Softball is an excellent way to stay active and build community.
But managing a high school or nonprofit softball team is costly. You must pay for facility fees, jerseys, playing equipment, and travel expenses. Everything adds up quickly.
League registration fees can offset the costs, but that money will only last for a while.
That’s where fundraising comes in.
Ahead, you’ll learn 15 great softball fundraising ideas you can use to fund your team this season and beyond.
25 easy and profitable softball fundraiser ideas
1. Collect donations on your website
Create a dedicated donation page that allows supporters to donate to your team online.
Collecting donations on your website is convenient for people. They don’t need to attend an event or physically hand over a check. You can also collect donations 24/7 and reach a larger audience online.
At a minimum, your donation page should include:
- Information about your team
- What you’ll use the donations for
- A clear call to action
This gives supporters a reason to donate.
With a Jersey Watch account, you can create a page that allows people to enter their donation amount and submit payment information easily.
Learn more: 9 Ways to Get Donations for Youth Sports
2. Get donations during registration
Another easy way to increase donations is during event or season registration. Add a section to your registration form that asks for donations, like in the example below.
3. Get local business sponsorships
Getting local sponsors is super low-cost, which means more of the funds raised go directly to your team.
Reach out to local businesses and offer the chance to buy ad space on:
- Team jerseys.
- Team website.
- Social media accounts.
- Another other promotional material.
Explain the benefits of sponsorship, such as more visibility and exposure for their brand. Create personalized youth sports sponsorship packages for each sponsor. It’ll show you did your homework and are genuinely interested in partnering with them.
💡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.
4. Host a silent auction
Silent auctions are popular and effective fundraisers for youth softball teams raising money.
During a silent auction, you offer items and experiences for sale, and attendees can place bids by filling out a form, usually next to each item. At the end of the auction, the highest bidder wins.
Ask local businesses or individuals for items you can auction off. You can get gift certificates, sports equipment, signed memorabilia, lawn care, or tutoring.
💡 PRO TIP: Open silent auctions to online bidders with a tool like OneCause. It lets you offer mobile bidding and tracking, providing a better experience for supporters.
5. Have a team car wash
We’ve all seen a sports car wash in town before. They are a popular sports team fundraiser because they are fun for your players and customers. They also make a good amount of money.
Choose a location that’s big enough for washing cars, like an office building, the mall, or the parking lot at a school. To make some extra cash, sell people snacks and drinks while waiting. You can also ask for additional donations to support the team.
💡 PRO TIP: Create upgrades at the wash. You can sell a basic car wash for $20 and vacuum the car and polish tires for $40. Promote your car wash with flyers, signs, email, and social media accounts.
6. Sell team merchandise online
Selling merchandise online is an easy fundraising idea. Once you set up a softball website, you can sell merchandise without worrying about bringing boxes of shirts to every game.
Here’s how to start:
- Decide what you’ll sell. Fundraising products can be everything from t-shirts to hats to water bottles to keychains. Pick items that your team's supporters will want to wear or use.
- Design the products. Many online services offer custom merchandise design, like Vistaprint. Keep designs simple, and include your team name and logo at minimum.
- Order the products. You can order products to your house or use a dropshipping service like Printful. With dropshipping, a third-party company holds your merchandise and ships products when a customer orders. You don’t pay for any upfront costs.
Set a price that covers the cost of the merchandise and shipping. But low enough that people will still buy, and you can meet your fundraising goals.
7. Host a softball tournament
Softball tournaments are a great way to raise money for your team. You can invite other teams and charge a registration fee. The more groups you have, the more money you'll raise from tournament fees.
8. Run a cookie dough fundraiser
Cookie dough fundraisers involve selling tubs of pre-made cookie dough to friends, family members, and the community. You can sell cookie dough in various flavors, such as chocolate chip, sugar cookie, and peanut butter.
Your team can collect payments upfront from buyers. Afterward, you order the cookie dough from a supplier, who delivers it to the customer.
9. Apply for sports grants
A grant is a sum of money given to your team for a specific purpose, such as increasing participation or providing equal access to athletic opportunities.
Grants are given by various organizations and companies that sponsor youth sports, such as:
- Government agencies
- Private foundations
- Corporations (Nike, Walmart)
- Sports organizations
To apply for a grant, you’ll need to:
- Research sports grant opportunities that align with your mission.
- Prepare a proposal that outlines your goals.
Each proposal will be different. But most will want you to cover:
- Your team’s history
- How much money you’re looking for
- How you’ll use the funds.
Want to get a grant for your team? Read How to Apply for Grants for Your Youth Sports Program on our blog to learn more.
10. Sell discount cards
Discount card fundraisers are popular for all youth sports fundraising programs, from baseball teams to soccer teams. They have high profit margins (90%+) and are easy to sell.
They are also a win-win for your team and the community because buyers get discounts from local businesses. For example, a discount card may have deals for a family-friendly restaurant or local clothing store.
Work with a provider that offers a range of discounts to businesses in your community. Customize the cards to match your team's name, logo, and colors.
💡 PRO TIP: Offer digital discount cards for your fundraising campaign. They are easier to set up, you can sell them anywhere, and it’s simple for supporters to use.
11. Have a bake sale
Anyone in the community can organize a bake sale, including parents, team members, and other volunteers. It takes little upfront investment.
You just need:
- A location
Bake sales are also flexible. You can sell goods that are popular in the community. Plus, get local bakeries or businesses to donate goods.
When organizing a bake sale, choose a high-traffic location to set up shop. A school, a park, a grocery store, or a farmer’s market are excellent options. Advertise your event in advance to attract as many people as possible.
12. Organize a home run derby
A home run derby, also known as a hit-a-thon, is a contest where participants try to hit as many home runs as they can within a set time period.
To start, you’ll need:
- A field
- A pitcher
- Softball equipment (bats, helmets, balls)
- An event date
Participants can be people from your own team, your league, and even community members who want to support your team.
To join the derby, each participant must pay a fee to enter the competition, and you can give prizes to the top performers. You can also sell snacks and drinks during the derby to raise more money.
13. Host a raffle
Raffles are a time-tested way to raise money for your team. You’ve probably been part of one before. It involves selling tickets to participants, with each ticket having the chance to win a prize. The more tickets sold, the more money you make.
Some good prize ideas are:
- Space day basket
- Gourmet food basket
- Coffee lover basket
- Event tickets
- Dinner and a movie
- Camping/National Park Passes
- Private golf lessons
- Gift cards to local restaurants
Prizes are donated, so you only need to pay for the raffle tickets themselves. You can find raffle ticket rolls on Amazon for less than ten bucks.
When it comes to prizes, you know your people best. Choose raffle ticket fundraising ideas that excite them and encourage them to buy a raffle ticket… or ten!
14. Have a restaurant party
A restaurant party is a fun way to unite the community and raise money for your softball team. It’s also easy and low-risk because you don’t need to worry about inventory or staff.
Here’s how to work it:
- Find a local restaurant to partner with. Ideally, the restaurant will donate a portion of sales made during the event to your team—around 10 to 20%.
- Choose a specific date and time. Try after work hours or during the day on the weekend so more people can come.
- Spread the word. Tell team members, family, and friends about the fundraising event. Use social media, flyers, and email to promote.
On the day of the restaurant part, have a volunteer welcome guests and thank them for their support. You could also have a raffle or silent auction to raise additional money.
15. Raise money online with Snap!Raise
Snap!Raise lets players set up their own online fundraising campaigns to contribute to their team's goals. Every step of the registration process is done online, and automatic emails are sent to the player's friends and family to encourage them to participate.
16. Use scratch cards to fundraise
Scratch cards are an easy softball fundraising idea. It involves people scratching off a dot on a card that reveals a small donation amount.
You’ll need to purchase or create scratch cards for this fundraiser. You can find them on Amazon or on dedicated fundraiser supply websites. Each card hides an amount (ranging from $1 to $5, usually). At games or events, you can approach supporters, ask them to scratch a card, and then donate the revealed amount.
17. Host a pet wash service
A pet wash is another fun way to raise money for your team. As the name suggests, it involves washing pets, which in most cases are dogs, for their owners.
Set up a station with water, pet-friendly soap, towels and/or a dryer. You can do this at a local park or partner with a pet store. Charge $20 for each pet washed.
18. Sell handmade crafts
Have your team create and sell their own crafts, like jewelry, pottery, or wire art. Head to Michael’s to grab supplies and have an afternoon where everyone gets together to make the crafts. Then, sell them on platforms like Etsy, at craft fair, or at local stores.
Charge enough to cover the materials, and keep the rest for your softball team!
19. Host a sports clinic
Want to train softball players and make money at the same time? Host a training session or series of sessions where local participants are coached in softball. You can use the facility you already train and play at, if they have an opening, of course.
Market to local sports teams, schools, and community centers. Charge players a fee to attend the clinic and look for local sponsors to raise additional funds.
💡PRO TIP: Partner with a well-known coach to attract more talent. You may need to charge more for a professional coach’s clinic, but you can factor that into the player fee.
20. Organize a movie night
Movie nights are a classic fundraiser and are super easy to setup. Find a location like a park, school, or even a big backyard. Grab a screen and projector. Charge admission and sell snacks and drinks to make money.
One thing here: If your movie night is a public event, you’ll need to get a license to show the movie. A service like FunFlicks can help you get a license for showing on outdoor movie.
21. Organize a themed dinner night
Make a dinner event with a specific theme, like spaghetti dinner, taco night, or barbecue. Plan a menu around it and find a place to host it. This could be your house, a rented space, or a local restaurant.
Sell tickets in advance and include entertainment or a small auction during the event.
22. Have a yard sale
Encourage team members, their families, and the community to donate items for a large yard sale. Promote the event well in advance and use social media to highlight some of the more interesting items that will be for sale. This can turn unwanted items into cash for your team.
23. Host a trivia night
Host a trivia night at a local venue or school gymnasium. Teams pay an entry fee to participate, and you can raise additional funds through food and drink sales. Make sure to have a good mix of trivia categories to appeal to a broad audience.
24. Put together a pancake breakfast
Host a pancake breakfast at a local community center, school cafeteria, or church hall. Charge for a plate of pancakes, and offer extras like fruit, coffee, and juice. This type of event is generally popular and can be a great way to bring the community together.
25. Run a “Guess the Number” Contest
Fill a large jar with candies or jellybeans and have people guess the number in the jar for a fee. The closest guess wins a prize, which could be the jar itself or something else appealing. This is a simple and fun game that can be set up at other events or local businesses.
Tips for your next softball team fundraiser
Running a successful fundraiser does require a little bit of planning and coordination. Here’s how to get the most from your events:
- Consider what your community needs. Choose a fundraiser that aligns with your community and is feasible for your team’s resources. For a family-oriented group, a friendly softball tournament with local businesses or community groups can be both fun and profitable.
- Use social media tools effectively. Social media can help get the word out about your fundraisers and make it easier for people to donate. Post about your fundraiser in advance, ask friends and family to share the event, and consider running ads to reach a bigger audience.
- Include the kids. Have athletes actively participate in your fundraisers. They can help organize the event, spread the word, or take on roles during the event. This fosters a sense of responsibility and teamwork in your organization.
- Thank volunteers and donors. Show appreciation to everyone who helped with an event, whether they volunteered, donated, or participated. Write a thank you note, shout them out on social media, or even recognize them at the event itself.
- Share the event online. Take photos and videos during the fundraiser to share on social media. When your followers come across your posts, it can inspire them to show up at future events. Thinking ahead!
Run successful fundraisers for your softball team
These profitable youth sports fundraising ideas prove there are many ways to raise money. The trick is to test different ideas and get creative. Sell merch. Partner with other businesses in your area. Have a bake sale.
Just remember the easiest source of new money: your website!