Youth sports teams usually have a tight budget to work with, which can make managing your football team tricky.
The good news is that there are many creative and easy ways to fundraise without spending much money.
Tired of the same old cookie dough fundraiser and walk-a-thon for your youth sports football team? Here are the top youth sports fundraising ideas for football to try year-round to raise money.
18 unique youth football fundraising ideas
1. Reach out to local businesses for sponsorship
One of the best ways to raise money for youth football is through local sponsors. Create a personalized youth sports sponsorship package and show how you can support their business goals.
Offer sponsorships in exchange for promotions like:
- Field signs
- Jersey patches
- Website promos
- Scoreboard signs
- Sponsored events
💡PRO TIP: Create a sponsorship page on your football team's website so local businesses can sponsor your team. Set it up in minutes with a Jersey Watch account.
2. Sell team merch and apparel
Selling merch is another great way to fundraise for your youth football team. This fundraiser can be a consistent income stream and build team morale.
Take pre-orders for items with your team logo and colors. Merch you can sell includes:
- Tote bags
- Pint glasses
- Pennants and flags
💡PRO TIP: Work with a printer or a vendor like Printful who will create and ship items at an agreed upon price. Use your website to promote merch sales or hold an event day for players, their families, and friends to buy apparel.
3. Run an online fundraising campaign
Create a fundraising page on your website with a donation button. List all the possible ways someone can donate to your team. This will let people easily donate to your football team.
Offer incentives to donors like:
- Discounted team merch.
- Tickets to a game.
- Website recognition.
Promote the page across social media, like your team’s. Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to follow up with donors via email to thank them for their support.
4. Run a car wash
Car washes are an easy way to fundraise for a youth football team. They are easy to organize and don’t require a lot of planning. You just need to decide on:
- Location (e.g., local park or school parking lots)
- Date and time
- The number of volunteers
- What supplies you need
Borrow supplies from parents and friends, if possible. You’ll need, at minimum, tons of 5-gallon buckets, eco-friendly car soap, towels, sponges, and a big garden hose with a spray nozzle.
💡PRO TIP: Advertise the car wash in advance using posters, social media, and word of mouth. Sell snacks, drinks, hot dogs, and baked goods to earn extra money.
5. Promote game day raffles
Game day raffles are exciting fundraisers to hold at youth football games. Find prizes through donations from local businesses and parents.
Some prize ideas include:
- Signed sports memorabilia
- Spa treatment gift cards
- Local restaurant gift certificates
- Winery or brewery tour
- Escape room gift certificate
- 50/50 raffle
Set up a booth on game day and charge a fee for each person to participate. Football players and families can buy tickets to enter the raffle. You can announce the winners during half-time or the fourth quarter so the winner can claim their prize.
6. Collect donations during registration
When registering for a season or event, encourage people to make an online donation when they register. For example, include a section on your registration form asking for donations.
Using this type of donation form, you don’t need to pay fees for using a fundraising platform. What you raise goes directly to your team members.
7. Run a football camp
Invite pro football coaches for a special two or three-day camp during the summer. You can set your fees, staff the camp with volunteers, and get donations from local businesses. See if you can host the camp at your local high school or sports facility.
💡PRO TIP: Promote the camp curriculum across social media, your website, and local schools to build awareness. Include incentives like water and a free jersey or t-shirt for joining the camp.
8. Sell discount cards
Selling discount cards is quick and easy to organize and set up.
You can create your own cards filled with coupons for local businesses and restaurants. Then your players can sell them to family members and locals. Cards can be sold digitally or physically, depending on your preference.
💡PRO TIP: Try an app like The Discount Card to sell digital cards fast. The setup is easy, and you can sell cards anywhere, anytime.
9. Get a youth sports grant
Youth sports grants are an excellent way for football teams to raise money. Several organizations provide grants to nonprofits and volunteer-run organizations.
Companies that sponsor youth sports include:
- Good Sports
The application process usually involves filling out a form online. Have a plan for you’ll use the money (e.g., travel expenses, gear, facility fees). Include the plan in your application.
You’ll also need to show your team is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. Read How to Apply for Grants for Your Youth Sports Program on our blog to learn more about the types of grants available.
10. Organize a Sponsor-A-Player program
Sponsor-a-Player is a program that encourages people to donate regularly to your team. It's a great way to build relationships with supporters, get them more involved, and meet your fundraising goals.
People can sponsor a single player or the entire team with a Sponsor-A-Player program. You can send regular updates and information from the team to stay connected.
💡PRO TIP: Create an easy-to-use sign-up form on your website to get started. Ask your sponsors to spread the word about their commitment in their own networks.
Running a Cheer Program too? Get some more cheerleading fundraising ideas.
11. Host a laser tag fundraiser
This fundraiser works by teaming up with a family fun center or laser tag venue in your area to host the event. Each participant pays an entrance fee and the venue can split the proceeds with your sports team.
A laser tag fundraising event combines fun, physical activity, and friendly competition in a safe space. It can appeal to anyone from young kids to adults. Plus, there is no clean-up duty afterward!
12. Host a flag football tournament
A flag football tournament is a great opportunity for football teams to raise money. Charge teams an entrance fee and make money by selling refreshments, merchandise, and concessions.
Anyone can play in the tournament, regardless of age or skill level. Your team can even use the event to build community spirit. Get parents to volunteer as referees and spread the word through social media to raise awareness for the event.
13. Challenge the coach
This is a fun and interactive way to engage players, alumni, and team supporters. Your coach will challenge either the players or the fans to donate a certain amount. Challengers have a set time frame to respond and meet the request.
If someone doesn't meet a goal, they'll have to do something funny, like wear their mascot costume or perform a skit. However, if the goal is met, the coach must do the same.
14. Organize a documentary night
Documentary night is an event where a team will watch a sports-related documentary and discuss it.
Rent out a theater or another venue to show an intriguing, yet educational documentary, such as:
- Elway to Marino
- 75 Seasons
You can make money through ticket sales, local sponsorships, and concessions.
💡PRO TIP: Spice up the night by inviting alumni or notable sports figures to the event. Give them a chance to share their stories and experiences and inspire the young athletes on your team.
15. Host a kickball tournament
Like flag football tournaments, kickball tournaments are another excellent fundraiser idea. Contact your local park or recreation department to get permission to use a field (ideally a baseball field).
Then coordinate teams and find sponsors for the tournament. Ask family members to volunteer to keep score, sell tickets, and sell concessions. Of the funds raised, a portion will go back to whatever you need for the football season.
16. Organize a sponsored 5K run
Organizing a 5K run/walk is a great way to engage the community and get people to participate in a healthy activity while raising money. No special equipment or preparation is needed, so it's easy to organize.
To organize a 5K run, you must set up a safe, supervised course. You can host the event as a local track, boardwalk, park, or school.
During the event, you can thank and recognize each sponsor publicly. It's also fun to auction off prizes after the race to encourage more people to compete.
17. Organize a fundraising dinner
You can also raise money for your football program with fundraising dinners. Parents and players can donate food for the dinner. You can also get discounts and special meal packages from local restaurants.
Plan a dinner at the team's facilities or a local restaurant. Set a ticket price and provide a unique experience like a silent auction or raffle. Share the impact of your fundraising online and thank your donors.
💡PRO TIP: Host a dinner with your community’s favorite food. Suppose there’s a local hotspot to eat, see if they’ll work with you on the dinner. It’ll raise awareness for both your team and the restaurant.
18. Spirit night at a local business
Set up a spirit night at a local restaurant, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the team. Check with the business to see if they have a product or menu item they can donate exclusively to the team, or if they can donate a portion of the sales.
Spread the word with flyers and an email blast. Raising money this way is easy and takes little time.
Take your youth football sports to the next level
Finding easy fundraising ideas is tricky, whether for your next school football fundraiser or community league. You need the right balance of excitement and community engagement to raise a good amount of money.
Pick one or two of the fundraising programs above and master them. Then, try more team fundraisers as the season goes on. Soon, you'll be scoring a touchdown when it comes to raising money for your players!