There are a number of reasons why you might need to raise funds for your sports club. Whether you need new uniforms for your teams, budget to pay your rent or funding to give your minibus a little makeover - balancing the books to ensure that your club can continue to serve the community is without a doubt one of the trickiest elements of managing a grassroots sports club.
Aside from collecting club member fees, one of the easiest way to acquire the budget you need is to host a fundraiser - but for that, you need some killer fundraising ideas that are simple to organise, attractive, fun to run and easy to execute so that you get the results you need.
Here are our best fundraising ideas for sports clubs and our top tips on how to make them great!
12 fundraising ideas for your club
1. Social media fundraising
One thing that you can do alongside your physical fundraising is to set up an online fundraising account through a page like GoFundMe, which you can share on social media, and encourage your members to share too.
Tip: We’ve got a list of crowdfunding platforms in our article on securing sports club funding.
People can be incredibly generous when it comes to fundraising, so create a compelling story explaining why you’re fundraising, where your funds will go, and how these funds will benefit the members of your club. You’ll be amazed at how many people will happily support your cause.
By using a crowdfunding platform, you can keep all of your funds in one place. Combining your members’ social media networks, it’s easy to reach a lot of people and after some initial setup, it’s a low-maintenance way of raising your funds - just share your page to ask people to donate.
Further reading: 9 useful ways to promote your club online
2. A quiz
A quick and easy fundraiser, which is a real crowd-pleaser is to host a quiz night at your club. It’s simple to do, as there are hundreds of quiz questions readily available online to inspire you, and you can charge an entry fee for each team.
Creating the quiz is a simple task, and you could have several rounds to appeal to different specialities.
Tip: Some popular quiz categories are general knowledge, sports, history, current affairs, music, tv and film - and everyone loves a good picture round!
If you’re hosting a quiz night, why not sell snacks and refreshments as an additional revenue stream? You could also include donation buckets or envelopes on the tables to encourage your attendees to reach into their pockets as they enjoy their quizzing. A quiz night is also a guaranteed way to get your members putting money behind your bar too.
The only thing you’ll need is a printer to ensure that each team has a sheet for their answers, some spare pens (it’s inevitable some people will forget), and a microphone or PA system for your quizmaster to be heard loud and clear!
A raffle is another excellent and relatively low-maintenance fundraising idea for your sports club, though it requires a bit of organisation to pull together. You'll need a good assortment of prizes available to entice people to buy raffle tickets. The more prizes you have, the more likely ticket buyers will be to part with their cash.
First things first - work out which types of raffle prizes you can provide as a sports club. Can you offer a free t-shirt, or some tickets to your next game?
Next it’s time to figure out, amongst your members and associates, who can provide a raffle prize. Your direct connections are a great place to start - and you never know which volunteer, parent, or friend of a player might have a great connection that could end up as a prize. Experiences are often popular, particularly if your club has any celebrity contacts, or a well-liked chair or president.
Tip: Contact your sponsors and local businesses and see if they’re willing to part with a raffle prize on behalf of your sports club. Restaurants, hotels, spas and leisure facilities always make for excellent gifts - but it really is the more the merrier, so (almost) every donation is welcome.
You can host a raffle evening at your clubhouse, turning it into an even larger fundraising event, or could simply run the raffle during the half time of your next home game.
Once you’ve collated your raffle prizes, you’ll be able to determine what kind of event will do justice to the prizes on offer - and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to sell raffle tickets ahead of the event too. Tickets can be sold during games, through your players, or online if you have the means to do so.
4. Sponsored challenges
Running a sponsored challenge is a relatively simple way of raising funds for your sports club. It’s one that anyone can get involved with if they want to, and it will encourage those involved to raise their own funds, further contributing to the fundraising goal of the club itself.
The premise is simple - your club undertakes a challenge, and each member will be sponsored by their friends and family to take part.
A sponsored challenge can be anything at all. You could do a sponsored:
- half marathon or 5km fun run
- rowing a specific distance
Encourage everyone who participates to raise their own funds to help the club.
With the right deal, getting sponsorship can provide a significant boost to your fundraising.
Putting a business’ logo on, for example, your sports kit or game tickets, programmes, and/or posters in your clubhouse could provide valuable advertising for local businesses.
Tip: Check out our article on attracting sponsorship for your club.
6. Open a club shop
Setting up a club shop for your home games that sells confectionery and refreshments can provide a steady, if smaller, source of revenue for your club.
You could even ask your members to bring in some home-baked goods which you can sell during half time, for people might be more likely to part with their money for home baked goods! Community clubs don't need a Food Hygiene Certificate to sell these, but the Food Standards Agency has some good advice on preparing and storing foods.
You can bulk-buy your produce online or at a cash & carry outlet to save cash, or simply take advantage of the deals at your local supermarket. You’ll need a volunteer(s) to staff the shop and take the cash.
Tip: Find a way of letting those who attend your home games know that you have a shop available, and a way to publicise that any goods sold are for a good cause - raising vital funds for your club!
Depending on your budget, you could even sell a range of merchandise featuring your club logo - hats, t-shirts etc, allowing your loyal supporters opportunities to associate with their favourite club.
7. Bag packing
This might not be the most exciting means of fundraising - particularly for members of your sports team - but it’s a classic method which is guaranteed to get results, particularly if you have young members.
Arrange with a local supermarket for your team to turn up one afternoon in their sports kit and spend the afternoon packing customers’ shopping in exchange for a donation. It’s a small sacrifice for your members, but you could end up with a decent sum of cash for a few hours’ work.
8. Sports day
A sports day is a fun and easy event that you can throw at your club which will both entertain your members and help you to raise the cash that you need.
Traditional sports day games are low budget, and easy to put on - all you need is eager participants! You could host an egg and spoon race, a three legged race, a sack race, a tug of war - or even a parents vs children football game.
You’ll need music, refreshments available to buy, tickets for sale to attend the event and plenty of things to keep people occupied.
Tip: Why not get in touch with local businesses and see if they’d like to run a stall or stand at your event? You can also use the event to try and attract new members.
9. Match day car wash
Get non-playing members or volunteers from your sports club to wash cars in your club car park during a match day.
It’s a bit of fun, those who attend the game will drive home in a clean car, knowing they’ve supported a good cause.
If you’re charging, say, £5 per car wash - you need a quick once over with a sponge and some soapy water and you could turn over a tidy profit in the space of a few hours.
Everyone loves a good old-fashioned disco - especially if you’ve got younger sports teams at your club.
For an entry fee, you could invite members of your club to join you for an evening disco, where they’ll enjoy the opportunity to dance, socialise and have fun.
If you have a PA system or some decent speakers, you should be able to play some good music for your attendees relatively easily. Source some disco lights - either online, or from any club members who happen to have some at home - and you can turn the lights off, create some atmosphere and enjoy a great event.
Tip: Adding a little tuck shop will be an extra way to generate revenue, while keeping little feet fuelled for an evening of dancing!
11. Movie night
To host a movie night, all you need is a good space - which is your pitch/clubhouse - a projector (which you could either purchase online or hopefully crowdsource from your members/their parents), and a good, family-friendly movie that everyone will love.
Note: you'll need to licence both the movie and your premises, because you're looking to make a profit (which includes fundraising), but the Independent Cinema Office can help advise you on how to do this.
If the film you're screening is over 50 years old, copyright may not apply and you may not need to get film copyright licensing. The ICO can help you determine this.
If you use a venue such as a theatre or community hall, they may already have a premises screening licence, meaning you don't have to pay for one - but do check.
With the admin sorted, you can then charge for tickets, encourage people to bring their own seats or blankets, and enjoy screening a classic family movie for a fun-filled evening. You could even create your own popcorn station and sell some refreshments to raise some extra funds too.
12. Bingo night
Another classic, effective sports club fundraising idea is hosting a bingo night.
You can purchase a bingo machine and some booklets and dobbers for as little as £50, and charge people both for entry and per game that they play.
For the evening itself, you want your most charismatic club member to host the event on a PA system, so that they’re heard loudly and clearly, some background music, and some refreshments available to purchase too.
It’s low maintenance and can be as professional or as amateur as your budget allows - but you’re guaranteed to enjoy a few laughs and get some funds rolling in.
Tip: Find more ways to get funding, grants or sponsorship for your club here.
How to start fundraising
The more people that you have on board who are committed to helping your sports club raise funds, the more funds that you’re going to raise. However, it makes sense to have one person in charge of the fundraising ideas, organising your sports teams, keeping track of donations and managing the events.
As this involves money, it would make sense for the club treasurer to take the lead. However, as long as someone senior within the club is ready to roll their sleeves up and keep track of your fundraising, you’re sure to have a successful event.
Tip: Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a club treasurer here.
First things first - you’re going to need internal buy-in to ensure that your staff, players and team members are committed to helping out with your fundraising ideas. It also helps if the parents of any young players are engaged too - so start by letting everyone know why you need to raise the funds and why it will benefit them to get on board.
A great way to do this is with a club meeting, but you could also send a letter to all parents detailing why you’re fundraising, how you plan to do it, and how they can help (e.g, volunteering to help at your events). This letter may even start the ball rolling with some donations before you actually start your fundraising efforts!
Set a target before you start, so you know exactly how much money you need to raise. Create a fundraising tracker in your clubhouse or communal space to show the progress towards your goal, so that everyone who visits the club is informed and motivated.
Tip: If you need to sell tickets as part of your fundraiser, you could consider a free online ticketing platform like TicketSource. Using an online ticketing platform will allow you to seamlessly create, promote and sell your tickets through social media platforms. It takes the hassle out of selling tickets, letting you focus on bringing your fundraising event to life.
Whilst it takes effort to successfully raise funds for a sports club, there’s a lot of fun to be had too. With patience, hard work and by utilising some of the great fundraising ideas above, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your target.