Fundraising is perhaps one of the biggest hassles in youth football. But unfortunately, it is something that most teams must do. As a team parent, you have the opportunity to help the team reach their financial goals efficiently and smoothly.
Here are some guidelines to make fundraising as smooth and painless as possible:
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- 1. Prepare a team budget and figure out the total cost divided by the number of players on the team. Spell out expenses clearly from the beginning. This is especially important for travel teams and even middle school and high school teams.
- 2. If your team decides to do fundraisers, choose one person as a fundraising specialist. That person will be the contact for all fundraising activities.
- 3. Ask parents to pay. Some parents would rather just pay a fee instead of fundraising. If your team chooses this option, then be sure to establish payment options. You can either give parents a payment schedule so they don’t have to pay all at once, or you can ask them to pay it all at the beginning of the year. If you estimate the cost for snacks, coaches’ presents, and other foreseeable costs, you can divide it by the number of players and charge each family that fee. This keeps you from asking for money several times in the season.
- 4. When choosing fundraisers, look for easy and efficient options. Parents do not want to spend a lot of time on these projects. Try a fundraising site like Flipgive, where parents can simply shop and raise funds online, and invite their friends to do the same.
- 5. If your team decides to do a more complicated fundraiser, choose one that provides an opportunity for team-building and working together. My husband’s teams always did carwashes. Those resulted in hours of great team bonding.
- 6. Don’t be afraid to ask. Be specific with your requests to family and friends. Tell them exactly how much you are trying to raise. Simply saying, “Our team needs money” is not as effective as saying, “Our team needs to raise $500.” People like to see a goal and track the progress.
- 7. Use social media to get the word out. Be creative with images and slogans to draw people in. In a sense, you are marketing and need to put a little effort into advertising the fundraising.
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Fundraising was never on my list of fun things to do as my kids grew up. But with dwindling school budgets and the growing presence of club and travel teams, it has become an important task for every team. You cannot hide from it, so make it as smooth and efficient as possible!
Click here to view all fundraising opportunities through USA Football partners.
Janis B. Meredith is a sports parenting blogger, podcaster, and life coach. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. Learn more about good sports parenting habits in her book, 11 Habits for Happy & Positive Sports Parents, available on Amazon.
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