One of the most frustrating things for Head Coaches across the land is fundraising. It is usually the last thing they want to do. What comes to your mind when you think of the word fundraising? Is it the 5 containers of frozen cookie dough in your freezer that you still haven’t sold? Or is it the 30 discount cards in your drawer that you were stuck with from 3 years ago?
One of the reasons that many coaches are frustrated with fundraising is that they do not have a plan! They have a plan for their offseason strength and conditioning programs. They have a plan for their offense and they know exactly what their philosophy is there, but they do not have a plan for fundraising.
At the core of your fundraising philosophy has got to be your budget. Nobody wants to raise funds all year long. Figure out how much you need to raise, and then set your plan from there. Many groups fall into the trap of just running out the same fundraising calendar year after year, yet never seeing the real fruit of their labor. A budget helps everyone involved in the fundraising leadership to have a target. The budget should be the vision for your program.
Along with how MUCH you need to run for your program, you must also determine WHEN you need it. Again, the biggest mistake coaches make is not having a roadmap. Lay out a 12 month calendar for when you need the money. Then go and refer to those points when planning out your fundraisers. One reason coaches run out of money is that they fail to plan this way. Sometimes they get big chunks of money from a fundraiser, and burn through it too quickly without forethought to the future.
Nothing turns a community off towards the fundraising needs of a sports team more than being nickeled and dimed all year round. Your philosophy needs to take the makeup of your community into account. Cookie sales in January, Community Cards in February, St. Patricks concert tickets in March, Easter Eggs in April, etc. etc. etc. This wears out your base of financial supporters. Many folks would rather just write just one check, and be done with it. Are you going to have 12 little fundraisers during the year, or focus on three larger ones?
One of the keys to raising funds that many coaches miss the mark on is demonstrating need. Fair Share evidence is when you divide the total budget that you need to fundraise by the number of participants. This will usually open up the eyes of the parents in your program. For instance, if your budget goal is $50,000, and you have 60 kids in your program, then the “Fair Share” is $833 per participant. Making this known to your community should help sponsors step up to support your fundraising efforts, and it should also help motivate your players and their families in different ways. If the community knows that their funds are being spent on a reliable sideline replay system like GameStrat, they would be more likely to support the cause. Some of them will take real ownership for their Fair Share and appreciate that they know where the money is going. If there’s no transparency about where the money is going, it will seem like the funds are going into a big black hole, and nobody likes to waste their money.
For any high school football team that signs up before July 1st 2019, GameStrat will price match Hudl Sideline's packages as listed on their website to offer coaches a MUCH better sideline replay system for the same price.