With 256 million soccer players worldwide, there is no denying the sport’s popularity. For these millions of players, soccer can improve their physical and mental health. However, if you’re a soccer team coach or a member of your team’s booster club, you know that the sport can also be expensive.
Expenses for your soccer team can add up quickly — whether those expenses are purchasing equipment, new uniforms, snacks and meals, or travel costs.
Because of all of the costs soccer teams run into, many teams require players to submit thousands of dollars in membership fees just to keep the group up and running. Unfortunately, this means that playing soccer just isn’t accessible for everyone. Fundraising for your soccer team can help cut down on the costs your players need to cover, making joining the team more feasible for potential players.
To help make your team’s fundraising a success, we’ll explore:
Fundraising can make a big difference in how your team’s season goes. For example, boosting your team’s funds gives you the freedom to offer players exciting opportunities like going on a team-building camping trip or registering for a workshop with a renowned coach. Not only do these opportunities build their soccer skills, but they also create positive experiences on the team that translate to lifelong memories.
Let’s get started with our first fundraising idea: a fun run.
Top Soccer Fundraising Ideas
Soccer Fundraiser 1: Fun run
A fun run is an easy way to fundraise for your team, and using a fundraising platform like 99Pledges makes it even simpler and more convenient.
Kicking off your fun run doesn’t require many upfront costs to get started. All you’ll really need is a location to host the run, participants and supporters, and a platform to host donation pages. If you decide to put on a fun run, the steps will look like this:
- Step 1: Plan the event by finding a location, setting a date and time, and choosing a theme for the run.
- Step 2: Register participants for the fun run and set up their online donation pages.
- Step 3: Ask participants to collect pledge donations from supporters such as parents, friends, family members, and anyone else who wants to support the team.
- Step 4: Hold the event. Consider inviting participants’ supporters and other onlookers to boost energy levels and motivate runners.
- Step 5: Thank donors and participants with thank-you messages.
The best part about a fun run is that your team can choose any fun element to incorporate. Choose something that fits your team’s age group and unique interests so they’ll feel more connected to the fundraising (and more motivated to fundraise!). For example, for younger teams, you could hold a color run with colored powder that is thrown at runners.
Whether you’re coaching a youth, high school, or college soccer team, there is a perfect fun run idea for your players.
Soccer Fundraiser 2: Silent auction
A silent auction is similar to a traditional auction where participants verbally bid on the items for sale. However, in a silent auction, participants can bid using an online auction platform. Silent auctions are more low-key and allow bidders to participate in the auction at their own pace rather than frantically bidding in a group setting.
If your team decides to host a silent auction, keep these tips in mind:
- Source items participants will want. Make sure you know your audience for the auction. In this case, it will probably include your players’ parents, family members, and other acquaintances — in other words, adults who aren’t interested in the things your players are. For this audience, choose things they will want to bid on like a meal voucher to a fancy restaurant or a flashy new kitchen gadget.
- Set up rules. Draw up some clear guidelines for the event to prevent any misunderstandings between you and your participants. For example, you should implement bidding guidelines that detail start and end times, rules for retracting a bid, and deadlines for receiving payment.
- Use an online auction tool. Using paper bids is an old-fashioned, clunky way to manage bids — not to mention it can cause confusion over messy handwriting. Auction platforms circumvent these potential problems by managing the bidding process online.
This twist on a classic fundraising idea makes the event less involved for your team as you won’t need to worry about finding an auctioneer and managing the fast-paced atmosphere of a live auction. With the right software, all you’ll need to worry about is planning the event by finding a venue, sourcing items, and getting volunteers.
Soccer Fundraiser 3: Sneaker recycling program
As a soccer coach, parent, or even player, you know how important the right pair of shoes are. But if you’re involved with a team of growing and developing kids, you probably also know how quickly players can grow out of their athletic shoes.
Launching a sneaker recycling program is perfect for any soccer team, but especially those with growing players who need a sustainable way to part with outgrown athletic shoes. The process for one of these programs is simple — collect your team’s gently worn, used and new shoes, pack the donations into bags, and ship them to a sneaker recycling partner. Then, the partner will send your team a check for the recycled shoes once donations are processed.
To maximize fundraising revenue, make your program last the whole season as an ongoing campaign. Set up donation boxes at your games and direct attendees to donate sneakers they don’t wear anymore. Encourage your players to donate their own shoes and collect shoes from members of their social network.
Soccer Fundraiser 4: Bake sale
Bake sales are a simple, classic fundraiser that proves to be successful time and time again. After all, who doesn’t love homemade baked goods? Plus, this idea is the perfect idea for kids with a sweet tooth.
Add a fun, soccer-themed twist to your fundraiser. Decorate cookies, cupcakes, and other sweet treats with items associated with the sport such as soccer balls, goals, or your team’s jersey. You could even turn decorating the treats into a fun team bonding activity by hosting a pre-bake sale dessert decorating party!
Soccer Fundraiser 5: Yoga class
Encourage your supporters to get active by holding a yoga class. This fundraising idea is a more unique way to raise money for your cause while still keeping planning and cost down.
To host a yoga class fundraiser, here are some of the things you’ll need:
- An open space: You’ll need an area with plenty of room to spread out. Your team’s soccer field is perfect if weather permits, but you could use a gym or cafeteria if needed.
- A qualified yoga instructor: Invite an instructor from a local yoga studio or a volunteer with a background in yoga to lead the class. It’s best to choose someone with extensive knowledge and experience who can create a class for varying skill levels and keep things running smoothly.
- Extra equipment: Have a few extra yoga mats, foam blocks, and water bottles on hand. Some participants may not have items of their own or forget to bring all of the supplies they need.
- Willing participants: Ensure you’ll have participants who are open-minded and willing to try something new. Yoga may be outside of the box for many of your participants, so gauging interest in the event with a survey or poll might be a good idea.
Not only is this fundraiser a great way to get participants and players active, but it can help them destress, too. Benefit your team but scheduling this fundraiser during a particularly stressful time in the season to help them unwind.
Soccer Fundraiser 6: Team sponsorships
For an easy and very profitable fundraiser, try selling team sponsorships. Ask local businesses to sponsor your team in return for advertising opportunities. Not only does this fundraiser benefit both your team and the sponsor, but it can help build community relationships that could lead to long-term corporate sponsorships.
As you propose these sponsorship opportunities to businesses in your community, mention some of the following promotion opportunities:
- Featuring their logo on your team’s uniform
- Posting signs for their business in the stadium
- Featuring their logo on the scoreboard when your team scores
- A promotional shout-out from the announcer at games
- Acknowledgment on your team’s flyers and other marketing materials
Despite these great offerings, you still might run into trouble with acquiring sponsors. Not every prospective sponsor has the same budget for sponsorships, so offering just one sponsorship package might mean that some sponsors are paying beyond their means while others are giving far below what they could offer. To maximize revenue, create a tiered list of sponsorship opportunities to potential sponsors can find an opportunity that suits their needs.
Soccer Fundraiser 7: Sports tournament
Host a tournament where players and supporters can get together to show off their skills. Choose a sport other than soccer so your team won’t have an unfair advantage over other participants. Ideally, you should choose a sport like dodgeball or basketball that doesn’t require extensive training and skill — something like gymnastics, for example, wouldn’t be a good option.
When organizing your tournament, keep things moving by limiting each game to a shortened version of the typical length. Keep rules and the tournament structure simple and easy to follow so players know what’s going on. To motivate players to do their best, and spark some friendly competition, feature prizes like trophies and gift bags at the end of the tournament.
Soccer Fundraiser 8: Music festival
What better way to celebrate your players’ hard work than a fundraiser that culminates in an exciting music festival? This type of fundraiser is best for high school teams with access to the school soccer field. Your team could even partner with the school’s band to organize a joint fundraiser.
Music festivals can be very fun ways to raise money for your team, but they require a lot of planning and organization. Additionally, these events will probably require more upfront costs than you may have invested in past fundraisers.
Remember that there are lots of things you’ll need to consider when planning a music festival, such as:
- Finding a venue
- Catering the event
- Getting volunteers to help out
- Choosing a donation method (e.g., selling tickets)
- Finding talented performers
- Planning any other activities to entertain guests (e.g., setting up mini carnival games)
While music festivals do require more planning than other more simple fundraising ideas, they have the potential to attract large crowds. Plus, by partnering with another group like the school band, you can split the work and cost with another organization. With a lot of planning and promotion ahead of time, your music festival could bring in the funds you need while being an engaging event for your community.
Soccer Fundraiser 9: Used book sale
A used book sale can be a highly profitable fundraising idea for your team. The key here is to source books for free or at very low costs. As you organize your used book sale, look for books to sell in the following ways:
- Ask your supporters to donate the books they no longer read.
- Contact (or partner with) a local library or university.
- Ask thrift stores or secondhand bookstores if they are willing to donate copies to your team.
- Reach out to the community for used book donations.
Once you source plenty of books, ideally from many different genres, set a date, time, and location for your sale. You could hold the sale on your soccer field, but choosing a place with tables already set up like a school cafeteria or library might be easier. You’ll likely need quite a few volunteers for the event to organize the books, put up pricing signs or tags, and sell the books on the day of the sale.
Soccer Fundraiser 10: Clean-up day
To give back to your community and raise money for your team, hold a clean-up day with your team members. To launch this fundraiser, ask participants to collect pledge donations based on clean-up units like bags of trash collected or the number of sidewalks swept.
Because clean-up units might be more difficult to track or explain to supporters, it might be a good idea to document to process along the way. For example, take before and after photos of the street or park your team cleans up. Not only will supporters see the hard work the team put into the project, but they will also see the difference their donation made in the community.
Soccer Fundraiser 11: Raffle
Hold a raffle for your team and fundraise with the donations participants make to purchase raffle tickets. If you’re stuck on what to feature in the raffle, try thinking of items you can add for little or no cost. For example, your team could feature VIP seating, season passes, and branded merchandise in the raffle.
To fill out the raffle items even more, your team could ask for in-kind donations from local businesses. These donations, usually an item or service the company gives your team free of charge, can add in items you may not have thought of. Ideally, this is how you should source any big-ticket items your team might not be able to afford on its own.
Soccer Fundraiser 12: Soccer lessons
Put together a soccer lesson program or soccer camp where your players use their expertise to teach other players. This fundraiser works best for older players so they can teach younger children who don’t have the same experience or skill.
One way to increase the number of participants you have at your camp is to hold the event during the summer months. This way, your players and their prospective students will have plenty of time to improve their soccer skills. Parents will also thank you for giving them a safe and fun activity for their kids to take part in while they’re out of school.
To make the fundraiser easier to organize and monitor, arrange it as a week-long day-camp event rather than recurring lessons. This will also make it easier for your players to balance these lessons with their own practice schedules.
Soccer Fundraiser 13: Kick-a-thon
A kick-a-thon is the perfect fundraiser that will embrace what soccer is all about: kicking! Similar to a hit-a-thon fundraiser that a baseball team might host, a kick-a-thon is a pledge-based fundraiser that allows your participants to show off their kicking abilities.
Organizing a kick-a-thon is similar to holding a fun run, with a few differences in how the activity itself works:
- Step 1: Have participants register with fundraising software like 99Pledges that allows them to create customized donation pages.
- Step 2: Ask participants to collect pledges for each successful kick into the goal.
- Step 3: Hold the kick-a-thon, keeping a tally of how many times each participant successfully kicks the ball into the goal.
- Step 4: Let donors know how many kicks their participants made and collect donations.
To add a twist to this idea, or challenge your more advanced players, adjust this idea to a “crossbar challenge.” In a crossbar challenge, the goal is to hit the bar that runs across the top of the soccer goal rather than aiming for the net. Not only does this make the traditional kick-a-thon a little more challenging, but it takes something that is normally frustrating for players and recenters it as a success.
3 Best Practices for Using These Soccer Fundraising Ideas
Choose the right soccer fundraising tools.
The fundraising tool or platform your team chooses can make or break your fundraiser. As you navigate fundraising, it’s natural to have questions about how to make the process simpler and more streamlined on your end. Operating without a platform or with outdated, hard-to-use software can make you feel like pulling your hair out.
However, a fundraising platform like 99Pledges can take on most of the more tedious tasks associated with fundraising (like collecting payments) so you don’t have to. A few of the benefits of working with 99Pledges include:
- The platform is free to use.
- There are no contracts.
- The platform takes care of the setup for you.
- Accepting cash and check donations is free.
- Pledge pages are mobile-friendly for convenient donations.
- Donors can make either flat, one-time donations or performance-based pledges.
- Payments to your team are initiated within one business day after your campaign ends.
99Pledges features aim to make fundraising as easy and stress-free as possible for your team. Plus, with its data-reporting capabilities, your team can gamify the fundraising process to make it more exciting for participants. Implore them to fundraise more by using the fundraising data available through the platform to create competitive leaderboards.
Provide multiple ways to give.
Let’s say you’re hosting a fun run and everything is going great — the runners are having a great time, the crowd is lively, and you think you’re on track to beat your fundraising goal. Then, a few members of the crowd approach you, ready to donate more to your team. However, you have to turn them away because you don’t have a way to accept their payment method.
Avoid denying willing donors the chance to give by offering as many ways to give as possible. While this might be a learning process, start by accepting these methods:
- Card payments (credit and debit)
- Payment services like Venmo and Cash App
If you’re struggling in this area, prioritize accepting the most convenient payment methods. Typically, online and mobile-friendly methods are used the most by your donors.
Acknowledge participants and donors.
After your fundraiser concludes, it’s important to acknowledge those who supported your cause. Specifically, thank participants for their hard work and supporters for their donations. Not only does this show your appreciation for supporting your current fundraiser, but feeling valued can encourage future participation.
To get started, try sending a thank-you letter, email, or calling supporters and participants on the phone. Update them on the grand total your team raised and what you plan to use the funds for so donors can envision the impact their donation will have on the team.
Like any team sport, soccer can be expensive for coaches, players, and parents. Help your team succeed in their sport while they build lasting relationships with their team members by fundraising. While extra funds won’t guarantee that your team will a championship trophy, they can make the soccer season go a lot more smoothly for your team.
If you’re looking for other ways to fundraise, check out these helpful resources:
- 22 Successful Basketball Fundraising Ideas. Fundraising for your team can be draining, especially if you feel stuck in a fundraising rut. Luckily, these 22 fundraising ideas can help shake up what your basketball team is doing to raise money.
- Top 10 Fundraising Platforms and Tools for Schools. Choosing a fundraising platform can be tough, especially if you’re part of a school fundraising team operating on a tight budget. This list of recommendations has tools and platforms for a variety of fundraising opportunities from auctions to matching gifts software.
- 7 Best Baseball Fundraising Ideas for Your Team to Try. Looking for ways to raise money for your baseball team? Try out one of these seven ideas such as holding a pitching contest.