Fundraisers For Pre-teen Sports Teams

Pre-teen sports teams give young people a great opportunity to participate in a team sport, make new friends, and learn about teamwork. Besides being great fun and keeping them out of trouble, participation in pre-teen sports also gives young people a solid foundation for the future.

While fundraising on the part of parents, coaches and teachers is good and effective, the young people enjoying team sports can also enjoy participating in the fundraising themselves.

Encouraging participation

Everybody loves pre-teen sports, and sometimes the parents get even more excited about it than the kids. At the very beginning of the season, send out a fundraising letter or hold a meeting with all the parents to discuss fundraising, if for no other reason, to get them prepared to spend some time and get into a fundraising mode. Leverage the parents that were involved the year before. Encourage them to help out again in sharing their ideas and wisdom with the rest of the group. Get the kids interested too. Discuss the need for fundraising with them, and tell them about a few fundraising ideas. Kids are natural salespeople, and will be able to help out a lot towards their own cause–don’t make the mistake of just leaving all the fundraising to the parents.

Set the stage for participation in the next fundraiser too, by making sure to recognize the hard work done by all the volunteers, including both students and parents, making sure everyone knows the results of the fundraising, and sending a “thank you” to donors.

Have specific goals

Pre-teen sports teams can always use money for something, whether it’s new uniforms, awards, field trips, or equipment. But each fundraising initiative should have a specific and realistic goal that everybody is working for. When a child says “will you buy a box of candy to help us buy uniforms,” they’re a lot more likely to get a positive response than if they simply say, “will you buy a box of candy.” Also, you’ll get your parent and student volunteers more excited about fundraising if they know what they are working towards. Raising money for the “general fund” isn’t nearly as glamorous as raising money for something tangible that everybody can see and is within reach.

Specific goals are easy to come by. Pre-teen sports teams aren’t known for having large amounts of wealth, and there’s almost always something they need. Even if the team is school-sponsored, schools all over the country are suffering from cutbacks and often don’t have the funds to support the teams like they should. Keep in mind too, there are a lot of corporate sponsors and local businesses that would love to help, and would love to have some positive publicity. If they know exactly what is needed, you may have a chance of getting just a handful of companies together to foot the bill for the equipment, trips, or uniforms you need.

Getting support from community businesses

A common method of getting support from local businesses is to publish a yearbook, or sell ads on your team sports programs. It’s not hard to get the support of local merchants, but you do need to follow a few simple guidelines:

In addition to describing the benefit a donation will give to the team, describe the benefit to the individual merchant. You will be much more likely to get a donation if you are offering something to the merchant of value. This may come in the form of ad space in a program, having their company name displayed in the clubhouse, or a mention over the loudspeaker at halftime.

Follow up after the fundraiser is over. Send a “thank you” letter or a small token of appreciation to every donor. This shows them that you appreciate their support–and it also sets the stage for their participation in future events.

Give them a range of options. Don’t ask for the same amount from every merchant, give them a range of options from small to large dollar amounts.