Nobody likes to have to go out and raise funds, be it for a school club, a youth sports program, the local theater group, whatever. By the time our football families reach the high school level we have participated in a number of fundraising events and generally we are tired of always having to help some organization.
I get that. I have been on the parent side with my kids playing soccer, football, and volleyball all at the same time. I've been there, I know that it seems that every team/group/organization is doing their thing first and raising funds second. Sometimes that is reversed. But the fact is that high school sports receive very little in the way of direct funding from the school district. Now the Bret Harte district provides more support than other schools I have been at, but it does not cover the daily operational costs. The district covers the buses/vans/transportation (within section), referees, field maintenance, lights, etc. They also provide funds for safety equipment meaning they cover the cost of reconditioning our helmets and shoulder pads which is a major expense each year. They also provide stipends for the coaches. So the district covers quite a bit. But they do not cover the cost of what we do on the field.
If we want new helmets, shoulder pads, t-shirts, tape, tackle bags, wrist bands, uniforms, water jugs, pretty much anything that is not a field or a bus, we have to earn those funds.
Here are the events that we use to raise team funds. Some you’ll recognize as tried and true fundraisers we've all done for our schools while others may be a bit less common. Some fundraisers piggyback on other events that draw a crowd as an additional way to raise cash. We try to be careful that we use these fundraisers judiciously. We don’t want to tap the families of team members who are already being asked to donate funds in other ways. The idea is to draw cash in from outside sources. The trustiest fundraisers don't require big money up front or much overhead at all, and they don't put team funds at risk if they don't work out. For instance, a car wash risks little except for the cost of soap and water, but raffling off a big screen TV requires risking big bucks for the cost of the TV.
Here is a link to a fundraising document I put together from various coaching message boards and other coaches. Lots of good ideas in there. If you have new ideas please feel free to comment below.
We are participating in a fundraising event with the SF 49’ers marketing organization. The 49'ers offer tickets to a pre-season game (the Denver Broncos in 2017, Dallas Cowboys in 2018) that we can purchase at a discount. The 49'ers then donate half of the sale price back to the team. So the more tickets we sell the more funds we receive. The players and parents get discounted tickets to the game, the 49'ers get fans in the seats, and the team receives a donation from the 49'ers.
The Grape Stomp is the 1st Saturday of October in Murphy’s. Players and coaches will meet at 08:30 at the bandstand in Murphy’s Park. Free Grape Stomp t-shirts and lunch will be provided to each player that works a shift. There will be 3 work shifts and we need to provide at least 10 players for each shift but the more the have the better things will go. I am expecting the seniors to lead this activity and ensure that players sign up and that they attend. The tasks setting up for the competitions, weighing grapes, hosing out barrels, and cleanup when it is all done.
This is one of the most fun events we do. The Stompers are often in full costume, are in groups, and have a lot of fun. Our players have always enjoyed this as it's noisy, busy, and they get very messy. It's a good day.
We work with the local vendors from Copperopolis to Arnold to obtain discounts at their stores. We combine these discounts onto a plastic card with BH colors and design. We purchase 1,200 cards that are then sold by the players for $10. Each vendor is asked for a discount of $1.50-$4.00 per use so getting the purchase price back using the card would be reasonably quick.
Participating vendors receive a number of cards to use as they see fit – sell, distribute to employees, whatever the vendor wants to do with them.
The cards are sold in starting the first fall practice. Each player is asked/expected to sell 10 cards, but there they could sell more if they wanted. Players are rewarded for selling cards, there is a ‘money pull’ when the sales are done and the highest sellers get the pulls.
This is a variation of the Lift-/Jog-/Walk-A-Thon's that I have used in the past and are used by other teams. In this event the players enter the e-mail names and addresses of friends and family and the company that we are partnered with then sends emails to the names, just flat out asking for donations.
Using a 3rd party website, each player is asked to enter at least 20 email addresses (friends and family work best) and email addresses that will then use to send a custom email asking for a donation. If each player enters the 20 names then they will just need to donate $10 to meet/exceed our player goal of $180. The email will have a link to the Bullfrog donation page that has a message and video that presents our need for the donation. Donations will be collected and they will send us a check when the campaign closes.
The parade is held in Murphy's each March. This is a very easy little fundraiser that is intended more for generation of community goodwill rather than a big cash infusion. In this event our team leaders provide sanitation services (the 'Sanitation Station' in the parade guide) as they follow the horse units in the parade. Not very glamorous but it keeps the streets clean and the players get good publicity for the team. The players get there a bit early, 830 or so, and then the actual parade takes about 30 minutes. This is not a long day, it gets the players, in jerseys, in front of the public, and does a good public service.
Players park the cars for the 4th of July celebration at Ironstone in Murphy’s. This is an all-day event that starts at 1PM and ends about 830-9PM. It’s not hard to do, just takes time and we are busy all the time. This is worked best when we have 2 shifts of 10-12 players and 2-3 coaches. We have water, Gatorade, and lunch for the players. Once the gates open at 2PM it is a pretty regular flow of traffic until the gates are 'abandoned' at 830 or so. The team receives a very nice donation from Ironstone for their efforts.