5 Creative Ways For Sports Organizations and Teams To Tap Into Community Fundraising 

By Joe Frollo, USA Football, June 9, 2016
Traditional fundraising drives can only go so far. With so many organizations hosting car washes or selling candy, the market will naturally tap out at some point.

Leagues need to use what’s around them to come up with creative ideas, something that may only be available because of where or who they are.

Next Level Sports in Indianapolis rents its fields from the same city department that operates the parking lots for the Indianapolis 500. So Next Level volunteers collect parking fees throughout May with all of the proceeds going to the league.

“We are a young league, an independent inner-city league and we need to find ways to raise as much money as we can,” said Ron Hayes, president of Next Level Sports. “We’ll do whatever we can to find ways to get our kids the equipment they need.”

Not everyone has a major international event in their own backyard, but leagues and high schools are part of the community fabric. The key is to not overcharge right away in order to build a foundation of customers and get team members out into the community building bonds.

Here are five ways organizations and teams can tap into what’s nearby to earn a little extra money.

  • FUN AND FUNDAMENTALS. The players on your team grew up watching the generation before them. That’s cyclical as today’s players are watched by today’s younger kids. Put together a basic skills camp for young athletes taught by the players – and overseen by adults.
  • HEAVY HELPERS. Know people who are moving into or out of their homes? Nobody likes carrying those heavy couches, dressers and mattresses up and down stairs. Rent out your older players, moms and dads to help pack or unpack the loading van.
  • PICTURES WITH SANTA. Who cares if it is June or July or whenever? Every kid will want a picture with Santa at the local fair – even if it is the middle of summer. High school kids can dress up as Ole St. Nick with the younger players serving as elves.
  • RENT-A-WORKER. Everyone is good at something, and most families can use a little help once in a while. Find volunteers to serve as handymen, cooks, cleaners, yard workers or anything else around the neighborhood. Bring the players in their uniforms to promote team unity and learn some skills.
  • BABYSITTING. Most moms and dads would enjoy a little time off to take in a county fair or school function without little ones pulling on their legs. Set up a child watch area and charge a few bucks and hour.