Sports Fundraising

Sports fundraisers are among the most lucrative events for charity and personal causes. From cross-country cycling to fancy golf benefits, athletic events can draw crowds of both loyal supporters and potential new donors. People who care about philanthropy and love a particular sport are energized by the opportunity to do both at once, while those holding the fundraiser can use the time to bond with donors. Not only are these events effective fundraisers, but they also allow you to test your boundaries and have fun with friends and acquaintances.
Get Your Campaign Moving

Get Your Campaign Moving

Whether you're planning an extreme challenge to raise awareness of your cause or holding a more laid-back run or walk, a sports event fundraiser can help you access the funds you need to improve your own life or someone else's. Giving back, pushing yourself athletically, and working in a group all contribute to the incredibly rewarding experience of holding a sports fundraiser.
  • Sports event fundraising is a $1 billion industry that creates around 8,823 new jobs, according to the IBIS World.
  • And it's becoming more popular! Sports philanthropy events are growing at a rate of 1.4 percent per year.
  • The Southeast region is the U.S.’s most popular location for sports fundraisers, hosting 21.9 percent of these events.

Six Standout Sports Fundraising Campaigns

  1. Golf Tournaments

    Golf Tournaments
    Golf tournaments are one of the most popular types of sports fundraisers. Equal parts social and athletic, they provide an excellent opportunity for getting to know potential donors and providing them with a relaxed, enjoyable experience. As a sport that people of all ages can enjoy, it also doesn't prevent older patrons from participating directly. The major source of revenue from these events is sponsorship: an advertiser can “sponsor” a hole where they put up advertisements in addition to the acknowledgment on all of the materials related to the event. Also, consider selling merchandise and depositing the proceeds in your crowdfunding campaign account. Have guests RSVP to your event by donating to your campaign and writing the name of the tournament in the comments section.
  2. Charity Races

    Charity Races
    Racing for a cause can be a great way to show your dedication and commitment to a fundraiser. It also gives you more power over the amount you raise—pledges provide extra motivation for an athlete to push that much harder to compete to the best of his abilities. These inspiring fundraisers often feature athletes competing to promote causes close to their heart, such as Erich Grundy’s YouCaring campaign. When his father died unexpectedly of pancreatic cancer, Erich decided to take action. To raise awareness, he committed to competing in an Iron Man, a grueling 17-hour challenge made up of an open-water swim, a bike ride and a full marathon run without any breaks. His employer has even agreed to match the pledges he receives.
  3. Unique Sports Fundraisers

    Unique Sports Fundraisers
    Some sports fundraisers feature an individual competing against the elements, rather than against others in a traditional race. For athletes climbing a mountain or swimming the English Channel, for example, crowdfunding provides a platform for supporters to learn about an event beforehand. Donors can pledge a certain amount based on the athlete's success or speed. These campaigns aren’t for the faint of heart, but they do tend to get a lot of publicity. Dan Berlin's YouCaring campaign made more than $10,300 for charity when he ran 46 miles between the rims of the Grand Canyon. Dan is blind, had to navigate more than 25,000 feet of climbing and descending on technical trails, and completed the journey down and back without stopping. He even set a world record! Check it out here.
  4. Long-Term Athletic Endeavors

    Long-Term Athletic Endeavors
    Fundraisers that continue for a period of many days have a unique fundraising advantage. They allow the athletes to post updates throughout their journey, so supporters can follow their progress and give in increments. When Abe Kolstad decided to launch the #Coast22Coast cycling campaign this summer, he did so in honor of his brother, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in May 2014 and whose medical expenses were covered by YouCaring donors. Abe decided to bike 3,217 miles coast-to-coast to raise money for others suffering from the same affliction. He has raised more than $13,400 and counting, and he created memories this summer that will last a lifetime.
  5. Less-Rigorous Challenges

    Less Rigorous Challenges
    Softer adventures can also attract media attention, especially if they're performed in great numbers. Organizing a run, bicycle race or swim empowers everyday people to exercise while giving back to charity. You don't have to be superhuman to raise money through athletics! Devin McHugh managed to do so in June when he launched a second fundraiser on YouCaring for Skate for Bay Area Kids, an annual event that raises money for charity through a skateboarding trip in the Bay Area. Devin stressed the importance of “Taking something as small as skateboarding and turning it into part of a bigger picture” in an interview for a YouCaring video. When you have a lot of participants, you can raise large amounts of money by having them share your campaign link via social media.
  6. Fundraisers for Sports Injuries

    Fundraisers for Sports Injuries
    Crowdfunding can also raise money for sports-related injuries. If an athlete you know was injured during play and suffered a life-changing ailment, create a campaign online to help support them. Both professional athletes and amateurs alike need help when they face expensive hospital bills and home modifications. Friends and loved ones of Glenn Hartrick, a triathlete who was involved in a serious crash June 12, 2014, are using two YouCaring fundraisers to help pay for his recovery: "Tri" Supporting Glenn 2N'S Hartrick Road to Recovery and GC Tri Presents 2N's Spinning 4 Glenn. After hours of surgery and many days in the ICU, he eventually made it to a rehabilitation center, but all the care he receives adds up to more bills. Crowdfunding provides his family one small break from the stress.

Ready to Activate a Campaign

These inspiring stories demonstrate the power of sports fundraising events to improve the lives of real people undergoing hardship. There's nothing more rewarding than knowing that through your own hard work you made the world a better place. Crowdfunding simplifies your sports fundraiser and lets you focus on competing. Use these ideas to get your put your fundraiser in motion and if you haven't already started a campaign, launch one today!