I could just as easily have called this section "school fundraising", or "cheerleader fundraising". It doesnít matter what type of group you have, whether itís a sports team or a church group, from little league to college. The basic idea is the same...
How can my group raise funds?
Most school and sports fundraising, whether for baseball teams, or football or cross country have a small group of 20-40 energetic young people as a built-in fundraising machine. If itís a school-wide event, then you could be looking at several hundred kids. I know when I was in elementary school, we sold everything from candy-bars to magazine subscriptions.
So what are the most popular ways groups raise money to help support their activities? First Iíll go over the old stand-by ideas, since these can be done by almost any group. Then Iíll discuss fundraising events that may be more suited to one group or another. Finally, Iíll go over some of the new fundraising ideas that have arisen out of the growth of the Internet. Click on the Section Titles for a more complete discussion of that sections topics.
Traditional Fundraising Ideas
First, weíll look at the good old candy bar. Or magazine subscription. Or... well, you get the idea. Kids going out in force to sell something to everyone in their neighborhood, usually to their parents first. These methods have been around forever. Selling candy bars allows you to offer products that everyone already knows -- and most of us love! This makes them very easy to sell. The same thing goes for magazines.
New Fundraising Products
I call these products "new", because we didnít have them when I was a kid. I guess different people will view them as newer or older depending on how long itís been since they were in school, or if they have kids of your own in school. Regardless, these fundraising products can include scratch cards, which offer some of the highest profit margins, and cookie dough, which I wish kids around here would sell more often!
One of the annual events we always did when I was in high school was a Pancake Breakfast. Our Key Club group would join with our local Kiwanis group, take over the school lunchroom on a Saturday, and cook literally thousands of pancakes. Tickets were $3 per person, and weíd have people lined up all morning long. Other events I will discuss in this section include car washes, fun-runs, bachelor or bachelorette auctions, etc. These events can not only raise a good bit of money, often in a single day, but theyíre usually a whole lot of fun!
As you see, there are myriad ways to raise money for your group or team. Some of them will work better for young kids on a soccer or little league baseball team, while others will work best for older age groups like high school or college groups, and some are better suited to organizations with established websites (or the ability to build them). It really all depends on just who your group is, and what you want to do.
If you have any suggestions youíd like me to add to this article, please let me know. I want this to be as complete a resource for team, group and school fundraising ideas as possible. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.