Put the FUN in Fundraising
Tryouts are over, uniforms are being fitted, practices have begun and now the expenses are rolling in! This is the time of the year when you are racking your brain to come up with ways to save money or fundraisers to help offset costs.
I have listed several of our fundraisers that we have had success with in the past, and I hope it gives you some new ideas to help out your cheerleader and his/her squad.
It’s no secret that the cost of groceries is on the rise, so a raffle for food seemed to be ideal for our area. We enlisted the help of a local butcher who discounted a hog for us and threw in free processing. He also donated a 50 lb meat pack for a 2nd place winner. We had tickets made at the local printer’s, who also discounted the price. We sold tickets for $5 each. Every child who sold 20 tickets profited $80 (the other $20 went towards the payment for the hog and tickets). Every ticket they sold after #20 was straight profit. Almost every cheerleader paid for their uniforms that season from this fundraiser alone. Another idea for a raffle is to have each team member find an area business to donate a prize or gift certificate. Pool the prizes together and make gift baskets and then raffle off the gift baskets. Make it fun and give them themes such as a Movie Night basket (big screen tv, video store gift card, etc.), or 12 days of Christmas (with 12 items), or a Spa Basket; the possibilities are endless! Last, a cash raffle such as a 50/50 is always a great money maker.
Daddy Daughter Dance
What little girl doesn’t want to get dressed up and dance with Daddy? This is a great fundraiser. Sell tickets in advance for the dance (suggested price $20 total). Get area businesses to donate door prizes that can be raffled off during the dance. Provide refreshments (punch and cookies), buy inexpensive table runners, play games, and have a photo area. Have a parent with a nice camera take photos of Daddy and daughter at a designated spot and set up a pick up date at the gym or mail photos (must get addresses) with a little Thank You note for their support.
Concert Clean up
Here in Ohio we have Country Concert, which is huge and draws people from all over. At the completion of the weekend, they pay groups to come in and clean up as a fundraiser for their organization. This is a VERY dirty job, not recommended for the little ones, but it pays VERY well. They also pay adults from various organizations to run the admission booth on opening day. This fundraiser is recommended for adults only due to the graphic nature of some of the guests *yikes*.
Our local recycling center pays groups a percentage to come in and work on Saturday mornings. The group will enlist the required amount of parents/children to sort the recycled items as they come in on the truck and they receive a percentage of sales for the day. This is also a very dirty job. You will need gloves, old clothes, and children must be over age 10.
We hold a quarter auction every year the month prior to our biggest competition. This fundraiser involves a lot of pre-planning, but the work is worth it in the long run. For details on how to set-up a quarter auction at your gym, visit this link below;
A local festival is a great place to set up a booth to earn money and recruit potential team members. Our favorite booth to do is face painting. There are some great kits out there that you can purchase to make face painting a snap, and a fun money maker for your child’s team. You can order the stamps and then fill in with the paint. No artistic skills required, and it’s easy enough that the older cheerleaders can help run the booth as well.
Candy Bars can be a quick individual money maker for your cheerleader. I suggest going to a bulk store, such as Gordan Food Service, and purchasing the fundraising packs on your own. This way you can pick up additional cases as needed, instead of having to make a commitment up front to sell a set number of cases.
Have the team secretary develop a sponsorship letter to present to area businesses. In exchange for sponsorship, they can receive free advertising on a team banner, t-shirt, or website, depending on how you set up your fundraiser. Keep a master list so that businesses are not receiving duplicate letters or assign each cheerleader a list of businesses to approach.
This is different than the typical car wash because you get sponsors prior to the wash and then advertise a FREE Car Wash, Donations accepted. Cheerleaders will gather monetary donations from sponsors prior to the car wash such as $1 per car, or a flat donation. Keep tally marks of how many vehicles are washed. In addition, have a donation bucket handy and accept donations from patrons who participate in the Free Car Wash. The Free aspect will draw more cars in, therefore increasing the amount of cars you wash to max out your sponsor donation, AND people who are getting their car washed will most likely drop a donation in the bucket. It’s a win-win! Location Tip: Car dealerships/lots and automotive part stores (we have Advance, Auto Zone, and O-Reilly’s in this area) will often let you use their parking lot, water, and provide all supplies you need for FREE.
Super Bowl Sub Sale
Create order forms and sell subs available for pick on Super Bowl Sunday. Check with grocery stores for possible donations of the food needed to fill the orders or a discount on bulk meat/buns/condiments. Check with area businesses that may be open that day and see if they would like to place a lunch order for their employees and offer free delivery with a set amount of orders.
Cheer-a-thon or Tumble-a-thon
Cheerleaders will need to obtain sponsors prior to the event at a flat donation or per cheer/tumble. This is a great event to do for National Gymnastics Day in August and partner up with a Good Cause (such as Children’s Miracle Network) and donate a portion of the proceeds to the chosen charity.
Specialty Sales/Brochure Sales
Depending on the specialty sales available in your area, you may be able to book a special fundraiser sale for your cheerleader or the team as a whole. Some ideas include; Avon, Scentsy, 31, Pink Zebra, Jamberry Nails, and others.
Parent’s Night Out
High School cheerleaders make great babysitters! Host a parent’s night out at the gym and for a set fee include: babysitting for a set time frame, pizza and pop, a movie, games, and open play time.
Mini Cheer Camp
This is a really fun money maker for school cheer, but can be modified to all star cheer as well. Hold a cheer clinic for the little ones (ages 4-9 ?) for a few hours each day, during the week of a Home Game. Teach the basics of cheer plus a half time routine. At the end of the week, have your little cheerleaders perform at the half time game with the ‘big girls’. This can also work for all star, but have a performance for the parents at the gym at the close of the final cheer clinic. Tip: Include a free t-shirt in the cost of the clinic so that all of the children match at their performance.
Have a restaurant donate a percentage of what it earned during an evening to your group for the night. All you have to do is sign up with the restaurant for a specific date, and then tell all your friends and family to eat there on that specific night. While they are there, they need to state that they are eating there for your cheerleading group. We have 3 restaurants in our area that do this regularly; Applebees, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Bob Evans.
Set up a booth at your local mall during December and gift wrap for donation. Ask local stores to donate gift wrapping supplies to keep costs down. Tip: Christmas Eve is the best day/night to have your booth. Men love waiting until the last minute to get gifts and many appreciate being able to get them wrapped in the same shopping trip (and they usually tip very well). We typically made around $2,000 in donations in a four hour shift on Christmas Eve.
Organize a Princess Party at your gym. Have your princesses dress up in their favorite party dress. Set up stations around the gym such as : hair styling, nail salon, crafts (princess picture frame), games (pin the crown on the princess), etc. Once your little princesses have been pampered and are all dolled up, set up an area to take their pictures. After the pictures have been taken, have snack time and princess story time. Finish your perfect princess party with dancing at the royal ball. Another similar party that goes over very well is an American Girl Tea party, same idea but each child brings their American Girl doll.
Some general fundraising tips to keep in mind……..
Never fundraise alone! Always have a cheer buddy with you, preferably a group, and for the younger cheerleaders an adult should always be present and actively involved.
Elect a fundraising committee or a non-profit parent fundraising board.
Always use duel control with the money/cash register. Two responsible adults should be in charge of, and accountable for, the money at all times at an event. All monies should be counted and documented at the end of every fundraiser and signed off by witnesses. Witnesses should be an elected committee or board member.
Lay out clear plans for each fundraiser ahead of time and delegate parents for tasks to make the fundraiser run smoothly.
Have a sign up sheet for each fundraiser. For fundraisers that may take all day, try breaking it up into 2-3 hour shifts.
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