Anyone who has played team sports like baseball or soccer or had a child play knows just how expensive it can get, from travel fees for away games to uniforms and equipment that need to be replaced. While your coach is hard at work helping your school’s budding star athletes hit home runs, your PTA and team parents should be hitting it out of the park with fundraising to help the team succeed.
Luckily, many parents and community members love seeing their local sports teams thrive, especially if they themselves are alumni of your school. To help you connect with these community members and get your fundraising totals up, this guide will cover some of the basics of baseball fundraising and the seven best ideas:
- 1. How Do Baseball Teams Raise Money?
- 2. Baseball Fundraising Best Practices
- 3. 7 Best Baseball Fundraising Ideas
While deciding on fundraising campaigns for your team, keep in mind that while this serves a greater purpose, it should also be fun for your team. Fundraising together can be a great way to teach kids about the importance of doing good in the community and how they can work together to reach their goals. Ready to start raising money? Let’s get started.
How Do Baseball Teams Raise Money?
There are a lot of different ways that baseball teams can raise money. From a standard crowdfunding campaign to raise money for something like a new locker room to more complex fundraisers that take planning and coordination.
The primary funders for baseball teams are often parents or other family members of team players. However, there are sometimes other community members or businesses that choose to support local teams because of an alumni connection or simply to show goodwill in the community.
Baseball Fundraising Best Practices
Because there are so many options for baseball fundraising, and many types of fundraisers can be adapted to a baseball team, you can get flexible with your actual baseball fundraising idea. But no matter what idea you choose, you should follow the same best practices to make sure it’s a success:
- Consider using a fundraising platform. A fundraising platform can help you more easily sign up participants and collect donations to keep your fundraiser organized and efficient.
- Explore matching gifts. More than likely, many of the parents donating to your fundraiser work at companies that have matching gift programs. These programs allow you to instantly double your donations with their donations!
- Select fundraisers your players will enjoy. While raising money is the goal, fundraising as a team can be a great opportunity to bring your team closer together and help them work together effectively. An idea they’re excited about is going to make this much easier!
7 Best Baseball Fundraising Ideas
A-thon fundraisers are excellent fundraisers that can get your entire team involved, as well as their family and friends. These work just like other pledge fundraisers, but are much more fun. Essentially, your players will be your participants and they will get their family and friends to pledge a certain dollar amount for every ball they hit, or every foot of distance that their balls travel, during their games.
For example, Bobby might sign up to participate in your hit-a-thon. He would then go ask family and friends for their support. Perhaps his Aunt Caroline decides to donate and says she’ll pledge $5 for every ball that Bobby successfully hits during your event.
If you choose to use distance as your metric instead, Bobby’s Aunt Caroline might pledge $5 for every 10 feet that the ball travels. Now, not only does he have to hit the balls, but Bobby also has to try to hit them out of the park!
Other variations of this type of fundraiser include a walk-a-thon or a fun run, which can help you involve more younger community members, like the younger siblings of your team players. These are typically less focused on skills like being able to hit a baseball, making them more inclusive. You can still collect pledges for minutes or yards walked, or you can just collect donations as an entrance fee.
2. Sponsor a player
This type of fundraiser relies on the generosity of community members who want to donate to help players afford necessities like new cleats, a uniform, or travel fees for games. Family members, business owners, or other community members can choose to donate to help out.
To pull off this kind of fundraiser, you’ll want to do a little photoshoot with your team members. Then, post their photos on your website and on social media with a short caption that includes some personal details about the player (their position, favorite hobby, etc.) and what a sponsorship would help provide, such as a new uniform.
3. Sell team merchandise
Family members love repping their kids’ or grandkids’ schools and teams. Custom merch is a great way to capitalize on this while fundraising for your baseball team! By creating customized merchandise, you’re also giving team members a way to remember their time on the team for years to come.
This type of fundraiser is also great because of how flexible it is. When designing your merchandise, you can go simple with just your school mascot or logo and your players’ names on the back, or you could make it more fun by hosting a design competition! Opening up the design process to your team or even other students can help you create unique merchandise each year that is even more coveted.
Additionally, you can sell merchandise year-round online while also selling it in person at games, events, and during other fundraisers. This really maximizes the fundraising potential and means you can raise money with a merchandise fundraiser while running other fundraisers.
4. Host a baseball camp
A Baseball Bootcamp is an excellent way to connect with younger community members by having your team players teach them essential baseball skills.
Your players can gain valuable volunteer experience while helping younger kids develop their skills so that they can possibly join your baseball team one day! Parents will also love this idea because they’ll have a safe place for their kids to go while they’re at work.
5. Cookout fundraiser
If you decide to fundraise with a cookout, you’ll have the opportunity to not only raise funds by charging an entrance fee, but you’ll also get to bring your whole community together. This can be a great event to do on the same day as a game or completely separately.
To really make it fun and convenient for parents to bring the whole family, consider setting up some activities for younger kids, putting on some music, and providing ample space to sit down and eat.
Also, consider setting up a booth to sell merchandise during your cookout to make even more of an impact with your fundraising!
6. Team breakfast fundraiser
This concept is very similar to a cookout. However, while a cookout can be done with portable grills, a breakfast may require you to request permission to use the school cafeteria on a weekend morning. Your booster club, PTA, or team managers can be an excellent resource for handling these permissions and can act as a liaison between the team and your school administrators.
If you have the venue to pull off this type of fundraiser, this can be a more unique way to bring your team and supporters together for a meal they don’t normally spend together! Just like with a cookout fundraiser, you’ll want to charge for tickets to attend the breakfast and set up a merchandise table as well.
7. Pitching contest
If you want to get your supporters fired up with a little friendly competition while fundraising, a pitching contest is the perfect baseball fundraising idea for you. To make this fundraiser work, you can charge a fee to enter the contest. You can also offer the opportunity to buy more tries for competitors who didn’t have their best showing during their first attempt.
This kind of fundraiser is typically easiest to do with older kids or parents who have had pitching practice. However, you can also create different “leagues” to make it a fair competition and to give everyone a chance to participate.
At the end of your event, hold an awards ceremony where you give the winner of each league their prize. These prizes can be small things like a free ticket to the next game, some of your team merchandise, a free snack ticket for the concession stand, or a small ribbon or trophy.
If you’re ready to start planning and executing your next baseball fundraiser, these additional resources from 99Pledges may be able to help:
- 35+ Best School Fundraising Ideas to Raise More in 2022: Explore more ideas that can help you get the student body involved in your fundraising.
- Planning a Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser: Your Questions Answered: Need help with a walk-a-thon fundraiser? This guide will help.
- 22 Successful Basketball Fundraising Ideas for Your Team. Are you also looking to fundraise for your youth basketball team? This guide has plenty of ideas to help you get started.