A lot of expenses come with successfully running a youth soccer team. But often, the only revenue a league gets is through registration fees.
Enter sports fundraising.
Many sports teams have to do at least one fundraising event per season, so we’ve put together some easy fundraising ideas to help your team generate more money for field upkeep, uniforms, travel costs, and more.
1. Host a training camp
Hosting a training camp or providing paid soccer lessons can bring in some additional funds for the team while also teaching more kids in the community how to play soccer. It can also boost the popularity of your soccer league while still generating revenue—a win-win in the end.
Share information about the training camp throughout the community via flyers and in local social media groups.
Decide how long you want it to be. You can host:
- A jam-packed training day
- A weekend
- A week-long summer camp
- A month of Saturdays or Sundays (four days total)
Charge for entrance into the training camp and use the community/league fields that are already at your disposal and aren’t being used to keep expenses low.
2. Sell team merch
Get branded merchandise with your team name and colors and sell it at games to help raise more funds. Some options include:
- T-shirts or sweatshirts
- Water bottles
- Sports bags
This can boost team spirit and be an easy fundraising idea, as family members will likely purchase merchandise to support their kids.
💡PRO TIP: Partner with a Print on Demand company like Printful that will produce and ship products for you with zero upfront cost.
3. Ask for parent donations
Parents understand that youth team sports are funded off volunteers and sports grants. So asking for donations is expected. Consider adding a donation page right on your website.
Jersey Watch can help you build a sports website for increasing youth sports donations from parents and other family members (and so much more).
You can also collect donations by including a section in your registration form, as seen below.
4. Hold a kick-a-thon
A kick-a-thon (or a goal-a-thon) is a type of fundraiser that is versatile for all sports (think swim-a-thon, hoop-a-thon, etc.). The event goes something like this:
- Parents pledge a dollar amount for the number of goals their child gets
- Team members line up in front of the goal
- Each player gets 20 penalty kicks
- Parents donate based on the number of goals their child makes out of those 20 kicks
So, for example, if a child makes ten goals and their parents pledge $10 per goal, they’ll donate $100. Team members can bring home a sign-up sheet to share with other family members to get additional pledges.
💡PRO TIP: Promote the kick-a-thon through the team schedule on your website’s events page. That way, people visiting your site can also pledge and join the fun.
5. Find local sponsors
Another soccer team fundraising idea focuses on sponsorships. For example, you can connect with owners of local businesses to see if they’re interested in sponsoring their teams or buying advertisements at the sports complex.
Sponsorships can include perks like:
- Local business names on team jerseys
- Banners promoting the business on the complex
- Mention on the league website
- Mention on schedules and other paperwork handed out to team parents
- Mention in email blasts
Youth sports sponsorship packages can range greatly in price, too, helping to fund team and travel expenses. An individual team sponsorship might only be a couple of hundred dollars, but if you keep adding perks, you can sell sponsorship packages for thousands of dollars.
💡PRO TIP: Put a sponsorship form on your website to make it easier for local business owners to sponsor your team. Set up this page in minutes with a Jersey Watch account.
6. Sell products for proceeds
This is one of the most common sports fundraising ideas, but many fundraising companies partner with businesses to help sports teams sell things like:
- Gift certificates
- Discount cards
- Cookies/cookie dough
Consider creating a classic fundraising campaign where your soccer players reach out to neighbors, friends, and family to sell products, so your team gets some of the proceeds.
7. Have a raffle
Hold a raffle during the opening night game as a fun way to fundraise. Sell tickets throughout practices and at the beginning of opening night.
Some options for your raffle include:
- Using past funds to buy a prize (make sure it’s not too expensive so you can recoup funds and then some)
- Ask local businesses to donate prizes (i.e., gift cards, free appetizer gift certificates, BOGO coupons)
- Ask parents to donate items you can put into a gift basket
You can then announce the winner at the end of the game.
8. Sell concessions
Selling snacks and drinks at a concession stand is always a great way to generate funds for your youth sports teams. This will be especially helpful if you can get parents to donate items for the concessions stand.
However, buying concessions in bulk and reselling is a great way to make sure players and parents can get snacks at soccer games, and you can bring in a profit.
9. Rent out vendor space
Does your sports complex have space for booths or tables?
Vendors can set up tables and canopies, hang branded banners, and sell products to attendees. You can offer game-by-game spots or rent out all-season spots for a discount.
10. Host a silent auction
Similar to a raffle, you can also host a silent auction. Consider either setting up part of the sporting complex with auction items during a big game or holding a separate event for the auction.
With this, you can ask parents and local businesses to donate items you can offer as auction items.
Popular auction items include:
- Gift baskets
- Sporting equipment
- Fitness classes
- Tickets to local events
- Gift certificates
Set up each auction item on tables during the night of the event with a sheet of paper underneath each item. Provide estimated value and other details about each auction item.
Auction-goers will then write their names and bids under each item they’re interested in. At the end of the night, the person with the highest bid writes a check and gets the item!
11. Run a car wash
A cult classic—the car wash fundraiser. If you’re located in an area that’s not very walkable, chances are most parents and nearby community members have a car.
When planning a car wash, start promoting it early. However, you can also create posterboard signs for players to hold by the road and entice passersby to come by and get their cars washed.
You can sell washes ahead of time and during the event. The only upfront costs are soap, buckets, sponges, and a hose.
12. Rent your athletes
Hold a “Rent-an-Athlete” event where you offer up your team players to complete odd jobs around the community. This is a great event for high school-aged players.
Send out a flier sharing when your “Rent-an-Athlete” event will run and the types of jobs the team can do. This could include things like:
- Mowing the lawn
- Picking up groceries
- Walking the dog
- Cleaning out gutters
13. Sell tickets to a tournament
While most youth sports never sell tickets to their games, one sports team fundraising idea could be to hold a special, all-day, knock-out tournament event with all teams in the league where interested attendees buy tickets to watch.
Consider getting volunteers to provide additional entertainment as well, like having a local singer perform or asking the school marching band to put on a show.
14. Hold a bake sale
A bake sale is another classic fundraiser. Ask parents to bake or buy pastries and desserts that can be packaged separately and sold at a game.
If your fields don’t have a concession stand, you might also consider holding a potluck where parents bring other food items for game-watchers to buy and snack on.
15. Put on a concert
If you’re looking to put on a big, fun event for the community that doubles as a fundraiser, consider holding a one-day concert or music festival.
Rent out vendor space, find local musicians to volunteer, and contact local restaurants or food trucks to sell food and drinks at the event.
You can then sell tickets to the concert to meet your fundraising goals. If you plan on hosting a large-scale event like this, start planning early. Promote the event on all league materials, like the website and team handouts.
Create a Facebook event and share it in local Facebook groups. Put up signs around the area to build further awareness. Start selling tickets early so you can gauge its success beforehand.
16. Hold a junk sale
Ask parents to go through their household items to see if there are any they’d like to donate to your team’s junk sale. Host the sale at the sporting complex and put up signs around the area, like a typical yard sale.
Or you could consider hosting a community yard sale or mini-flea market where interested community members can buy a space in the sporting complex and bring their own yard sale items. This opens the event up to more people and allows them to keep the proceeds from their own wares.
17. Do a community clean-up
Host a clean-up day where all team members pick up trash around the community. Have each player collect pledges for how much trash they collect—this could be in bags, pounds, etc.
Then, spread teams out in various areas of the community and have players pick up litter, pull weeds, and do some general upkeep around the neighborhood. Those who have pledged will then donate based on the number of bags of trash (or other metric) collected.
Plus, the community looks better than ever!
18. Organize a walk/run
This type of fundraising event can be held in a couple of different ways. First, you can set up a 5K that collects entry fees from interested participants. You’ll set up the race course and host a typical 5K.
You could also host a walk-a-thon. Similar to a kick-a-thon, those participating in the walk-a-thon make a pledge based on how many laps they plan to walk. For example, $2/ per lap. If the person walks ten laps, they donate $20.
Raise money for your youth soccer team with these fundraising ideas
Your efforts don’t have to resort to the same youth sports fundraising ideas year after year. Get creative by using one of these 18 youth soccer fundraising ideas.
Try to stick to a few different ideas per season. Then pay attention to which are the most successful fundraisers so you can replicate their success.