Fundraising: An Important Step in Your Overseas Journey

At Sports Journeys International we understand the importance of fundraising to college teams and especially to teams wishing to take an overseas international tour. At times it can seem daunting to have to raise thousands of dollars in one to three years. For that reason, we have added this page to help teams interested in taking a tour with us. Our President, Jim Walker, has been involved in fundraising for over 35 years and has many ideas that you may find helpful for your efforts. We have included below a fundraising guide with numerous ideas for you to use. Also included with some of our ideas are links to some fundraising campaigns that we have used to raise the funds needed for our tours. You are welcome to borrow them and revise them for your needs. We are always available to help you by answering your questions, giving you advice, or even customizing the documents for you with your information.

Sports Journeys International Fundraising Guide

Coaches Clinic: Our coaches’ clinic, which we ran for over 35 years, was our largest fundraiser and we ran it every year. It required a lot of work from our coaching staff but it was worth it. We gained both financially and professionally from the clinic. Speakers are available at all levels of coaching and do not necessarily cost a lot. We have even seen some coaches run clinics either by their own staff or with friends and local coaches with minimal speaker’s fees. For one of our more successful clinics recently we lowered the fee we charged, did all the speaking ourselves, and besides lunch had almost no costs. Our profit was around $2,000. Another good idea is to do a clinic for local youth coaches using your own players during the season. This way you would have low costs and good profit.

Coaches Clinic Sample

Adopt A Mascot: All teams should make this one of their fundraisers. There is little or no cost, donors can choose the amount they want to give, the donation is attached to a specific need or use, and it can be used to request donations from a variety of sources (alumni, family, friends, boosters, faculty, etc.). The coach can mail/email to mailing lists of donors and players can individually address envelopes to prospective donors that they know. We conducted this fundraiser only in the year proceeding the tour.

Adopt A Mascot Sample

Host A Tournament: Before setting up this fundraiser you should check on the NCAA rules. It is ok to host a tournament but there are some restrictions and they are frequently changing. Having an email list of AAU and youth coaches will help with advertising this. Planning early for this event is important since there is a lot of competition with other tournaments and facility availability at your school may be limited.

Host A Tournament Sample

Prospect Day: It seems as if everyone is running a prospect day as a clinic and a team fundraiser these days. How much you charge and what your costs are (meal and shirt) determine the amount you would make on this. I have seen that some teams charge as much as $100 for a full day. We charged $25 but we did not give away a shirt and were not interested in using this as a fundraiser. $50 seems more like a reasonable charge. If your costs are $15 then the profit would be $35 (X 20=$700). If parents are a part of this, you could charge them $25 for the tour and meal. This is pretty good for something that will benefit recruiting and involves your players.

Prospect Day Sample

Raffle: This is a very popular fundraiser and has been successful for many teams. We have done at least one of these for every one of our trips. A few examples are cash amounts, 50-50, plane trips, 1 free tour with team, tickets to events, team gear, dinners at local restaurants, trips to NYC, Las Vegas, or resorts. Use your imagination and you will come up with even better ideas. You should check on state and college rules and regulations regarding this before going forward.

Raffle Sample

Game Program Advertising: This fundraiser works best with teams that use a professional printed program but is often used on a smaller scale with in-house 2+ page printed hand out programs. In a professionally printed program the number of pages is unlimited. Ads can be solicited by mail, email, or in person. Having some players and coaches going door to door with local businesses has proven successful. The funds raised from this can range from small to large depending on the number of ads and pages.

Game Program Advertising Sample

Game Program Boosters: This fundraiser is conducted in conjunction with the program advertising. This as very successful and it raised over $2,000 every year. Participation in this can be tied to membership in the booster club if so desired. This requires a mail list and some time for mailing every year. Parents also enjoy participating in donating to this and seeing their names in the program. Booster pages can easily be included on the smaller 2+ page programs.

Game Program Boosters Sample

Youth Clinics: Youth clinics are a great way to fundraise. Your costs are low or nonexistent, they involve your players which helps with team building, they help the local youth players, parents love them, they attract fans to your games, and everybody feels good about them. You will need to research the local youth basketball programs and their contact information to create contact lists if you do not already know them. The off season or vacation periods are the best times for them. We had great success with Black Friday Clinics so parents could shop. You will need to check current NCAA rules regarding clinics and when they are permissible. We believe that if you scheduled these regularly over a 3-year period you could raise most of the monies needed for your trip.

Youth Clinic Sample

Car Wash & Detail: We like this idea since it involves some sweat equity and can help in team building. This worked really well when we advertised in advance for the detailing which took more time than the washing. While they were both conducted at the same time we took appointments for the detailing and allowed for drop ins for the washing. Basic car detailing service should include a wash, wax, interior vacuuming, interior polish, window wash, mirror and trim cleaning and tire cleaning. You can charge $50 to $75 for an average sized vehicle and $75 to $100 for an SUV or van. Prepare a flyer with all the information about a month in advance and mail or circulate it both on and off campus. We suggest doing one in the fall before practice starts and if successful and you like it, do it again in the spring. Lots of planning (place, hoses, water, towels, washers & dryers, cleaning materials and equipment, etc.) needs to go into this and it is best to involve the players in the planning.

Parent’s Night Out: Some teams make this a great fundraiser by repeating it regularly and then parents get to know when they are being held and plan their nights out. The student athletes, supervised by one or more of the coaching staff become “babysitters” for an evening. Activities for youngsters need to be planned. A field house is a good place for this and it usually is not used at night on the weekends. This should be advertised through circulars in the obvious places including campus for the faculty. Once a month or several times a year works pretty well.

Golf Outing: Many teams use this fundraiser especially if the coach enjoys golf. Many local golf courses offer excellent special rates for group outings. This is also a good way to involve your alumni, faculty and administration in your program. A lot of good memories develop from these events, especially if the weather holds up. August is a good time for this because usually there is not much happening in the area of coaching responsibilities.

Dine and Donate School Programs: These events are very popular around the country as restaurants everywhere are promoting them. The restaurant will give the teams back a % (usually 15%) of what is spent by attendees that show up to eat and drink. Anyone can come to eat at any time during the day. They just need to say that they are from the school and team and the server will take care of the rest. Teams and restaurants often print flyers to hand out or send emails regarding the program. Most reports say that the amount for monies raised are not great but there is no cost and almost no work involved. This can be done anytime of the year and as often as needed.

Alumni, Family and Friends Dinner and/or Reception: There are some teams that use post game or post event receptions as fundraisers. Local restaurants, pubs, etc. offer special programs for teams wanting to do this. Food, drinks, snacks, and desserts are included in these events at one price. They usually work best after day games on weekends. There needs to be much thought and planning in to how to handle underage participants, if alcohol is to be served, but many teams do a good job of monitoring this and of course the restaurants, parents and coaches are involved in making sure. These can be very successful financially and while we have not used this fundraiser, those that have say that everyone has a great time and they continue to run them annually. A preseason meet & greet dinner is also a great idea. A Saturday night after the first 2/3 weeks of practice is a good time for this and should include coaches, players, parents, friends and alumni. A large turnout can make this a successful fundraiser.

Basket Bingo: Basket parties are very popular in this country and a variation of this is a proven way to raise money for teams. Basket companies like Longaberger have websites outlining how to conduct this. This may not be a common form of fundraising but those that use it tell us that it is very successful and that everyone has a great time. We have noticed that basket booths at farmers markets regularly sell out their baskets.

Basket Bingo Sample

Booster Club Memberships: Some teams have had success with forming a team booster club and charging a small fee for membership. For the membership you can offer a regular newsletter, post-game receptions, club gear or items, etc. If a team is already doing some of this for free it may be difficult to charge for it. However, a $25 booster club membership seems fair for receiving weekly newsletters and some other promotional items.

Team Gear Shop: Most teams and schools offer team gear for sale online, at games, or both. This is a good way to raise monies and promote the program. We would also recommend making these items available both at games and online and then conducting a sale during the holidays. Team gear is always a favorite gift at the holidays. Many teams report that this is an excellent fundraiser.

Please click here to find a printable version of SJI’s Fundraising Guide