Fundraising for youth football
Ok, you threw up because you heard the dreaded word that all youth football coaches hate, fundraising. Unfortunately, some of us youth football coaches are required to participate and sometimes even lead fundraising projects. This is probably what most of us hate the most about coaching youth football.
Youth football costs a lot of money to run, far more than anyone not involved in the day-to-day operations would like to know. There is equipment, insurance, land rental, film and video, advertising, printing, phone, web, awards, civil servants and food just to get started.
There are always children who cannot afford to play, so scholarships are a cost to you as well. If you plan to play in an out of state tournament, it’s a whole different world. Most of the trips we have taken with our kids cost an average of $ 25,000 per team, transportation, hotel and food add up very quickly, even if you do it cheaply. So what I’m saying is fundraising is a necessary evil for programs and an absolute necessity for traveling teams.
This year at the Pop Warner and AYF National Championships in Florida, I interviewed about 70 young coaches and asked them what were the top three challenges their team faced this year in their quest to make it to Florida. Over 90% of coaches place fundraising in their top three. In fact, there were teams and children who were left behind because they could not afford to make the trip. Needless to say, fundraising isn’t an isolated issue, it’s something we all struggle with.
When it comes to fundraising, the consensus is that we all want something that doesn’t require a lot of work, is short-lived, and pays well. As the founder and president of two different organizations, I can tell you that we have tried them all, some worked pretty well, others were real bombs. How many of you have had the air conditioning in your office on a 90 degree day and seen your palette of freshly arrived chocolate bars melt into a gooey mess? How many of you have had a sticky-fingered team mom who ran away with all the raffle money? How could you have children who don’t bring in money because a big brother stole it from Junior? How many of you have seen adults call your office and wonder where their cheesecakes that they ordered and paid for didn’t arrive two months after you sent the kids with them on the delivery blitz?
Here are some ideas that have worked well from some of our readers:
Kids buy play jerseys. The jersey costs $ 20 with the name on the back, you sell it for $ 75, which earns you $ 55 per jersey. You raise approximately $ 1,250 per team.
Kroger Affinity Program. A Kroger in the Cincinnati area offers an affinity program. You load dollars on your Kroger card and 2% of your purchases go to your program. A team I know has raised over $ 3,000 with it.
PDP- They do a letter writing campaign for you, nothing to sell, no deliveries to make, no collections to worry about, painless enough.
Discount cards. Most discount card programs offer nice discounts for 20% off or buy one at local restaurants and service businesses. Cards typically cost $ 10 or $ 20, with the organization keeping half of the funds. Most of these companies will allow you to put your team’s name, image and timeline on the cards. One program that I know of has raised over $ 8,500 with it.
Not so great programs, while these companies and programs can be fantastic and work for a lot, they weren’t my cup of tea or for my readers.
Frozen cookie dough. Getting cash up front and then handing out those jars of frozen cookie dough to all the players and customers was a nightmare. I still have bad dreams about that year and it happened in 2000.
Candles – Having boys and coaches selling candles for $ 20 a soft drink went like a lead balloon.
Car washes – While the HUGE car washes where you rent the racks of a large car wash might raise some $ 1,000 to $ 1,500, most of the time the payoff is pretty small for a day. of work.
For me, I don’t feel comfortable sending kids to sell something grandma really doesn’t need, why not just ask for donations instead? I am a big fan of affinity type programs where mom and dad are already spending money on a necessity while the organization benefits, like the Kroger program. The same goes for discount cards, they pay for themselves and include information about your program that stays directly in your supporter’s wallet.
If you have players in need and want to increase your roster, start thinking about fundraising well in advance of the season. If you are planning a trip out of town you better start planning it now, it’s pretty hard to raise $ 25,000 in a week or two or even a month or two once the season starts.