Cheerleaders do a lot of fundraising. These can be fun, but it can also be stressful to run a fundraiser—and difficult to run one that is successful. One of the best tips we’ve heard about fundraising is to keep it simple. So here are a few ideas for fundraisers that cost little to put on and are likely to be big hits with your supporters:
- Partner with local businesses. There are endless ways to do this, so be creative! A Boy Scouts group in Oregon offered supporters who donated a certain amount the chance to propel down a downtown skyscraper with help from an organization called Over the Top USA. You never know what a local business might be willing to help you with! A restaurant might want to provide your team t-shirts with their logo on the back showing them as a sponsor of your team. Businesses might want to donate items for a raffle. A local attraction might offer free tickets to people who donate a certain amount to your team.
- Recruit a local celebrity. If you’re thinking “dunk tank,” you are on the right track. Find a well-known teacher or administrator at your school, or even a popular athlete or community figure who is willing to help you fundraise. Then, figure out what you can get them to do that people will pay to make happen. Maybe your principal will wear your mascot costume to school or at a big game, or maybe you can get a teacher to shave his head or the community figure to learn a cheer with you to perform at a game. Set a dollar amount, then advertise like crazy! Make sure everyone knows that if you reach a certain amount of money, the big event will happen.
- Hold a bake sale. Bake sales don’t have a lot of upfront costs because all you have to do is set up a booth at your school or at a community event and have each team member volunteer to bring a different item. But, even though there isn't a lot of cost involved in putting this fundraiser on, it won't necessarily bring in a lot of money for your team unless you get a lot of interest. So make sure you do it in a high-traffic area at peak time and spread the word. Maybe that means you do it right after school or at a school or community event. Think about what would work best for your area. Then, make sure you spread the word! Post fliers around your school and town, make announcements on social media, and see if you can get the information in school newsletters or read in school announcements.
- Use fundraising cards. We have heard from many squads who love using scratch-off donation cards and have had a lot of success with them. Fun"d"2Raise makes cards that supporters scratch off a section of to reveal how much they will donate to your squad. The amounts range from $.75 to $3.00, which is convenient because many people will have that amount in their pocket. It might not seem like a huge amount, but each completed card brings in $250 for your team, and they only cost $5 each. You could do these on their own or use them at another fundraiser you already have planned, like a car wash or bake sale.
- Sell spirit items. Getting bulk orders of t-shirts printed with your team name and mascot at a local printing shop is pretty inexpensive. The shirts might end up costing somewhere around $5 or $10 each. If you sell them to your supporters and fans for a reasonable $20 each, your fans will be happy and you will have made a good profit on the items. If you don’t have the money to pay the upfront cost of getting the t-shirts made, take orders and collect the money beforehand. Then you will likely be able to still purchase enough to sell the shirts at games. You can expand beyond t-shirts, though! Think of any items you can make or inexpensively have made that your fans would like. One squad, for example, made commemorative pillows out of its old cheerleading uniforms.
What fundraisers have worked well for your squad?