Booster clubs are home to passionate parents who want the best for their children, but few of those parents have fundraising experience. This article will provide booster clubs with fundraising ideas that work and make their best. Some of the fundraisers on this list may seem obvious. Still, with a bit of creativity, your booster club can make them into unique fundraising ideas that not only provide funding but encourage greater membership in your booster club.
Booster clubs are formed to raise money for school sports and clubs. Parents generally run these clubs to provide enough funding for the team’s activities, uniforms, and more. Fundraising for booster clubs can be done through membership fees, events, sales, and more. The possibilities are endless as long as your booster club is registered as a 501(c) with the Internal Revenue Service.
Membership fees can be hard to depend on because parents will come and go as their children age out of the team. In addition to the ideas listed below, community partnerships are an opportunity to build long-term relationships with businesses in your community. Learn more about community partnerships and how to form one for your booster club.
T-shirt fundraising is an easy go-to fundraiser when your club is in a pinch. With no down payment, you can create a t-shirt for your child’s team online and raise money with every shirt purchased. Companies like CustomInk and Bonfire give booster clubs an easy way to run this type of fundraiser.
Pro tip: If you’re confident in selling a large number of t-shirts, use this type of fundraiser as a chance to connect with local businesses and form community partnerships that will benefit your club in the long run. Work with them to design a t-shirt and buy a bunch in bulk at a lower cost. You can even find sponsors to cover the cost of the shirt in exchange for free ad space on the back.
Example: LVB Strength & Fitness Team is a doctor-owned organization educating the youth for fitness. They set up a T-shirt fundraiser in 2018 to raise funds for their youth nationals, senior nationals, and the American open championships. As you can see in the image below, they’d given a glimpse of the sponsored team tee on the donation page. The donation form is simple but is enough to explain the t-shirt price to interested donors. People were also encouraged to make monthly custom donations to support the LVB team and designate their donations accordingly.
This can be the simplest way for you to raise some money for your booster club. All it takes is a simple donation page like this, a goal meter so people know just how much you need, and a detailed account of the T-shirt fundraiser.
There are two ways your booster club can run this type of fundraiser. The first is to buy or make wrapping paper in bulk and sell it at a higher cost to team supporters. Charleston Wrap has double-sided wrapping paper and unique designs. With their help, your fundraiser is online and supported by their marketing team to increase your fundraising participation.
Another way your booster club can raise funds during the holiday season is by offering to wrap presents for a donation. Ask the mall or a local business for their permission to set up a booth. Pick a day and schedule enough team members to staff the booth and wrap gifts all day long. You can raise funds and awareness with this easy fundraiser.
Another popular fundraiser for booster clubs is a coupon book. This one can take a little more time but is a well-anticipated fundraiser for many in the community. Ask local businesses to work with you to offer deals to customers and create your own book of coupons. You can then sell these coupon books to raise funds for your club.
If you have less time, there are coupon book fundraising companies that do most of the work for you:
Golf tournaments are an excellent option if you already have connections with your local golf clubs. If a few of your booster club members are members of a golf club, they may be able to get you a good deal to use the course during the week for a golf fundraiser.
These events can be fun if you develop a theme and carry that theme through the entire event. Ask people to dress up for golf, find a caterer that can make food, and find a few silent auction items that match the event’s theme. You can either sell tickets to this tournament event or use the auction items to raise funds for your booster club.
Pro tip: Popular silent auction items for golf events are foursomes at different clubs and golf clothing and accessories.
The pandemic may still make people feel unsure about attending a live event. For those supporters, you can run an online fundraising campaign. The possibilities for online campaigns have grown with social media. Your supporters can raise money with peer-to-peer or crowdfunding campaigns.
Find a few of your booster club members who are active online and ask them to start their own campaigns. Share stories and pictures of how you are helping the team and why others should donate. Let them share this information with their friends and family online and collect donations to fund your booster club’s needs.
Example – The North Pole Football Booster Club has set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the travel costs, equipment, and other expenses of their team. As you can see in the below image, the online campaign consists of the details, a goal meter to create urgency, an updates tab, and a donor wall for appreciating donors. They have also added sponsorship levels to inspire donors to give extra and help them meet their fundraising needs.
Letter campaigns have the potential to be highly successful for booster clubs. Your club will need a donor list with updated addresses to truly get the most out of this type of campaign. If you have a strong email list for your donors, you can send emails to most of your donors and save yourself the cost of mailing. You will also need booster club members willing to write the letter, stuff envelopes, apply stamps, and mail the letters.
People are encouraged to give to letter campaigns that include personal stories and pictures, so make your letters as appealing and personal as possible.
Pro tip: Include a self-addressed paid envelope to encourage more donations and include a personal note to the donor when possible.
You may have noticed other clubs holding a fundraising night at a national restaurant in your community. These fundraisers are easier than you think to hold, and the companies love them. Restaurants will often work with you and give you a percentage of their profits over the night. Your only job is to promote this fundraising night to your supporters and get a crowd.
If your booster club is looking for other restaurant fundraising ideas for a high-school team, you may be interested in a tip night. Connect with restaurants to offer waitstaff for the night in exchange for tips. Restaurants will like this idea because they don’t need to pay their waitstaff, and your team can earn a few hundred dollars in tips for this year’s uniforms.
Promote this night to your community and online, and bring your own crowd to the restaurant. Parents will appreciate having their kids serve them for once. You can also use this opportunity to build a stronger relationship with this business and lead to a future sponsorship and community partnership.
If you are raising money for a sports team, an event that focuses on that sport should be an obvious fundraiser. Your basketball team can show off their skills in a contest judged by business leaders or school staff. Sell tickets to this event and ask businesses to sponsor each contestant. You can also sell t-shirts with the team members’ names and sponsors for their family and friends to purchase as they cheer for their favorite player.
Collecting change has always been a way to raise money. Who hasn’t seen those jars by the cash register at a store or gas station? Even large nonprofits continue to use this fundraising idea.
Now there are several ways to collect change and raise money for your nonprofit. You can raise money by connecting with local businesses willing to ask all their customers to put their change towards your booster club. This way, you don’t just depend on cash donations.
There are also online companies that do the same thing with large online and even in-person retailers:
Coin Up raises change from your supporter’s online shopping. The app asks your donors if they want to round up and donate change on everything they buy online. All you have to do is promote this to your donors online and by email. There is a 15% transaction fee that goes to Coin up with each purchase but no fee for the nonprofit, and only a one-time dollar fee for supporters
Helpfreely also raises money from online shopping. Your donors download the free app, and the company collects the change from every purchase made at participating online shops. This app allows nonprofits to build a public profile to share. So you can advertise your organization for all website visitors to see.
Benefit is a little different because it doesn’t precisely collect change. Instead, 2-20% of your donors’ purchases are transferred to your nonprofit whenever they shop online or in-person at large retailers like Starbucks, Target, Walmart, and Amazon.
Pro tip: Nonprofits can track where customers shop the most and potentially use this information in grant applications with these large retailers.
Game nights can be another fun event for your booster club. Your club members can invite guests and form teams before the event or just sell tickets and create teams on the night. You can offer concessions or dinner if you want to make it into a gala-type event. Trivia questions can be about anything, but you can throw in a few questions about the team and your community to make it memorable.
Raising funds from this type of event can happen in many ways. Ticket sales should cover the cost of the venue and the meal, but you will want to find more ways to raise funds to make this a successful fundraiser. Silent auctions are an excellent option for this type of event, along with raffle tickets and sales of things like wine bottles or your pre-designed team t-shirts.
Pro tip: An easy way to solicit donations during this event is with text-to-give. With Donorbox, you can create a campaign, choose one of the 2 available text-to-give plans, and activate the feature quickly on the dashboard. Give your donors the provided campaign ID to use that night. Donors will send a text with your campaign ID and receive a link to your online donation page (as shown below). This process only takes minutes and can be done entirely from donors’ smartphones. Donors can even give again during the night through our repeat donation feature. There are no forms or websites needed. Just a simple text will repeat their donation.
Scavenger hunts can be a unique and exciting fundraising idea for your booster club. People can create teams or buy tickets to join the game and be matched with an already established team. Players will compete to win a prize of your club’s choosing at the end of the game. You can give teams paper maps or connect with them by text or online. The app GooseChase was created for this very thing.
Pro tip: You can find sponsors for each “find” to collect more money from this event.
You don’t have to rely on membership dues to collect enough money for your children’s team. By holding a few of these events and building relationships with businesses in your community, you can find long-time support for your booster club and all your funding needs.
Online fundraising has become the norm, and many booster clubs don’t feel like they can afford their own online donation software. Donorbox is a no-contract, affordable option for booster clubs like yours. Check out our features and see what you can do with an online donation processor of your own. For more fundraising tips and tricks, visit our blog.