Fundraising Tips for Your Basketball Team

So you and your basketball teammates spent the afternoon draped in soap suds scrubbing dirt caked cars only to find out that, after expenses, your fundraising efforts were…less than ideal. Before you throw in the proverbial towel, try instead to improve your team’s money-making experience. There is no reason fundraising should be burdensome and unprofitable—it can actually be a tremendous opportunity for your team to bond and work together towards achieving a common goal (while earning some cash for the program in the process).

Below are some tips and suggestions to help you and your team raise those funds and have a good time while doing it.

Think Outside the Box

There are a lot of different fundraisers that don’t involve selling giftwrap or candy bars. Here a few examples of activities that could be fun and lucrative:

  • Host a basketball tournament: Why not raise funds doing what you love? Hosting a basketball tournament can actually be  very lucrative, especially if you have cheap (or free) access to an indoor playing facility.
  • Host an outdoor basketball tournament: Don’t worry if you don’t have access to an indoor facility—basketball just happens to be a sport that can be played both indoors and outdoors. And sometimes the lure of the outdoors will bring in more customers.
  • Sell spirit wear: A lot of families and friends would probably jump at the chance to support the program by purchasing team attire. T-shirts and sweatshirts are usually cheap in bulk and you can resell them to fans for profit. Not only will you raise money for the team, but your cheering section will look pretty spiffy as well.

Spread the Word

You can’t expect people to support your fundraising efforts if they don’t know about it, so get the word out! Hand out fliers, hang posters, and tell everyone associated with your organization about the upcoming event. Remember, great results require great effort.

Here is a list of additional suggestions for marketing your fundraiser:

  • Make an announcement: If you are fundraising for a school basketball team, put the information for your fundraiser in the daily announcements. Give your fellow students an opportunity to show their school pride.
  • Get your social networking on: You are a part of the technological age so you might as well use it to your advantage.
  • Make a Commercial: Brainstorm a few ideas for a commercial and then post the final product on YouTube. Once the commercial is posted, e-mail the link to friends and family and ask them to pass it on to everyone they know. (Hint: Funny commercials are especially great for catching people’s attention.)

Hot Tip: Advertise

Many local radio stations and media outlets like to support neighborhood schools and organizations, so give your local radio stations a call and ask if they will advertise your event. Half the battle of fundraising is getting the word out to as many people as possible and your local media outlets can be an excellent resource.

Competition Goes a Long Way

Elite athletes are competitive by nature, so you might as well put that energy to good use. Think of ways to turn your fundraiser into a competition among team members and offer prizes and incentives for the person who contributes or earns the most—maybe even award consolation prizes for anyone who drops the ball.

Another awesome way to foster competition is the use of visual aids. Like runners who amazingly shift into high gear when the finish line comes into plain view, your team will be more motivated if there is a visual representation of their progress—like a large cardboard thermometer— and know when the end is near.

Increase Your Fan Base

Having more fans will not only make game day more fun but it will also give you a wider pool of potential fundraiser participants. Fans love to help their favorite teams, so get your name out there in the community to bring people to the games—once they see you play, they are bound to expand their support.

Here are a few ways to increase your fan base:

  • Make your schedule easily accessible: Do what you’ve got to do to get your schedule out—hand out pocket schedules, print it in the local newspaper, or ask local businesses to post a copy in their store. Just make sure your schedule is visible in the community.
  • Half-time contests: Keep your fans interest during half-time by keeping the action going. You can utilize this time wisely by holding a contests for fans. Free throw competitions or even a half-court shot contest are both good examples of fun half-time activities.

Wear Team Attire

If possible, wear clothes that are associated with your team—shirts with a team logo or clothes in team colors—to the fundraiser. This will make the sponsors (your team) of the event more obvious and therefore more important to potential clientele.

In the End it’s About Fun

Fundraising doesn’t have to be a tedious endeavor. People are more likely to participate in the event if the sponsoring team seems excited, friendly, and having a good time, so choose a fundraising strategy that is both profitable and fun.

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