High School Sports Fundraising

Because sports have such important benefits for athletes of all ages, schools need to figure out ways to get as many students involved as possible, and teams that lack adequate funding need a resource to help them raise money. Crowdfunding can even out the playing field by providing a platform through which teams can access the money necessary to purchase uniforms and proper equipment, pay entrance fees, and cover travel expenses. In addition to in-person events, high school sports fundraising, as with any school fundraising effort, often benefits from online crowdfunding, where organizers can reach people via social media and post updates as their campaign progresses.

Healthy Competition

High school sports can provide student athletes with some of their most enriching extracurricular experiences, but all too often, teams are limited by a lack of resources. Not all schools have booster clubs that organize fundraising for their athletic departments, and among those that do, the funds they provide vary widely. High school students playing at a competitive level often have a lot at stake, especially if they need a scholarship to go to college. But even for those who play at a less-competitive level—for the students who play for fun, to get some exercise, or to make friends—sports can have some incredible benefits. The Aspen Institute's Project Play program gathered some statistics that might surprise you.

  • Physical activity is related to improved academic achievement in both grades and test scores. 
  • People who participate in sports are more likely to go to college than their peers who don't.
  • Physical activity, and sports, in particular, are shown to improve a young person's self-esteem, goal-setting, and leadership skills.

Six Great High School Sports Fundraising Ideas

  1. Host a Tournament

    Holding an invitational tournament is a simple way to raise money for your program. Invite other schools to compete in exchange for a fee. You can also raise money by charging spectators for sales and through the increased sale of concessions. Make sure to include snacks for athletes such as protein bars and Gatorade, in addition to the traditional burgers and candy bars for the crowd, because with the influx of students from all over the region, you are likely to encounter participants who are hungry after their long trip.

  2. Host a Sports Day Camp

    consider an “evening camp” under the stadium lights. Have your players lead drills, referee scrimmages, and give personal advice to campers. They can also play with them a little bit. In addition to raising money, your players have the chance to connect with their fans and community, a good habit if they hope to pursue athletics beyond high school, and take on leadership roles. Make your players the coach for the day, but be sure to hold a planning meeting beforehand, prepare them to work with kids, and determine which players likely work best with which age groups. Carefully supervise the goings-on during the camp itself. You may even meet some kids who will become your players one day.

  3. Have a Barbecue

    Athletes tend to work up an appetite during training, so invite your community to an outdoor event, and charge guests an entrance fee or ask for them to donate a certain amount in advance to your crowdfunding campaign. Have your players help out with the cooking and serve food buffet-style. You can also itemize the sale of soda and other refreshments. This event can be useful to promote your crowdfunding campaign, or kick off your fundraiser by throwing a barbecue. Ask guests to share your link via social media.

  4. Set Up a Table to Sell Seasonal Gift Grams

    n the weeks preceding a major holiday, often Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, or Halloween, students pay for themed “grams,” small notes that come with a treat to send to their friends. When the day arrives, athletes go around to various classrooms and deliver grams to their recipients. This fundraiser provides a great opportunity to build community within the athletic departments. Encourage athletes to send encouraging messages to members of other teams, and publicize the event within your school. Afterwards, upload photos of the event and announce your success.

  5. Host an Environmental CleanUp Day

    Offer to do an environmental cleanup, and ask participants to request pledges via their social networks. Encourage people to pledge a certain amount for a certain weight of garbage collected, or a certain distance covered by the group. Publicize the event on your campaign page, and invite members of the community to join as well. Once you've gotten your group together to do a beach cleanup, trash pick-up in your neighborhood, or a trip to the local park, represent your team with pride by wearing school gear. These fundraisers demonstrate your student body's commitment to giving back, so be sure to publish photos and descriptions on your page. Maybe even consider making a video.

  6. Encourage Pledges

    Collect pledges for players who agree to take on a difficult activity. Ask people to commit a certain amount of money for each accomplishment, whether that each mile run, push-up completed, A received on an assignment turned in during a given week, or volunteer hour spent at a local charity. For physical challenges, players get a little extra training, and other types of challenges allow you to push your players to spend time growing off-the-court. These fundraisers students an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to their team and earn their donations.

Let's Get Physical

Sports team fundraising can help you raise the money you need to get your athletes to competitions and give them opportunities they may never have had without it. Physical activity benefits students in so many ways, and they deserve the opportunity to play whether or not their school can fund it. Crowdfunding allows you to show off your team's drive and energy to the world and receive donations from supporters nearby or even across the country. If you haven't started a campaign, kick off your free fundraiser today