20+ Football Fundraising Ideas to Score More Support

Discover how to raise money for your team with these top football fundraising ideas.

With travel and equipment costs popping up before, during, and after the football season, most football teams need to fundraise to cover their expenses. Fortunately, football teams can take advantage of unique sports fundraising ideas year-round, not just during the season.

If you’re looking for new ways to raise funds while boosting team spirit and community support, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll cover:

These fundraisers not only help you give your players the resources and training they need to play their best, but they also make fundraising exciting for players and supporters alike. Ready for kickoff? Let’s get started with our top recommendation: pledge fundraising.

See why schools everywhere turn to 99Pledges for stress-free football fundraising. Click to launch a free pledge fundraiser!

Top Football Fundraising Ideas

Explore our comprehensive list of the best football fundraising ideas for teams of any size, age group, and experience level.

1. Pledge fundraising

One of the most effective ways to raise money as a sports team is by launching a pledge fundraiser. Here’s how the process works:

The five steps of a pledge fundraiser, one of the best football fundraising ideas

  1. Your football team uses a pledge fundraising platform (like 99Pledges!) to create an online campaign page.
  2. You invite participants and donors to create and share individual campaign pages with friends and family.
  3. Your participants collect pledges using their personal donation pages before participating in the fundraiser.
  4. Your team tracks everyone’s progress to see how much money supporters have pledged so far.
  5. You host a pledge-based fundraising event and collect the proceeds!

Pledges can be based on anything measurable, such as the number of laps participants complete in a race or how long they can engage in a certain activity. This football fundraising idea holds unlimited possibilities—just choose something fun to ask participants to do, and collect donations based on their progress!

2. eCards

An example eCard you could offer donors as part of an eCard football fundraiser

Digital greeting cards, or eCards, are a fun football fundraising idea that helps you raise money, promote your team, and spread joy in the process. Just use an eCard creation tool to design digital cards that include photos of your football team or messages for different occasions like birthdays and holidays. Then, offer eCards for sale to donors!

Your football team’s donors can “purchase” an eCard for a small donation of $5 to $10, then choose the design and who they want to send it to. They can even add personalized messages that the recipient will get directly to their email inbox.

eCard fundraisers work especially well during football season and the holidays since your supporters will want to send festive greeting cards and messages to friends. For instance, you could run a Christmas fundraiser and offer several fun eCard designs that celebrate the holiday season and a successful football season for your team.

3. Matching gift drive

If you haven’t checked out matching gift programs yet, they present a major fundraising opportunity. Many businesses include matching gifts as part of their corporate social responsibility programs. When one of their employees donates to an eligible school or nonprofit, the business will give a matching donation to the organization.

With auto-submission tools, the process is even easier. When eligible donors give to your team or school online, all they’ll have to do is enter their employer name and corporate email address, and your tool will submit their request automatically!

An explanation of the matching gift auto-submission process to help you find success with this football fundraising idea

To run a matching gifts drive, encourage supporters to determine whether their employers offer matching gift programs. Highlight these programs on your online donation form, social media, and emails. Or, send personalized follow-up reminder emails after donors give.

4. Paid Google Ads campaign

Google Ads can help you get the word out about your football team and your other fundraisers by putting your website at the top of Google search results for relevant search terms. This means that you’ll get to access brand-new audiences of potential donors who already have an interest in supporting teams like yours.

Plus, if your football team is run as part of a nonprofit organization, you may be eligible for the Google Ad Grant. This grant provides nonprofits with $10,000 of free monthly ad credits that they can spend on relevant keywords, making Google ADs much more accessible and cost-effective for nonprofits. If you apply for the grant, just be sure to follow all of the requirements to maintain eligibility and keep getting monthly ad credits.

To see what this football fundraising idea might look like in practice, take a look at this example ad that asks for donations to a sports nonprofit:

An example Google ad, showing how you might use ads to promote your football fundraisers

5. Walk-a-thon

Walk-a-thons are easy to organize and work well as pledge-based football fundraisers. Before the walk-a-thon, participants gather pledges to donate a certain amount of money per unit of distance the participant walks. Participants accrue pledges, walk during the event, then earn donations for your football team.

Encourage team members to bring their friends and family so they can join or spectate the walk. This will help you make your walk-a-thon an opportunity for community connection and relationship building in addition to fundraising.

Since walk-a-thons rely on pledges from supporters to raise revenue, having a solid network in place is ideal. With a fundraising platform like 99Pledges, it’s easy for participants to share their donation page online, reaching beyond the network of people they interact with daily. For example, if one of your players has an aunt who lives in Arizona, she’s far more likely to donate online than mail in a check.

Like this football fundraising idea but need some help? Click to fundraise for free with 99Pledges!

6. Exclusive seats

A very simple way to fundraise for your football team is to sell exclusive or VIP seats at the top of the season. These seats should be the most valuable spots like the end zone or 50-yard line in your stadium and make the buyer feel special.

To get started with this football fundraising idea, choose the section of seating with the best view. You might need to go on a field trip to your team’s stadium and move around a few times before you find the perfect location. Then, reserve those seats and consider including cushions to make the experience more valuable.

7. Themed contest

Contests are an easy, fun, and customizable way to fundraise. All you have to do is choose a theme your team is interested in and invite participants to compete. To earn donations, charge an entry fee for competitors or require a donation from each spectator who votes.

For instance, you could host a:

  • Costume contest
  • Talent show
  • Contest for the best photo from a game
  • Football trivia contest

To boost participation, give out prizes for first, second, and third place. Including gift cards, free tickets, or season passes incentivizes supporters to enter and try their hardest to win. You could even turn the contest into a virtual or hybrid event to allow more people to enter and vote!

8. Coupon books

Coupon books almost sell themselves, especially if the money from sales goes to a good cause. The books are usually filled with coupons for local restaurants and businesses. When you ask local businesses to partner with you for this project, mention the potential increase in foot traffic and the promotional nature of coupon books.

Not only does this football fundraiser benefit your team by raising the funds you need for a successful season, but it also creates valuable partnership opportunities with local businesses. One day, those partnerships could become sponsorships that help you host fun events, revamp your locker room, or get the funds you need to travel to an exclusive training camp.

9. Fun run

Fun runs or 5Ks are another easy, pledge-based way to raise money. Active events like these pair especially well with football programs because they encourage participants to get outdoors and exercise. Your team can also customize the “fun” element of the run to be whatever you like, whether it’s bubbles, colored powder, or baked goods.

Using a fundraising platform like 99Pledges makes it even simpler to get donations for your fun run online. To launch your fun run with us, follow these simple steps:

The steps to host a fun run, one of our favorite football fundraising ideas

  1. Plan out your event’s logistical details, including the date, time, and place, the fundraising software you’ll use, and how you’ll promote the event.
  2. Recruit supporters to participate in your run and help them create individual online donation pages.
  3. Collect pledges by asking participants to share their fundraising pages, then host the event and raise funds!

After the fun run, don’t forget to reach out to your participants and donors. Take the time to send out thank-you messages to the people who are making your football season possible.

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10. Tailgate fundraiser

You know how much football fans love to tailgate, so why not turn this beloved activity into a fundraiser for your team?

To add fundraising potential to a tailgate, set up a team table and sell snacks, drinks, and merchandise in exchange for donations. If any of your players are available to work the table, even better. They’ll help keep the energy high and encourage more donations.

11. Summer event

Summer events are the perfect way to raise much-needed funds to cover pre-season expenses. Many football programs make the majority of their profits from ticket and concession sales, but costs like equipment and training occur before those profits roll in. A summertime fundraiser gives you enough to work with in the meantime.

To build on your team’s pre-season funds, consider hosting a:

  • Festival on the football field: Organize a mini music festival right on your school’s football field. Set up live music, food, and activities like yard games to transform the field into an exciting event space.
  • Fireworks show: Your supporters would love to watch a fireworks show in exchange for a donation. Contact a professional pyrotechnics team to organize an impressive show for your supporters. Be sure to follow local safety guidelines when hosting this event.
  • Field day: Organize a football-themed field day for supporters and appoint your players to be mentors for younger participants.

As you plan your summertime event, try to keep it family-friendly. Organize activities for various age groups so parents and children of all ages will have a great experience.

12. VIP parking

Another fuss-free fundraising idea is to sell VIP parking spots for your team’s home games. Sell the parking spots situated in the best locations relative to the football stadium. Scout the areas before you commit to selling them to make sure they are accessible for those who might have trouble getting around.

To sweeten the deal for your supporters, this fundraiser can be done in conjunction with other VIP fundraisers. For example, you could create a package that includes VIP parking, seating, and season passes. This package could even be featured in an auction or raffle fundraiser or as a prize for another fundraiser.

13. Shoe drive fundraiser

Hold a shoe drive fundraiser to collect shoes your supporters might otherwise donate or throw away. These fundraisers will benefit your team financially, and the shoes go on to support a good cause. The process looks something like this:

  1. Partner with a shoe drive fundraising partner like Funds2Orgs.
  2. Promote the fundraiser to your supporters and ask for gently worn, used, and new shoes.
  3. Set up a date and time for your shoe drive fundraising partner to pick up the donations.
  4. Receive a check in the mail for the shoes.

Despite how simple shoe drive fundraisers are, they have a big impact. Donations go on to benefit small business owners in developing countries. Your team secures the funds it needs for the season all while helping fuel economic growth in other nations.

14. Custom merchandise

Your supporters want to show their support for the team, and they might be more willing to donate if they receive a product in return. Create merchandise customized to your team. Include elements like your team name, logo, and the year to make the merchandise feel more special.

You can create custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, and more with a graphic design service or software. If this is your first merchandise sale, it might be best to order a small amount of inventory initially to gauge demand and interest in the products.

15. Spirit night

Spirit nights, sometimes called percentage nights, are a great opportunity for your team to work closely with a local restaurant. To host one of these fundraisers, find a restaurant willing to split some of its profits from a designated night of business with your team. Decide on a percentage of the proceeds that will benefit your team.

Spirit nights can be very lucrative, but only if your supporters know about the opportunity. Have your team members leverage their social media influence to spread the word about the event. These posts, along with promotions on your team’s social media pages, help drive participation.

16. Touchdown sponsorships

Give local businesses a chance to promote their products or services by sponsoring a touchdown.

To launch this fundraiser, sell local businesses the opportunity to have their business promoted each time your team scores a touchdown. Create signs for these sponsors that coaches or cheerleaders hold up when your team scores. If your stadium has screens, create a graphic to be featured on the screen each time your players make it to the endzone. For inspiration, check out this graphic from Guilford Youth Football:

A touchdown sponsors graphic, illustrating one of our top football fundraising ideas

17. Picnic

What better way to show appreciation for your supporters than to provide a delicious picnic? Picnic fundraisers effectively get families and kids involved with your team. Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose a location and date. Look for an outdoor location with plenty of space for participants to spread out, like your football field or a local park. Select a date and time most people are available (like a Saturday afternoon), and check the weather.
  2. Source food. Choose whether you want to cater the event or assign dishes to team members. If the team is supplying food, be sure to follow food safety guidelines closely.
  3. Determine how you’ll fundraise. Selling entry tickets to the picnic is the most straightforward option, but you might sell the food or the picnicking spots to participants instead.

If possible, put together a “plan B” option for the event in case of rain or other inclement weather. It’s best to have a backup location ready from the start rather than scrambling to figure something out the morning of the event.

18. Kicking challenge

This idea is similar to a kick-a-thon that a soccer team might hold. Have supporters compete to determine who is the best kicker. Set up the contest on the football field and have coaches supervise and judge the kicks. Have team members on hand to retrieve balls, mark the kicking distances, and record scores.

If you decide to host a physical activity like this one, remember to send all participants a waiver ahead of time. Waivers require participants to accept liability for any risks associated with the fundraiser and ultimately protect your team.

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19. Season passes

Purchasing tickets to each game adds up, and your team’s parents and top supporters are well aware of this. Put together a season pass package to help supporters save money, aiming to price the pass lower than one season of individual tickets would cost. To avoid losing out on regular ticket sales, sell a limited number of passes or restrict the time frame.

To add more value to passes, include helpful information. Create a calendar or list with important information about the upcoming season. For example, highlight important dates like the first game of the season, rivalry games, and homecoming.

20. Powderpuff game

Give your female fans the chance to show off their football skills by hosting a powderpuff game. Powerpuff games switch up the typical roles in football games by having girls play the game while boys, usually football players, cheer on the sidelines.

While these events have an element of competition, they are meant to be very lighthearted. To break up the game, give your players a chance to perform a cheer routine as the halftime show. Your team is bound to have a good time with this idea, and they’ll raise money in the process.

Tips for Using These Football Fundraising Ideas

Raising money for a football team is different from other school fundraisers. School fundraisers are intended to provide more educational resources and opportunities to students. Football team fundraisers, on the other hand, fundraise for a specific group of students to improve their experience in an extracurricular activity.

Keep these tips in mind as you plan and launch your football fundraiser:

  • Highlight your program’s benefits. Because football fundraisers do not directly impact students’ education, some people might be hesitant to donate. Point out the benefits of extracurricular activities such as encouraging exercise and developing social skills.
  • Use a fundraising platform. Fundraising platforms like 99Pledges streamline the fundraising process so your team can focus on gathering pledges. These platforms allow your team to share players’ online donation pages, collect donations, and track their progress.
  • Engage students and parents. Choose a fundraiser your parents and students will be excited about. For example, your players probably won’t be interested in something like a knit-a-thon. Make sure what you are asking the team to do is reasonable — and remember that they and their parents have full-time school and job commitments.
  • Look at the big picture. Don’t limit fundraising to the short football season. Explain to your supporters that teams can be low on funding during pre-season training. For example, you might say that the proceeds from your holiday spirit night at a local restaurant will fund the next season’s summer training camp.

Overall, strive to be transparent with donors and get your players interested with an exciting fundraising idea. These best practices will help make your fundraiser a success.

Additional Resources

Fundraising for your football team can be an exciting process, and it’s a vital part of having a successful season. With a platform like 99Pledges, fundraising is simplified so all you have to worry about is finding donors and having fun at your event.

If you’re looking for more sports fundraising ideas, take a look at the following resources:

Want to kick off a profitable football fundraiser in minutes? Tackle your next campaign and raise more with 99Pledges! Click to launch your free fundraiser.