High school sports teams with good funding can make a big difference to student-athletes. It can give them the equipment, training, and support needed to excel at their favorite sport.
This article explores 18 proven ways to fund your high school sports club. That way, you can thrive in both local and national competitions.
Best high school sports fundraising ideas
1. Partner with local businesses for sponsorship
One of the most effective ways to fundraise for your high school teams is by partnering with local businesses. By offering youth sports sponsorship packages, you can provide businesses with valuable promotional opportunities in exchange for their financial support.
Here’s how it works:
- Approach businesses with strong community support and interest in promoting local sports.
- Offer various sponsorship levels to accommodate different budgets.
- Provide sponsors with marketing materials, such as banners and team apparel, to showcase their support.
- Organize special school fundraiser events to acknowledge and thank sponsors for their contributions.
2. Host entertaining fundraising events
Organizing exciting and engaging events is a great way to meet your fundraising goals. These events not only generate funds, but also promote team spirit and community involvement.
Here are some fundraising campaign ideas:
- Plan a charity sports tournament where participants pay an entry fee.
- Organize a themed dinner or gala with ticket sales benefiting the team.
- Host a silent auction featuring items donated by local businesses and individuals.
- Coordinate a raffle or lottery with enticing prizes.
3. Try crowdfunding platforms
Fundraising platforms, like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, are efficient for getting money for your sports program. These platforms allow you to share your team's story and goals with a wider audience, increasing the likelihood of receiving donations from supporters both near and far.
Here’s how to run a successful fundraiser:
- Create a compelling crowdfunding campaign with a clear goal and timeline.
- Promote the campaign through social media, email, and community channels.
- Offer rewards for different donation levels to encourage contributions.
- Regularly update supporters on the progress of the campaign and the team's achievements.
4. Sell merch online
Selling team merchandise online can be an easy fundraising idea. You can sell high-quality items adorned with your team's logo or colors to generate income and promote team pride.
You can easily set up shop using platforms like Shopify or SquadLocker. When building an online store for your sports team, be sure to:
- Offer a diverse range of merchandise, such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and accessories
- Collaborate with local print shops or online suppliers for production and fulfillment
- Promote the online store through the team's website, social media channels, and at events
5. Seek grants and foundations for financial support
High school sports teams can get a lot of support from grants and foundations. Research and apply for these opportunities so your team can get funds that aren't available through traditional fundraising.
You can browse sites like Grant Watch to find grants and nonprofit foundations focusing on sports, youth development, or education.
Once you find a suitable grant:
- Thoroughly review eligibility requirements and application guidelines.
- Craft a persuasive proposal detailing the team's needs, goals, and community impact.
- Submit applications in a timely manner, and follow up with grant administrators as necessary.
6. Organize a sports clinic or camp
Another good sports team fundraising idea is hosting sports clinics or camps. This can attract aspiring athletes, parents, and community members eager to support local talent.
To organize a sports camp:
- Determine a suitable age group and skill level for participants.
- Develop a comprehensive program focusing on skill development, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
- Set a registration fee that covers expenses and contributes to your team's funding goals.
- Promote the athletic program through local media, schools, and community organizations.
7. Launch a team calendar fundraiser
Creating and selling a custom team calendar can be a fun and engaging way to raise funds for your high school sports team. The calendar can feature team photos, game schedules, and special events, generating interest and support from fans.
Collaborate with a local photographer or talented students to capture high-quality images. Then, design an appealing calendar layout using software like Canva. Market the calendars to friends and family members through various channels like Facebook and email.
8. Offer personalized fan experiences
Providing unique fan experiences can help your high school sports team generate revenue while fostering a sense of community. By offering one-of-a-kind opportunities, you can create memorable moments for supporters while enhancing their connection to the team.
Some ideas include:
- Selling VIP seating or parking on game day for a premium price.
- Offering personalized video messages or shout-outs from team members for a fee.
- Creating a "Fan of the Game" package that includes special perks and recognition.
9. Coordinate a team-themed art show
Showcasing team-inspired art created by local artists, students, and fans is another unique youth sports fundraising opportunity.
This event can celebrate your community's creativity and spirit while generating funds through ticket sales and artwork auctions. You can host it at your school or find an off-site venue.
Here’s how it works:
- Solicit artwork submissions from local artists, students, and fans.
- Promote the event through social media, local media, and community organizations.
- Offer a portion of the art sales proceeds to the team, and give artists the remaining amount.
10. Organize a walk-a-thon fundraiser
Walk-a-thons are a great way to boost your high school's sports team's funding while promoting fitness. Team members can raise significant funds by collecting pledges based on how far they walk.
Setting up a walk-a-thon is also simple:
- Select a safe and accessible route for the walk-a-thon.
- Set a date and time.
- Encourage participants to seek pledges from friends, family, and neighbors.
- Promote the walk-a-thon within your community.
11. Set up concession stands at sporting events
One of the best sports fundraising ideas is setting up a concession stand at your events. It offers a steady stream of income and lets you cater to fans' cravings during game day. Who doesn’t want a nice hot chocolate during a winter game!?
Here’s how to set up a concession stand:
- Coordinate with school administrators to secure permission and necessary permits.
- Stock the concession stand with popular snacks and beverages at competitive prices.
- Recruit volunteers from the team, parents, or community members to staff the stand.
- Promote the concession stand at games and events to encourage sales.
12. Host a team car wash fundraiser
Car washes are a tried and true fundraising idea for sports teams. You only need a parking lot, soap, water, and buckets to get up and running. You can also make a good profit by charging $25 per car.
Photo by Isaac Taylor for Pexels
13. Plan a field day for the local community
A field day is dedicated to athletic contests and sporting events. You can set up various games and activities for all ages at your school, then charge an entrance fee. Sell snacks, drinks, jerseys, and merch. This will help you raise good money and connect with the local community in person.
14. Collaborate with local food trucks for fundraising events
Food trucks can provide delicious dining options while earning a percentage of sales at your team's games or other events. Reach out to local food trucks with a proposal for collaboration at your team's events. Negotiate a fair percentage of sales to be donated to your high school sports team.
Then, coordinate logistics, such as parking and space requirements, with the food truck owners and promote the event.
15. Host a dog wash fundraiser
Organizing a dog wash event is a fun and interactive way for your high school sports team to raise funds. Your team can make money by offering pet grooming services for a reasonable fee.
You can host the dog wash at your school or the local community center. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: your team plays with dogs all day, and customers get to go home with a freshly washed pup.
16. Sell team discount cards
Selling team-branded discount cards can be an effective fundraising strategy for your high school sports team. Your team can raise money while providing value to supporters by partnering with local businesses.
- Approach local businesses to negotiate exclusive coupons for cardholders.
- Design and produce high-quality, durable discount cards featuring your team's logo and colors.
- Determine a competitive price point for the cards, so you make a profit.
- Market the discount cards through various channels, such as social media, email, and at events.
💡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.
17. Create a dedicated team donation page
Want a good online fundraising idea? Set up a dedication team donation page so supporters can easily contribute to your high school sports team. You can use an online platform like PayPal or Donorbox, or collect donations on your team website.
When creating a fundraising page for donations:
- Clearly communicate your team's funding goals and how donations will be used.
- Share the donation page through social media, email, and your team's website.
- Regularly update supporters on the progress of your fundraising efforts and team's achievements.
18. Host a restaurant night
Partnering with a local restaurant is a great opportunity to raise money for your team. Set a time and date for the event. Invite people from your community and set up something fun like karaoke or a silent auction.
The key to raising funds here? The restaurant will donate a portion of their profits to the good cause (aka, your team!)
The fundraising ideas above will help your team get more funding. You don’t have to do all of them at once. Try one or two. Raise the money you need. Then try another idea from this list.
At the end of the day, it’s all about community. If you can get local people involved in your events, you’ll bring more awareness to your high school sports team, raise more money, and help student athletes excel on and off the field.