Baseball is an all-American sport. It has been a part of American culture since 1869, and it garners the support of 68.5 million people every year.
It is important to cultivate opportunities for your budding all-stars, and an integral part of being a parent of an athlete is involving yourself in the fundraising process for your child’s team.
That’s easier said than done! However, don’t be daunted by the process. In this article, we share with you some helpful tips, resources, and pieces of information to help you get started!
Top 10 Baseball Fundraising Ideas
While it is important for you as a parent or supporting fan to help raise funds for your child’s baseball team, this is also an opportunity for your athlete to build character.
Studies have shown that, when kids help fundraise for their own project, it develops a sense of responsibility and ownership. Kids are also empowered to continue positively impacting their community.
Have fun with fundraising, and show kids that it is a fun experience that can create change!
Let’s get started:
- Host a hit-a-thon
- Sponsor a player
- Sell gourmet cookie dough
- Sell team merchandise online
- Host a pancake breakfast
- Host an off-season game between students and teachers
- Create sponsorships for “stealing home base”
- Produce and sell customized calendars
- Host a beginner’s baseball bootcamp
- Raffle professional baseball players’
1. Host a hit-a-thon
Let’s start with the basics. What is a hit-a-thon anyway?
A hit-a-thon is a sponsorship program where loyal fans and donors sign up to donate a certain amount of money per hit and per home run hit.
When creating a hit-a-thon, your fundraising planning committee needs to determine how much money to charge per home run.
Create a sponsorship option for donating per hit. Charge a certain amount for every hit a player makes. Make sure to choose your best hitters for people to sponsor!
Also, create a VIP sponsorship packet that includes additional donations for home runs!
How skilled your team is will determine how much to charge. If you think the likelihood of home runs is low, charge more. If the likelihood is high, charge less.
Compile a list of addresses or email addresses of loyal fans, family members, friends, and potential sponsors. Get the word out at parent-teacher conferences, games, and other school events.
Pro tip: Get your players or hitters to raise extra donations with peer-to-peer fundraising. Each can create their own fundraising page wherein they can tell their stories, add images and videos to showcase their journey, and inspire some donations from friends, family, school, and the local community. Ask them to write fundraising letters to your existing and potential donors explaining the hit-a-thon and soliciting donations for the team.
With an effective fundraising tool like Donorbox, your team can easily create branded (with team logo and color) donation pages to receive not just one-time donations but also monthly/quarterly/yearly donations for its various needs.
2. Sponsor a player
The kids who are not yet exceptional players deserve to play a role in fundraising!
Take team pictures at your first practice, and get an individual snapshot of each player. Before the season begins, create a donation page on your team’s website, on Facebook, or provide an easy-to-use link for people to donate over text.
After creating this, post a picture of each player one by one on social media with a short bio, asking people to sponsor the player for the whole season through donations. Explain exactly what that money will help buy.
Will it buy a new uniform? Help with travel expenses? Help buy new equipment for the team to use? Whatever you are using it for, be specific!
Pro tip: Make your donation page easily accessible so people don’t have to put a lot of time and energy into finding how to donate! You can add a donate button on your website homepage. Also, put the link in your bio on social media and direct-message a secure donation form for payments via PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay to interested sponsors.
3. Sell gourmet cookie dough
Growing up, your mom probably told you not to eat raw cookie dough. You probably did it anyway … who didn’t?
In recent years, companies have been creating gourmet cookie dough that is safe to eat “raw.” It’s an incredibly popular market, and it is an increasingly popular fundraising option for baseball teams.
Sites like Just Fundraising or Fundraising Zone collaborate with nonprofits and individuals to help them raise funds by selling gourmet cookie dough. There are different options listed on these sites. All you have to do is leverage the opportunity and have your team participate.
Just like other sales-based fundraising opportunities, you can create a signup sheet for several Saturdays a month. Your team members and chaperones can stand outside of local grocery stores in shifts to sell the dough.
Pro tip 1: Make it fun for your team members. Create a competition-based strategy and offer a reward for the team member that sells the most dough to family, friends, and others! That way the word about your team will only spread further. Who knows, people might surprise you with extra donations.
Whatever route you take, this sweet fundraising opportunity will not disappoint.
Pro tip 2: Know your market! Do research on what demographics buy gourmet cookie dough the most, and make sure you are targeting areas where those individuals live if selling door to door, or standing outside grocery stores that also target the demographic gourmet cookie dough sells to.
4. Sell team merchandise online
Merchandise is always a popular fundraiser, especially when it is branded to your team. Loyal fans want to show up and show out, so provide them with options.
Baseball caps, pop sockets, tee shirts, leggings, coffee mugs … get creative with the items you are selling online.
Provide a variety of items and a variety of sizing options for clothing.
Instead of potentially over-buying merchandise and losing money instead of making it, simply provide interested community members a link to the clothing you design on one of these platforms via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
It is made to order, so you will not have the hassle or cost of leftover merchandise.
5. Host a pancake breakfast
Ask your school if you can utilize its cafeteria on a Saturday or Sunday morning before the kick-off of your baseball season. With this free space, all you will have to purchase are the cooking supplies for the event. Pancakes are a low-cost item, and so are eggs and other breakfast essentials!
Using Eventbrite (a free platform) or Facebook Events (also free!), sell tickets to a pancake breakfast. As an extra incentive, tell community members that the players, coaches, and parents of your team will be cooking and hosting the event.
Consider bringing in “local celebrities” to speak at the event and show their support to your team!
Have the coach or a few players prepare speeches in advance, thanking people for their support. Make people feel special, going from table to table, greeting them, and answering questions they have about the upcoming season.
About 30 minutes before you wrap up the breakfast, pass around a hat or a donation bucket to collect any last-minute donations.
In the end, use the data from your Eventbrite account or from the Facebook Event response to send out a link to a donation form to everyone who attended the event.
Make sure you thank them!
6. Host an off-season game between students and teachers
Fundraising during the off-season is so important! Once the season rolls around, you will be so busy going to practices, games, and other events that fundraising might become a chore.
So, during the off-season, host a one-time-only students-versus-teachers game at your school.
Get unexpected people involved: don’t just ask coaches and those already invested in your baseball program to join. Ask the math teachers, art teachers, science teachers, secretaries, school counselors, anyone who is willing to play!
Market this special event on your team’s Facebook page or at other school events. Create a crowdfunding option for teachers who participate to involve their friends and families in the event.
With a crowdfunding campaign, you can tell your story and the reason why this game matters. A campaign of this type should definitely have a goal meter, a way to post updates, and a donor appreciation wall. All these coupled with the short timeline help create importance around the campaign. With Donorbox, you get these features and more!
Here’s an example –
Pro tip: Get your teachers to shoot a video of them speaking about this game, the excitement, and the team. Add these videos to your campaign. They’re sure to garner some extra attention and bring potential donors.
Also, if you would like, sell refreshments at the game to make some extra cash!
7. Create sponsorships for “stealing home base”
For anyone familiar with baseball jargon, stealing in baseball is not actually bad. In fact, it’s a learned skill that can make or break a game.
Invite fans to participate in the fun and make you money.
Partner with a few local businesses to agree to donate a certain amount of money every time one of your players steals a home base. Give them a steal of a deal by announcing their business’s name any time a home base steal happens, thanking them for their generosity and support!
Pro tip: Create these sponsorships in the off-season and benefit from them when your team is busy playing. This can be a great low-effort baseball fundraising option for your players.
8. Produce and sell customized calendars
Show up to a team practice and get team pictures and individual pictures of all members of your team.
Also, make sure to snag some live-action shots as a practice is happening!
With your fundraising committee, create a calendar that features pictures of your team. Sites like Calendar Fundraising or Printing Center USA make it simple for teams, clubs, and individuals to create custom calendars and raise funds.
You can sell calendars using Facebook, using a site like Squarespace, or you can sell physical copies at games.
One drawback to Squarespace is that you cannot use its merchandise feature without paying a monthly or annual fee. However, the monthly cost is under $20, and you can cancel your account after the season ends.
9. Host a beginner’s baseball bootcamp
During the summer, consider hosting a one-day or multi-day baseball bootcamp for beginners. Obviously, one day would be less planning but would also yield fewer funds. So, just decide how much effort you would want to pour into this project.
Create a schedule for what each day will hold. For example, if you host a 3-day boot camp, perhaps day 1 is learning how to pitch, day 2 is learning how to hit, and day 3 is learning how to play well in the outfield.
Once you have created this schedule, reach out to community members and let them know the date, location, and schedule for this boot camp. Encourage players on your team to tell their friends and classmates about the boot camp.
Create a signup sheet through Sign Up Genius or another online platform, charge for admission to the boot camp.
Promise attendees free merchandise, pictures with the players, and other incentives for their participation.
Pro tip: On your first game of the year, have an “all-star” from your boot camp throw the first pitch and incorporate boot camp attendees into your 7th inning stretch entertainment. This is an extra incentive for them to participate, and it is a good way to get interest for the next boot camp!
10. Raffle professional baseball players’ autographs
With this option, there is no promised success. However, if you could obtain an autograph or multiple autographs from pro ballplayers, the potential for raising a large number of funds is high.
Over the summer, assign each of your players a list of ten pro baseball players to write a letter to or a direct message on social media, or contact another way, asking the pro baseball players to provide an autograph for auction.
Have your players give the pro ballers the school address to send an autograph to.
Help your team score a homerun!
The unsung heroes of every season are the fundraisers. That’s you! You are a hero, helping your kids have access to team sports, build their confidence, and more.
With these fundraising ideas, your team can raise much-needed funds for travel, individual development, and new gear. Good luck on a winning season and winning fundraisers!
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