Regular football season in high school is typically around 10 weeks, with the first games of the year in mid-November. Ten weeks is plenty of time to raise adequate funds for the travel, uniforms, equipment, and your team’s other necessities.
Team sports have a lot of value. They help with learning new skills and coordination, developing social skills, learning to work with others and support them, and boosting self-confidence.
Unfortunately, the biggest barrier to youths competing in sports is the cost. According to ESPN, “The average amount of spending on sport was approximately $692. That’s per child, per sport, and per year.”
Fundraising increases the opportunity for sports inclusivity, and it’s important that your team is investing time into fundraising to ensure every child that would like to participate has the opportunity to do so.
The 15 creative ideas in this blog include ideas that are COVID-friendly and easy to pull together quickly for an end-of-the-season fundraising push. However, it also includes those that might take a little more time to pull together and may prove more without COVID restrictions. Either way, these ideas will help you get a jump start on current and future fundraising!
Philanthropy, fundraising, and football
In 1973, the Miami Dolphins capped a perfect season with their Super Bowl win against Washington. Along with this historic occurrence, the team also pledged to make a social impact, partnering with United Way. To this day, this partnership still exists.
Also, according to the NFL website, “Since 2017, the NFL Foundation has funded nearly 650 grants totaling more than $3 million to organizations working in the areas of social justice and equality.”
Who says football can’t make a social impact?
As you can see, football, philanthropy, and fundraising go hand in hand, so let’s get started!
In this article, we cover 15 creative football fundraising ideas:
- Flip flop fundraiser
- Coordinate event parking
- Scratch off tickets
- Branded t-shirts
- Football discount cards
- Winner’s pledge
- Student’s artwork sales
- Rent an athlete
- Socially distanced tailgate
- Host a flag football tournament
- Host a polar plunge
- Host a charity run
- Challenge the coach
- Spirit night a local business
- Flamingo flocking
Among all fundraising opportunities for football teams, there is one method that is tried and true: product sales! There are various product sales football teams have used as fundraisers for many years. Here are some ideas:
1. Flip flop fundraiser
As quirky as it sounds, team-branded flip-flops are often a huge hit!
What does that mean? It means you are eliminating the upfront cost and the risk of losing money because you are taking orders before you ever purchase the materials!
Especially for those in hotter climates, this a fun, simple, low-cost product sale that can have up to 70% profit for your team!
Pro tip: Keep in mind other opportunities to collect orders before ordering materials to have the highest profit!
2. Coordinate event parking
Are there any big events coming up in your community? Even with COVID, there are still large outdoor events happening, such as drive-in movies.
Reach out to local venues, event organizers, and the community connections you have, and see if your team can run parking for an event. Ask if you can split the parking profits or collect a percentage of the profits to put towards your team’s fundraising goal.
Getting your team involved in the community in some way can add value, teach other important skills, and help collect additional donations. If people in the community know why the team is at an event, it may make them more likely to offer up additional donations.
3. Scratch off tickets
With scratch-off tickets, your donors don’t know how much they are going to contribute. That’s part of the fun!
Typically, they will purchase the scratch-off ticket, then spend an additional 50 cents to 3 dollars, depending on their luck.
4. Branded t-shirts
Another opportunity to include team branding in your product sales, t-shirts are a bit more customizable, therefore more enticing. With options like “Grandma of a Wildcat,” or “Dad of a Dolphin,” or “Sister of a Tiger,” branded team tees are a fun option for consistent game goers and loyal fans!
Pro tip: If there is a shop local to you that does screen printing or embroidery, work with them to create fun designs for your team tees! They could sell them in stores and give you a percentage of sales.
Though you may not get as much money, this might be a more accessible way for people in your community to buy the shirts, and you’re supporting a local business.
5. Football discount cards
Who doesn’t love saving money? Everyone does, which is why discount cards are so popular!
These take a bit of coordinating, but when done well, the profit margin can range from 50% to 100%!
Coordinating with local businesses, chat with business owners about discounts they are willing to offer to fans. Then, create a booklet with these coupons using tools like Easy Fundraising Cards.
You can sell these at games, online, or on Facebook Marketplace.
6. Winner’s pledge
This product sale is for your loyal fans, so make sure to let all the grandparents, fathers, mothers, and other family members of your team know.
At the beginning of football season, create a signup for people to join the Winner’s Pledge. Each week your team wins, the people who sign up must donate a set amount of money.
7. Student’s artwork sale
Who doesn’t love original art? Though your athletes are honing their sporting skills, perhaps they are talented in other ways. Use these additional skills and have your athletes create art to sell online.
You can market the art auction on Facebook, your school’s website, and flyers around your community.
Are you worried that this will take up too much of your athlete’s time? Use art class projects or already existent art that is lying around collecting dust.
8. Rent an athlete
With a wide variety of people coming to support your team, game time is prime time to advocate for fundraising.
At your next football game, a few of your team members should announce Rent an Athlete at halftime and have a signup sheet ready to go at the concession stand.
For a set price, athletes from your team will do odd jobs for people in need of assistance.
This is an opportunity to both raise money and help people in the community by letting your team spend a few weekends mowing lawns, painting fences, cleaning up yards, and doing other busywork that needs doing!
Visit 20 Boy Scout Fundraising Ideas to learn about more product sales opportunities!
9. Socially distanced tailgate
Tailgates are regular events that are guaranteed to have great attendance.
This presents a wonderful opportunity for your team to set up and sell additional snacks or hold contests for fans and should include prizes of some sort, such as team merch or free tickets.
For a price, fans can enter these contests. Contests may include the opportunity to participate in halftime entertainment, seeing who can sing the fight song all the way through without stuttering, or wagering on who has attended the most games so far that year.
10. Host a flag football tournament
Recruit well-known, influential people in the community to compete in a flag football tournament.
These influential individuals can then crowdfund, asking fans, colleagues, and family to buy tickets to this special flag football event, with all proceeds being donated to the team.
Parents can referee, and teams can host the event on school premises.
11. Host a Polar Plunge
For all you northern readers, “Polarbearing” is the act of jumping into cold water for fun.
If you host this event, you can charge for transportation, hot beverages, towels, and other necessary items at the plunge!
To host this event safely, it is best to wait until after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Keep this in mind, and put it on your fundraising calendar for a safer time.
12. Host a charity run
Hosting a charity run is an engaging way to raise money as it requires people in the community who are dedicated to your cause to participate.
People must pay an entry fee to participate in the race, which is where a large portion of your profits will come from. However, there is also the potential for crowdfunding, and runners can hop on social media or other platforms to ask their family and friends to donate to your football team.
Organizing a charity run can yield a large amount of money, but make sure to plan far enough in advance to make it profitable!
13. Challenge the coach
At games, on social media, or on your school website, collect money to challenge your football coach.
Set a fundraising goal, and tell people that, if you reach that goal, your football coach must do whatever task the team has chosen.
That could mean the coach has to shave their head, has to wear a costume around the school for a day, or has to do a weather forecast for your local news channel one evening. Get creative, and make it fun for students and parents alike to contribute.
14. Spirit night at a local business (or multiple businesses)
Spirit nights are when you coordinate with a local business and ask them to dedicate one evening to your team and donate a percentage of their profits made that evening to your team.
Many businesses are invested in the potential of student-athletes. Therefore, they host spirit nights year-round for football teams and other groups. Reach out to businesses that regularly participate in spirit nights, or form a new partnership with a local business that might allocate a higher percentage to your team than chain businesses might.
This is a popular fundraiser, though, so make sure to call local businesses early in the year and coordinate a spirit night!
15. Flamingo flocking
This fundraising idea is a great practical joke for people in your community.
Your team needs to buy 20 to 30 plastic flamingos and paint them school colors. Then, set up a signup sheet that people can fill out anonymously. The signup sheet must include the address or office number of the individual being flocked. For a price, people can sign up to flock to their neighbors, co-workers, friends, or family.
In the wee hours of the morning, members of your team will visit the home or office of the individual being “flocked” and put the flamingos in their yard or office with a sign that says, “You’ve been flocked!” The team must then come back and collect the flamingos after several hours so the process can repeat.
This obviously takes some coordination and would be a great opportunity for parents or siblings to volunteer, as well.
Make your fundraiser a touchdown!
With these ideas, you can create successful fundraisers for your team, scoring the opportunity to have more students play football for your team without the cost of travel, equipment, and other items as a barrier.