software, which can collect payments online easily.
When setting up your online registration, ask for donations on your registration form, like in the example below.
9. Arrange a car wash
The classic car wash fundraiser is a win for any sports team’s fundraising efforts. You just need a big space, water, and buckets and sponges.
Charge a fee for each car wash and use the proceeds to support your cheerleading team. Also, sell snacks and drinks to people waiting for their car to be finished.
10. Run a raffle
Raffles are always an easy fundraising idea during sporting events. You can sell raffle tickets for a chance to win a prize.
Some good prize ideas include:
- Gift certificate to a local restaurant
- Gift card to a cool boutique
- Personal trainer sessions
- Basket of goodies
Reach out to local businesses to see if they’ll donate a prize. Sell tickets at a local event or even online to get more people involved.
11. Run a cheer clinic
Get younger cheerleaders involved in your organization and grow your league. Start a Saturday camp and have your players and coaches volunteer.
Charge a small fee, like $20, and offer pizza, snacks, and drinks for participating. Use raised funds to pay for the accommodations or ask a local business to donate it.
12. Organize a yard sale
Have a yard sale and ask team members and their families to donate items. You can set up tables in a central location and sell various items, like clothing, toys, and household goods.
13. Host a flag football game
Organize a flag football game for your local community. Find a local park or high school field with enough space for the playing field and spectators.
Recruit players from your squad and their friends and family members. Sell tickets or have teams raise money to play.
14. Host an auction
An auction is another exciting fundraising event for cheer squads.
You can ask local businesses and individuals to donate items for the auction, like jewelry, art, and sports memorabilia. Experiences like weekend getaways and behind-the-scenes tours at local attractions can also be auctioned off.
💡PRO TIP: Open up auctions to online bidders. Make your life easier (and the bidder’s experience better) with a tool like OneCause to offer mobile bidding, event ticketing, and bid tracking.
15. Host a talent show
Show off your cheerleaders' skills and talents with a talent show. You can charge your supporters to attend and watch the show.
Some things to consider when planning a talent show:
- How many acts will there be?
- Where will you host it?
- How long will each act take?
- What performances will you feature? (Stunts, dances, music, etc.)
Consider how long the intermission will be and what refreshments you’ll sell. Find companies that’ll sponsor your talent show and promote the event on social media to encourage signups.
16. Coordinate a bingo night
Plan a bingo night and charge a fee for bingo cards. Remember to offer prizes for the winners. You’ll need to pick up some supplies for this type of fundraiser:
- Bingo cards
- Bingo cage
You can buy these supplies online on Amazon or at a local party supply store. Be sure to find a space that can accommodate a lot of people. You’ll need to arrange tables and chairs for the guests and an area for the bingo games.
17. Arrange a sponsored walk
Fundraising and exercise go hand in hand with sponsored walks. Set up a route and ask your supporters to donate a certain amount per mile. Make the walk more fun by adding games, challenges, and other activities along the way.
💡PRO TIP: Create a customized youth sports sponsorship package for each donor. You'll have a better chance of getting sponsored if you tailor the package to their needs.
18. Run a DIY Workshop
Host a DIY workshop, like a woodworking or gardening one, and charge participants.
Give participants a hands-on experience and let them take home their finished projects. Run a DIY workshop on the weekend and invite friends and family to participate, so everyone can hang out and have a good time.
19. Organize a karaoke night
Everyone loves a good karaoke night, kids and parents included. Rent out a local restaurant and encourage participants to sing their favorite songs.
Let people make a team name and sing together. Some people are too shy to sing alone, but are more willing to sing with good friends. You can even offer prizes for the best performance.
To raise money, you can charge a fee to join the event. Or, split sales with the venue if they are open to it.
20. Host a movie night
Look for a location large enough to accommodate your audience and has the equipment to show a movie, like a projector and sound system. If you want to kick it up a notch, find a field and organize a drive-in movie.
Choose a movie that’ll appeal to a wide range of interests. Popular family-friend movies or classic films would be best.
Charge for concessions like popcorn, candy, soft drinks, and other snacks. Plus, encourage your squad to help with concessions and create a fun, welcoming atmosphere.
21. Apply for sports grants
Did you know you can get a nonprofit grant for your team? Many companies sponsor youth sports. From big companies like Nike and Walmart, to local and federal grants from the government.
Learn more by reading How to Apply for Grants for Your Youth Sports Program on our blog.
Tips for running successful cheer team fundraisers
Whether you're starting a new cheerleading team or trying to increase funding for an existing club, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use social media and email to reach a large audience of supporters.
- Create eye-catching posters and flyers to post in high-traffic areas.
- Reach out to local media outlets, such as newspapers and radio stations, to get coverage for the event.
- Add games, music, and other activities to your event to make them more fun.
- Offer incentives for those who support your efforts, such as coupons or special recognition.
- Be transparent about how the funds raised will be used to benefit the team and the community.
- Create a budget and stick to it, prioritizing essential expenses.
- Regularly communicate with your volunteers to ensure that everyone is on track and has the necessary resources.
Raise more for your cheerleading squad today
These 21 youth sports fundraising ideas for cheerleading are a great place to start.
There's something for everyone on this list, whether you're looking to organize a fun and exciting event or a simple and profitable fundraiser. A little creativity and effort can help you raise the funds you need for your cheerleading team.