5 Fundamentals to Epic Fundraising: And My Top 5 Ideas to Try This Season


Welp, it’s about that time again!  Time to have the fundraising talk…

but don't worry... i did all the hard stuff for you!

SHORT ON TIME? get Grab my fundraising letter template that got us $25,000 in donations and get started now!

Otherwise it's like doing your personal finances, and who wants to do that?!?

Today we're tackling the 5 fundamentals of fundraising... dun dun duuuuuunnnn!!

Okay, I meant to sound dramatic,  just cause I'm being extra, but don't worry... it's super simple, AND I'm gonna give you my top 5 fundraiser ideas to boot!

Now, I'm feeling the need to provide a little disclaimer...

Technically if you belong to a year-round sports club fundraising is a constant in your sideline life.  

But if you don’t and you’re starting to prep for the upcoming season, FUNDRAISING should already be top of mind!

Commonly known as one of those necessary evils, fundraising is a staple in youth sports.  Most youth sports organizations are volunteer-based.  So, they depend on their ability to raise funds to help run and sustain the program.

5 Fundraising Fundamentals

fundraising Fundamental #1: Create a Clear Plan

This may sound, like DUH Shaki, of course you wanna have a plan; but I seriously cannot tell you how many fundraisers are set in motion and those running the show can't even tell you what the goal is.  So I can't stress this enough...

Know your audience and identify your goal. What exactly are you raising funds for? I know sometimes it may feel like your raising money for everything under the sun... but in reality it may just be your end of season tournament.

Many teams need to fundraise to cover costs associated with everything from new equipment and uniforms, to travel expenses, trophies, and end of the season banquets. 

Your fundraising goal and what you are raising money for will determine how much you need to raise.

Point, blank. period.

fundraising Fundamental #2: Get Support

If you've been following along for any length of time, you know that I'm super passionate about my SOS ( System of Support).  Rocking a fundraiser is no different... It is a TEAM effort. Just like your sport of choice, it takes a collective effort.  (Unless someone has a very generous uncle! of course) haha

No, but seriously.  Don't think you have to do everything on your own.  And that goes for my fellow team moms too!  Yes, you may have been appointed to help run the thing, but that doesn't mean you should be the only adult supervising athletes at the function!

fundraising Fundamental #3: Promote + T.E.A.C.H.

Simply put, nobody knows you are fundraising if you don't tell them!  Believe me, I get it; it is much easier to commit to donating all the money yourself than to get out there and beat the pavement asking for donations, and trying to make the sell. But the more you continue to promote your organization and your fundraiser the more eyeballs you get and ears you reach; which equals dollars in the bucket!  

The second part of this fundamental is to T.E.A.C.H.  (TEACH is an acronym the I came up with for Transparency, Expectations, Accountability, Communication and Having Respect & Appreciation for others).  

As I mentioned, fundraising should be a collaborative effort, so please be sure you are TEACH-ing at each opportunity. Not only will you build a stronger more cohesive team, it will attract more donors.

People like to be respected, so treat and teach.  Treat others as you would want to be treated; and teach them appropriately.

fundraising Fundamental #4: Celebrate Milestones + REach for the sky!

Not to take a line from my good friend Woody... but there is no such thing as a Fundraising Glass ceiling! Get creative! (If you came up with a great alternative to a common fundraiser or have a great idea for one, but you’re concerned because it’s never been done… Don’t be shy, GO FOR IT!  

You never know until you try!) And then hop on over to our FB Group for Sports Moms & Team Moms, and tell us all about it!! Your success is our success!

And don't forget to celebrate your milestones.  If you're doing a season long fundraiser, or one that seems like it is... it's helpful for your team to know how things are progressing.  There's nothing like seeing the light at the very end of a long season!

Last but not least…

fundraising Fundamental #5: Be Consistent

Consistency is key. The more you give, the more you get!  And I mean that literally and figuratively.  The more effort you put in the more you and your team will get out of it.  And don't forget to evaluate how it went so you know what worked and what didn't for next season!

Now, I didn't want to throw all of this at you without setting you up for success first; so click right here to get your hands on the handy dandy Fundraising Action Planner that will guide you through each fundamental (called phases on the planner) and help you lay out your plan, step-by-step to ensure for a successful fundraiser!

There's even a calendar included so you can see your plan visually, big picture style!

Fundraising Action Plan.png

Okay, let's change gears here and talk about different types of fundraisers.  While there are a TON of fundraisers out there, I've participated in my fair share, but I want to give you my top 5 Favorite fundraisers to participate in.... I've actually put together a complete list of 16 fundraising ideas that will crush your goals this season in this blog post.  

Make sure you check it out because not only do I list them out, but I also spell out how they work, materials needed, and rated them on a quick little value chart that will help you quickly identify which fundraisers will match your goals, strategy, and time commitments!

But for now, here are my top five; And these are in order of awesomeness, with 1 being awesome and 5 being the absolute most awesome.  Ready?!?

My Top 5 Fave Fundraisers

#1 - Blank a Thon

No, it’s not actually called a “blank”-a-thon, more so like I want you to fill in the blank.  For example:

Walk-a-thon (track + field)
Shoot-a-thon (basketball)
Hit-a-thon (baseball/softball)
Catch-a-thon (football)
Spike-a-thon (volleyball)

As you can see the possibilities are endless…

These Blank-A-Thons typically take Team Mom power and equipment to put together and they have the potential to raise a great deal of money.  The added bonus is in the active engagement of all participants!


Team members get pledges from neighbors, friends, and family members. These pledges can be a one-time donation, or a specific amount per activity (ex. Shot, hit, mile walked, etc.). All you need to do is arrange the location; it can be at the usual practice spot, or a special venue (if it’s a part of an event).  You can even invite family and friends to cheer them on!  When the activity is over, athletes collect on the pledges that were made.

Here's a link to the Blank-A-Thon Printable I created that you can use to help you collect pledges!

#2 - 50/50 Raffle

Raffles in general are extremely popular, simply because EVERYBODY LIKES TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN!  And as popular as they are, they are just as easy to organize.


Decide on what tactic you will use to hold your raffle.  Maybe it will be individual based where each athlete takes 10-20 tickets to sell for a set amount each.  Maybe you offer them for sell at each home game where teachers, friends, and family can purchase them.

Each ticket comes with two stubs. One is placed in a jar and the other is kept by the person who bought it. At the end of the fundraiser time frame, someone from the team will pick a winner from the jar at random. The winner is then awarded with get half of all of the money that was collected. The team gets to keep the other half.

I'm sure You can see how this sounds enticing! :)

#3 - Restaurant Fundraiser

Everyone needs to eat! So, fill that need and raise it with the opportunity to earn money from the profits of a local restaurant and you have a win-win situation!  Did you know Many restaurants will share 10-20% of total sales with your organization for fundraising purposes.  


Simply set up a night with the restaurant and get as many people to eat at that particular restaurant on the designated date and time frame! Typically the restaurant will have you fill out a form and request your organization tax id #. 
 Here is a short list of some popular restaurants that do this type of fundraiser:

Boston Market
California Tortilla
Panera Bread
TGI Friday's

#4 - Team Spirit Wear

Spirit wear is one of the easiest items to sell for youth sporting fundraising because EVERYBODY and their mama (pun intended :)) wants to represent their team!  I have a hard time not buying something in team colors when I see it at Target, let alone purchasing everything offered for spirit wear.

So why not spread the spirit and raise some money at the same time.

Many companies, including local businesses frequently work with youth sports teams to manufacture and sell spirit wear; and specifically for fundraising purposes.  One of the best that I’ve heard about is Win Win Spiritwear.

Their super easy + efficient online process allows you to pick your garment and design, control the pricing, and the best part is they don’t have order minimums.

They use your logo/mascot/colors, etc. and even provide a personalized online store just for your team!  You sell, they fulfill and a fundraising check arrives with your order in only 2 weeks!  (Now grandma can represent all the way from Timbuktu!)

Note: It’s important to fundraise in advance of your season, and it’s even more important to plan effectively.  This is especially true for fundraisers that take time to process.  I’d hate to see teams miss out on fundraising opportunities because they didn’t have the items to offer and parents go out and make them on their own!  (I’ve seen it happen too many times before!)

#5 - Ask for Donations

This is by far - my favorite type of fundraiser. Fact is: A lot of people donate. Maybe because they don't want to be bothered; but hey, I'll take it!  But mostly because people want to give toward something.  Case in point: if you’re a Team Mom and you’re donating your time right now! 

And that's why this is my favorite type of fundraiser.  Everybody wants to support you, your team, and your cause.  Give them a chance! 


Two ways -

Donation Letter Template.jpg

One: Many corporations, for example, are required to donate a percentage of their profits to a non-profit organization as per their social responsibility clauses.  Get into the habit of asking for donations for your team. One way to do this is simply send out a letter to various local businesses and organizations on behalf of your team asking for specific items for donation.

While most individuals are able to donate money, most companies and businesses (specifically retail) are able to donate goods. Download my letter template that netted us $25,000 in donations last season!

Two: Here’s where having a team website can REALLY come in handy.  Set up an online (e-giving) option on your team website to capture any donations. You can easily send out the link to all parents, families, and team supporters to donate; and even set it be a reoccurring donation!

Bonus: Did you know FB has a "Fundraisers" section?  If you'd like to see a tutorial on how to use it, come on over to our FB group and let me know!

So there you have it!

Don't forget to, come on over to our Private FB group for Sports Moms + Team Moms where the discussion + support is ongoing!

Until next time sideline hackers, keep hacking that sideline, because they appreciate you for it, and so do we… for all that you do!


Related Posts