Donations for youth sports organizations can make a massive impact on the success of your league or club. You can use donations to purchase new equipment, travel to new events, fund new sports, build new facilities, the list goes on and on...
To get people to donate to your youth sports organization you need to do three primary things:
- Explain why donations are important to your organization
- Make it super easy for people to contribute any amount
- Communicate and remind people in your community
Here are our top tips to increase donations at your sports organization next season.
Help People Understand Why Donations are Important in Youth Sports
The first step in getting people in your community to donate to your sports organization is to help them understand why you need the money. You should make it clear to parents, community members, and sponsors that your organization is run by volunteers and operates on a tight budget.
You can also publicly list a summary of your annual budget and any deficit your organization has each year. It's also a great idea to communicate how much it costs to fund a player at your organization, and the costs associated with each player.
Listing your organization's mission on your website can also help communicate why people should donate - so you can help more kids in your community have a great youth sports experience.
A page on your website can should also be dedicated to donations. You can list the different ways that donations are used each year, how to make a donation including links to donate online, and who to contact with questions.
Educating your community about donations is the first step to generating some momentum!
Set Clear Goals and Responsibilities
Each year at a board meeting to start your season you should set goals for the following year. By setting goals you can measure your progress over time and hold your board accountable for moving the organization forward.
You should have one person on your board that is responsible for fundraising and donations. Set an aggressive goal for your fundraising efforts! If you haven't collected donations much in the past, you can set a goal to get ten times as many donations as you received the previous season.
You can even share progress publicly by creating a graph or fundraising thermometer.
There are lots of online tools to help you track your fundraising progress!
At each monthly board meeting you should share the progress toward your donations goal for the year and any recent highlights, like major donations collected in the previous month!
Enable Donations During Registration
One of the best times to get donations is during player registration. Parents understand the impact that your organization makes on the lives of their kids. Many parents want to help your organization, but they may not be able to contribute their time by volunteering or coaching.
You should make it easy for parents to make an additional donation on top of their regular fees when they register each season. They have their credit card out and are excited about the season, so you should give them the option to make an additional contribution of any amount to help the organization.
Collecting donations during registration is a quick way to raise more money right before your season.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Even if you have the best fundraiser ideas, you won't produce results if no one knows about it. You need to make sure you constantly communicate why people should donate, how they can donate, and that any amount makes a difference.
Promoting your donation campaigns should be a big part of your social media strategy. You should try to post at least once per month on your social media channels with updates on your fundraising progress and any major news (like new sponsors or significant donors).
Posting a link to the donations page on your website can also generate some momentum and conversation on social media.
Just posting to social media isn't enough though! Your board members and coaches should be present in the community. Try to attend events like local parades, festivals, and make sure people in the community (even community members that don't have kids) are aware of your organization and how to get involved.
Bonus Tip - Collect Recurring Donations
Recurring donations allow community members to donate the same amount automatically each month to your organization. They sign up once to make a donation using a credit card, and their card is charged each month automatically until they cancel. Recurring donations have a couple of benefits:
- You know how much to expect in donations each month
- Your donors don't have to worry about manually making donations
- You don't have to worry about donors forgetting to make the contribution they agreed to
Even if you just get a 20 people to donate $5 per month, that adds up to $1,200 for the year.
If you want to set up recurring donations you can use a tool like Donorbox and embed it on your website.
Collecting recurring donations is a great way to generate reliable donation dollars each month!
There is No Offseason for Donations
Collecting donations is a year-round activity in youth sports. Even if your teams are only active for a few months during the year, you should still be working on increasing donations each month out of the year.
In the offseason you should reach out to businesses and other organizations in your community to request donations. Simply writing a detailed donation letter can be a huge help to connect with new donors and share your mission.
Regardless of the time of year, your organization can get started on a new donation strategy today!