Check our our Complete Guide To Fundraising For Cheerleading How Will Your Team Handle The Heat Of Summer Fundraising? As summer settles in, cheerleaders should be thinking about their summer fundraising efforts. Summer fundraising is an important part of a squad’s budget that helps supply the team with camp gear and uniforms, but it can be a challenge for squads since there are no school-sponsored games or events to use as a fundraising platform. Instead, cheerleaders need to evaluate their neighborhood and think of innovative ways to reach their community, and convince them to support the squad. Sometimes the old fundraising ideas, like door-to-door sales, are suitable, but sometimes a team needs to get more inventive with their fundraising. If your team is doing door-to-door sales, you need to keep in mind the pros and cons of this form of fundraising. While it is still a profitable venture for many teams, keep in mind that some people associate it with scam artists. KMOV News 4 St. Louis recently featured a news story about a door-to-door sales scam that involved a girl who claimed to be cheerleader collecting money for her team and for a local children’s hospital, and warned their community to be wary of any solicitations. There is also a question of safety for both the people answering the door and those knocking on it. Here are some tips on how to stay safe, and prove your authenticity, if you are doing door-to-door fundraising. Safety Go in groups – which should include a coach, parent or older sibling that waits close by (like in the driveway or on the sidewalk) while you go to the door. Even with a chaperone, you should stick to familiar neighborhoods where you are comfortable. Don’t carry the donations on you when you go to each door. Since someone should be chaperoning you, “deposit’ the money to him or her for safekeeping while you continue fundraising. Be respectful of other people’s property by not walking on their grass or in their flowerbeds, and watch for signs indicating that they have pets. You should not enter a yard that has, or that you think has, a dog loose in it, and you should never go into a stranger’s house. Be Authentic Make sure to check with your county to see if a permit is required for door-to-door sales. Each group doing sales would need to have a copy of that to show potential donators. The chaperone should have a copy of the school and coach’s name and contact information, and a charitable identification number if one exists. You and your teammates should be in your school uniforms during fundraising. Have your chaperone wear something with the school logo as well. Bring information or pictures that support your cause. If you are raising money for camp gear and uniforms, bring a catalog with you so you can show the exact apparel you are trying to get. If you are raising money for a competition, bring the application form and tell them the exact dates of the competition. If you decide that door-to-door fundraising is not for your team, don’t fret! Here are a few creative ideas that you can think about using as alternative options. Partner with Local Businesses Local businesses already have a lot of foot traffic coming in. See if you can partner with a grocery store or movie theater to “rent’ space to sell candy, baked goods or coupon books. Prepare a package that allows a local business to become a sponsor of your team. They will donate a pre-determined amount of money to your cause, and in return you will give them free advertising or exclusive vendor rights at games and events. Create New Treasures Talk to a local art teacher (high school, college or independent) about having their students create art using old uniforms, then hold an exhibit and sell the pieces that are created. This is a great, innovative way to celebrate school spirit while recycling, and would be great publicity for the artists. Host a community yard sale! Solicit friends, family and neighbors to donate items to your team and hold a yard sale at a local church or at the school that is open to everyone. Teach! Hold a training camp for mini-cheerleaders. Depending on how much time your team has available, this can be structured as one Saturday, offered as a week-long clinic or stretched to last the whole summer. It’s a fun way for your team to interact with the community, and can raise a lot of money for your team. Don’t underestimate the power of social media for your fundraising efforts! Be sure to tell your Facebook friends and Twitter followers that you need help, and ask them to spread the word. However you decide to fundraise this summer, good luck! Remember to have fun and be safe!