For some coaches, Fundraising is a nasty word. A necessary evil. Cheerleaders require quite a bit of stuff. If you look back on my Budget post, you can see the list is long and distinguished.
My cheerleaders pay up to $350 for their spirit pack and camp, which adds up to $10,500.00 per season. That seems daunting, but with some organization, attitude and excitement it can become possible.
Start with being realistic. There are a million fundraising companies out there that will let you sell their stuff for a small part of the profits. Usually 40%. Realistically this is not a great deal. In my program if I wanted to do a profit fundraiser that would pay for our program we would have to sell $26,250. That’s $875 in product, per seller. Your kids have to do all the work selling and delivering and you have to receive the order, put it together by seller and make sure that it is all correct. It can be VERY time consuming. You also have to remember that if you do a fundraiser that requires the kids to sell, less than 50% will participate fully. It becomes an awful lot of work for so few kids.
The better way to make money fast is to host Raffles with donated items, Bake Sales, Car Washes, Dinner and a Show, etc. These things take some effort on the coach’s part, but can be 100% profit if you can get most of the items donated.
Last year my cheerleaders did one fundraiser for the fall season. We raffled off a cruise and gift cards. First place was a 3-day cruise, second was $250 gift card and third was $100 gift card. The tickets cost $10 each. I had 30 Cheerleaders and their spirit pack costs were $250 each ($7500). I asked them to each sell 20 to 40 raffle tickets. I told them that if everyone sold all 40 tickets we would get brand new uniforms for both the JV and the Varsity. 20 raffle tickets each made the program $6,000 and 40 made $12,000. I worked with a local travel agent to get a deal on the cruise including airfare. Total investment including Cruise, Gift Cards, and Tickets was $1800. I had about 75% sell 20 and about 40% sell 40 tickets. There were some kids that sold one to two tickets and a few that didn’t sell any. We ended up making about $9300. Enough to pay for the cruise and the spirit packs, but nothing extra.
My suggestion would be to break it up a little more. Have a car wash right after tryouts and pre-sell tickets. Have each kid sell 10 tickets at $5 each. For a team of 30, this brings in $1500 just in pre-sell. The day of you can make 200-500 more just off drive-bys.
Another good fundraiser is Junior Camps. You can host a 2-3 day camp for youth and charge them a small fee. The cheerleaders can teach them some of their material. A few chants, cheer and a dance. We have a deal with the local Youth Cheer group that we host a 3-day camp and charge $15 per camper. There are usually 75-100 kids that attend, so we make 1,000-1,500.00 with very little expenses.
Look into hosting a Dinner and show. You could get the food and drinks donated and use the Home Ec/Foods room to cook. Get the Jazz bands and Choir in to sing and play. You would have to share the profits, but with 3 groups bringing in funds you get triple the attendance. If you got the food donated and used the school you could sell dinner tickets for $15 and bring in close to $5000.
If you held three car washes over the summer, a junior cheer camp, and a raffle, you could potentially make over $10,000 for a large team. If you hosted the dinner and show mid-season, you could use those funds to pay for competition or travel expenses.
To sum up, don’t be afraid of fundraisers.
- Stay organized, keep good records and make sure that the profit is in your favor.
- If you’re going to do a lot of work, you should be getting a lot of money.
- Try to get as much donated as you can.
- Make them fun.
- Bribe your kids into selling. The person that sells the most raffle tickets gets a gift card for example.
- Don’t be afraid to work with other groups. More people means more money.