35+ Best Sports Fundraising Ideas to Raise More in 2020

Check out our favorite sports fundraising ideas to raise more for your team.
Plan your next sports team fundraiser with 99Pledges.

Athletics programs cost money— whether that’s for a school-wide sports team or a league run by a local community center. Between uniforms and equipment, travel costs, or tournament fees, the expenses are sure to add up fairly quickly. If you’re an athlete, parent, coach, or athletic director, you likely already know this! 

You want your young sports stars to have the best opportunities possible, but sometimes money can be a little too tight. That means it’s time for the whole team to come together and start raising funds for your athletic program today.

How can you raise money for a sports team?

There are a few key ways to gather the funding necessary for keeping your sports team up and running. You may charge dues for each player on the team, but if you want the team to be accessible for all, that’s likely not enough to cover the funding you’ll need.

Maybe you’ve scoured your community looking for small and local businesses to sponsor your team. This is a great way to boost your community involvement and raise money for your team while also offering a unique opportunity for local businesses to gain some good PR— but again, it might not be enough.

That’s where fundraising comes in! Effective fundraising is an invaluable skill that can really make or break your sports team. Here are some of our top suggested sports fundraising ideas to bring in the big bucks for your athletic endeavors.

Feel free to jump around to the category that interests you most, or read along from the top. Let’s get started!

Our favorite sports fundraising ideas are through 99Pledges.

Our Favorite Sports Fundraising Idea

1. 99Pledges Sports Team Fundraisers

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

99Pledges offer unique and easy-to-run sports fundraising ideas.

99Pledges specializes in helping organizations like yours host the most engaging yet simple fundraisers possible. With a focus on pledge campaigns, these fundraisers are a great way to drum up community support and raise money for a cause you care about! 

With a pledge fundraising campaign, participants (likely team members) gather support in the form of pledges, or promised donations to be collected at a future date. Donations are often pledged as a certain amount of money per lap/mile/point/other activity successfully completed within the timeframe. 

Find out how pledge fundraisers work as excellent sports fundraising ideas.

By using easy-to-share individual fundraising pages for each player, participants can gather donations from far and wide with social media and other digital tools (with the help of a parent for younger participants, of course). 

Best of all, this fundraising strategy can be adapted to fit any event-a-thon type fundraiser for your team, including a walk/run/jog-a-thon, dance-a-thon, or bike-a-thon! It’s a great way to keep kids active while raising money for your sports team at the same time.

Check out some of the best youth sports fundraising ideas.

Best Youth Sports Fundraising Ideas

If you’re raising money for a youth sports team, you might be looking for ways to get the kids involved in your fundraising efforts. Here are some of our top suggested sports-themed campaigns specifically catered to a younger demographic of fundraisers.

2. Hit-a-Thon/Shoot-a-Thon

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a shoot-a-thon for your next big sports fundraising idea!

Put a fun, sporty spin on a traditional walk-a-thon that your team is sure to love by hosting a hit-a-thon. This can easily be adapted to your favorite sport— whether that’s football, basketball, baseball, or soccer. Kids can even get some practice time in while earning money for their team!

Simply gather pledges from friends and family members that agree to sponsor each “hit” or “shot,” and then get to playing. Be sure to set some parameters ahead of time, such as the number of opportunities or time limit each player has to make their shots, or the distance from which they are required to stand.

3. Shoe Drive Fundraisers

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Shoe drive fundraisers are a great sports fundraiser.

Every parent knows the frustration of their child growing out of any pair of shoes they buy way too fast. Take advantage of those growing feet for good, by hosting a community-wide shoe drive campaign.

Encourage individuals in your neighborhood to donate gently worn, new, and used shoes to a community stockpile that can then be recycled and traded in for cash. After all, most families will have at least a few pairs of outgrown, hardly worn shoes they wouldn’t miss! By partnering with a shoe drive organizer, all you have to do is collect the shoes— they’ll do the rest and provide you with a check.

4. Field Day

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a field day for your next sports team fundraiser.

Gather the community for a day of fun and games with a field day fundraiser. Make sure to prep classic games like dodgeball, tug-of-war, obstacle courses, treasure hunts, and any other fun activities you choose. If you plan for a nice, warm day you can even get water games involved! 

You can charge a general fee to get in and sell concessions to earn some extra cash! Consider offering special prizes for your top-performing teams or individuals to boost healthy competition among players.

5. Chore-a-Thon

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Encourage your team members to do chores around their community for a unique sports fundraising idea.

Raise money for your team while helping out in your community with a chore- or serve-a-thon. Team members can assist with household chores, yard work, running errands, and other community service projects for local community members in need. 

This is a great opportunity for your team to get out and do good for those around them, while the recipients of this help can give back to youth in their community. It’s a win-win for all involved!

6. Youth Sports Camp

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a sports camp as a special sports team fundraiser.

If your team is composed of older athletes, including middle- and high-schoolers, consider hosting a youth sports camp to raise funds for the team. Young children in your community will jump at the chance to learn from the best athletes in their neighborhoods, and parents will be willing to pay a decent price for a good cause and an excellent opportunity.

Set up week-long camps during the summer months or consider a shorter, weekend-long workshop for some quick tips. Give young participants the chance to learn new skills and practice their favorite sports— whether that’s football, soccer, basketball, or tennis.

7. Dodgeball Tournament

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a dodgeball tournament for your next sports fundraiser.

Encourage the kids in your community to form teams and join a dodgeball tournament for a good cause. Charge an entrance fee for each participant, and consider selling team t-shirts for bonus revenue.

Consider partnering with the school administration to host the event during school hours, and students can pay a small fee to watch the showdown (and get out of class!).

8. Bowl-a-Thon

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

A bowl-a-thon is an engaging sports fundraising idea for all.

Partner with a local bowling alley for this exciting fundraising event. Similar to a walk-a-thon, participants gather sponsors that pledge a certain amount for every pin they knock down or a grand total for the event.

It might be a little pricey to rent out a bowling alley for your fundraiser, but with the right planning and promotions, the turnout can be great! After all, who doesn’t love bowling?

9. Autographed Memorabilia

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Sell sports memorabilia for a unique sports fundraiser.

Treat your team members like sports stars with this unique fundraiser. Sell autographed memorabilia (i.e. a signed baseball or glove) to family and friends who can keep the memento for years to come. 

You never know, one of those balls could be worth millions one day! Kids will love signing their own memorabilia like a superstar. Plus, it will be a nice reminder of the child’s years as a sports star.

10. Talent Show

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔ ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Let your team members show off their talents by hosting a talent show for your next sports fundraiser.

Gather team members and other excited individuals who are ready to show their talents to the world. Let these kids sing, dance, juggle, or show off another special skill at a talent show fundraiser. 

Charge a fee to audition or participate, and sell tickets to parents and family members to watch the show. Talent shows are fun and exciting for all parties involved, and great memories to cherish forever.

11. Carnival

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔ ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

A carnival is an exciting fundraiser for your sports team.

Host a community-wide carnival with food, games, and performances to raise money for your team. Consider collecting a general admission fee or charging per game or ticket, depending on the setup of your choice. Don’t forget to sell slushies and popcorn, too!

Start promoting the carnival well ahead of time so you can ensure the best turnout for this community-style event. Attendees will have a ton of fun while supporting a good cause.

12. Sports Photo Shoot

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Bring in a professional photographer to take pictures of your team for an effective sports fundraising idea.

Youth sports are a cherished time for kids and parents alike. Whether that first t-ball team, flag football game, or local sports tournament— like many other children’s activities, parents want to document each and every moment of it.

Choose a nice location and a professional photographer (preferably a volunteer, to keep costs low) and set up a photo shoot for your team. Take both team photos and individual shots, and then sell the photos to the families for a memorable keepsake. Don’t forget to bring your sporty props and have some fun poses ready!

Here are some of the best sports fundraising ideas to get the whole team involved.

Team Fundraising Ideas to Get Everyone Excited

Fundraising can be a great opportunity to strengthen community relationships while simultaneously raising money for team expenses. Get to know other players and families better with these fundraising events that get the whole crew involved!

13. Walk-a-Thon

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

A walk-a-thon is the go-to pledge fundraising event, popular for both its fundraising potential and the ease with which you can hold it. The steps are simple:

A walk-a-thon is a great way to raise money for your sports team together.
  • Create a pledge fundraising page for your overall fundraiser and empower participants (such as players, their family members, and your greater community) to create their own pages alongside it.
  • Choose a date and space for participants to walk.
  • Participants raise donations corresponding to their participation in the event. For example, “$1 for every lap walked.”
  • At the event, encourage participants to go the distance and watch pledged gifts become tangible donations for your organization.

This event is so popular because you can get the whole town involved– young or old. Invite your community to join the team to raise funds and get fit in the process.

14. Team Fundraising Letters

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Have your students send out fundraising letters to community members interested in sponsoring your team for a simple sports fundraiser.

Encourage your team’s youth athletes to flex their humble muscles by writing fundraising letters to your local community.

Ask the kids to express genuinely what participating in your youth program means to them in letters to your community. Send them out to supporters to your program, whether local businesses or other influential members of your community.

In these letters, ask for donations both financial and in-kind. When local businesses see the good your program does for kids in the community, they’ll be inspired to encourage the good work!

15. Car Wash

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a community car wash for your next sports fundraiser.

Gather your teammates on a warm summer day for a car wash fundraiser. As one of the most popular, traditional fundraising events, you’re sure to draw in a crowd looking for an inexpensive car wash for a good cause.

All you need is an empty parking lot, cleaning supplies, and eager participants to get started. Don’t forget to make signs and promote your event on social media to draw in the most customers!

16. Dog Wash

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a community dog wash for a unique and exciting sports fundraiser.

Nobody likes bathing their own dogs, and groomers can get so expensive. Encourage local pet owners to bring their dogs out for your team players to wash at a good price. It’s a great way to raise money for your team and have a great time!

Consider pairing this with your car wash fundraiser for boosted revenue at a single event. You’ll already be soapy and community members can get their cars and dogs washed simultaneously.

17. Foam Fun Run

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

A foam fun run is an interesting way to spruce up a typical run-a-thon for your next sports fundraising ideas.

Spruce your typical run-a-thon up by turning it into a foam fun run. Participants can gather sponsors and raise money in the same way, but this time they’ll be running through an endless amount of bubbles.

Not only is a foam fun run more exciting for participants, but it also makes your fundraiser stand out more to potential donors and sponsors. Bring in more funds and more fun with this engaging campaign!

18. Pancake Breakfast

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Host a pancake breakfast as a sports team fundraiser.

Invite community members to join you for a homemade pancake breakfast, hosted by your very own sports team. Consider charging per plate or setting an all-you-can-eat price, and get to cooking!

Make sure to provide all the best pancake toppings so guests can have the best flapjack experience possible.

19. Coach Challenge

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Encourage players to raise money for their sports team fundraiser by offering an embarrassing incentive by the coach.

Of course, kids look up to their sports coaches, but they also love to see them do embarrassing things! Set a challenging, yet attainable fundraising goal that if met, the coach agrees to do some outrageous activity.

Maybe that’s getting pied in the face, sitting in a dunk tank, or dressing up like a chicken — the possibilities are endless. The more extravagant the challenge, the more motivated players will be to bring in donations.

20. 10,000 Step Challenge

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

This sports fundraising idea is similar to a walk-a-thon, but on an individual basis.

For the 10,000 step challenge, participants commit to taking 10,000 steps in a single day and collecting pledges similarly to a walk-a-thon. Sponsors may choose to pledge a certain amount per step, mile, or day of reaching their goal.

To track each participants’ steps, they may use a specific activity tracker or one within a smartphone or other device. Players can walk with a friend or choose to go at their own pace.

Bring your sports fundraising ideas online with these virtual fundraisers.

Top Ideas to Bring Sports Team Fundraising Online

Keep up with the constant shift toward digitization by integrating online fundraising strategies into your fundraising plan. Online fundraisers are more accessible to a wider audience and can lead to increased funding with little effort on your part.

21. Viral Video Challenge

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Start a viral video challenge with your team that can bring in funding from all over the world. Participants simply record their video, make a donation, and tag the next person in line. To get your own viral video challenge started, all you have to do is:

Start your own viral video challenge to raise money for your sports team fundraiser.
  • Brainstorm ideas for a challenge.
  • Record your video.
  • Post to social media.
  • Get your whole team to partake.
  • Encourage people to start sharing like crazy!
Start a viral video challenge as a unique sports fundraising idea.

The most successful videos include some sort of humor or wow element to grab your audiences’ attention quickly, and an appeal to emotion that says why they should help fund your sports team.

22. Crowdfunding

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Use crowdfunding as a popular sports fundraising strategy for your team.

Crowdfunding is another way you can start gathering donations from across the globe. Simply start a campaign using a crowdfunding platform, share a condensed history and background of your team, and encourage users to help support your sports team.

Then, start sharing your donation page far and wide through teammates and family members’ personal social networks. The more your campaign spreads, the more funding you’ll receive.

23. Team T-Shirts

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Team t-shirts are a great way to boost team spirit and raise money for your sports team.

Selling unique team t-shirts is a great way to raise money for athletics, because not only do supporters get the joy of charitable giving, but they also receive a bonus for themselves. Additionally, a team uniform can foster a sense of community for the team!

Team t-shirts aren’t only for teammates, either. Sell your custom-made team t-shirts and jerseys to parents and family members, community supporters, and more.

24. Matching Gift Programs

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Matching gift programs can boost any of your sports fundraising ideas.

Matching gift programs are a great way to get two donations for the cost of soliciting one. Many of your current supporters are likely eligible for their charitable donation to be financially matched through their employer, though they might not realize it yet.

By leveraging corporate philanthropy programs, local community members (families, friends, colleagues, etc.) will be more likely to give and to make a larger contribution!

A matching gifts drive can boost any sports team fundraiser.

25. Academic Calendar Sale

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Create and sell academic calendars to raise money for your sports team.

Design and produce your own custom-made calendars to sell to individuals in your community. Be sure to select nice images, an attractive layout, and high-quality materials to create a professional-looking calendar that community members will want to purchase.

You might also want to include scheduled community-wide events in your calendar on top of national holidays so that everyone always knows what’s going on around town!

26. Sponsor-an-Athlete

Cost: $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Seek community members to sponsor a single child to raise money for your sports team.

Many sports teams seek community sponsors such as small businesses, churches, and other local organizations. While this is sometimes an effective way to fund an entire team, some sponsors may be more interested in a smaller financial commitment to a single player.

When you seek local businesses and members in the community to sponsor an individual athlete, you may need to gather more sponsors, but they may also be easier to solicit.

27. Sports-Themed Charity Auction

Cost: $ $

Effort: ✔ ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Hosting a charity auction is a great way to raise money for your sports team.

Charity auctions are one of the most effective event-based fundraisers an organization can run. Make it a themed one to take yours one step further!

To fit with the sports fundraiser idea, try planning a sports-themed live auction. Ask local businesses to donate sports-related goods and packages to auction off at a nice event, and be sure to decorate the venue on theme as well.

These are some of the easiest sports fundraising ideas!

Easy Fundraising Ideas for Sports Teams

Do you already have your hands full with school, sports practices, weekly games, and more? Check out these simple fundraising ideas that can be the perfect way to raise money for your sports teams without having to shell out too much time and effort.

28. Coupon Books

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Selling coupon books is a great way to fundraise for your sports team.

Partner with some local businesses and restaurants that are willing to offer exclusive deals for your sports team’s generous supporters. Combine all these great bargains into a singular coupon book and start selling to community members, families, friends, and loved ones of your players.

Locals in your community will love the chance to make great savings at the businesses they already frequent, while at the same time providing much-needed assistance to youth sports programs.

29. Restaurant Percentage Night

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Partner with a local restaurant for a percentage night sports fundraiser.

Find a restaurant in your community that’s willing to partner for a community night fundraiser. You’ll agree on a percentage of funds (total revenue, profits, each participating check, etc.) collected on a particular night that will be donated to your sports team. Then, start spreading the word far and wide to ensure a great turnout on that night!

Some popular chain restaurants for this type of event include Chick-fil-A and Chipotle, but you also might consider a smaller, local business as well! Be sure to plan your percentage night early and start promoting as soon as possible.

30. Restaurant Tip Jar

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Set out a tip jar at a local business for a super simple sports fundraising idea.

Similarly to the restaurant percentage night, you’ll need to find a willing business to partner with you for this fundraiser. This one, however, takes a more passive approach over a longer timespan to collect loose change from restaurant patrons.

You might be surprised at how often customers are willing to leave any spare change if there’s a collection happening. Just make sure to provide a nicely crafted tip jar with your team name and picture, so that customers know where the money is going.

31. Concession Stand

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Selling concession items at games is a great way to earn money for your sports team.

Nothing says “sports game” like a jumbo hot dog and a bucket of popcorn. After all, one of sports fans’ favorite aspects of the game viewing experience includes hitting up the concession stand for a halftime snack.

That means, your team should definitely start your own concession stand to host during games if you don’t already have one. Recruit eager parents and family members to man the station during games, so that viewers can purchase their favorite game-time snack at their leisure.

32. Raffle

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Selling raffle tickets at sports events is a great sports fundraising idea.

The first step in hosting a raffle is to secure a big prize that the majority of your audience would enjoy. In this case, you may want to choose something sports-related to best cater to your audience. Then, start promoting your raffle (what the prize is, how to purchase tickets, etc.) and selling tickets. Be sure to encourage those entering the raffle that the more tickets they buy, the greater their chance at winning!

At the conclusion of a set amount of time, you’ll select the winning ticket, and the participant with the matching ticket wins the prize.

33. Text-to-Give

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Text-to-give is an easy campaign to run with any sports fundraising ideas.

Text-to-give is one of the easiest fundraisers you can host. By partnering with a text-to-give service, they’ll provide you with a unique phone number that you can promote to your audience. When donors text a specified keyword to your text-to-give number, they’ll then be prompted to fill out a short form to confirm their gift.

The whole donation process can be completed in minutes, making it a convenient tool for both the supporter and the recipient. Just make sure you share your text-to-give number far and wide to get the most support possible.

34. Best Seat in the House

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Raffling off a nice, comfy view of the game is a unique sports fundraiser that can earn good revenue for your team.

This is similar to a raffle fundraiser, but with a very specific prize — the best seat in the house. Simply acquire a couch or a loveseat to keep front and center at the field or court your team plays on. Start selling tickets beforehand, to be drawn from a raffle at the start of the game.

The winner then gets the honor of watching the game from the best seat in the house — and bringing a friend or two to share. Make sure the winner gets special VIP treatment as well, such as free items from the concession stand!

35. Food Truck Partnership

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Hosting a food truck event after a game is a great way to boost your sports fundraising revenue.

Book a food truck or two to be waiting in the parking lot when your game gets out. Make arrangements with the trucks ahead of time to decide on logistics such as fees and suggested donations, then encourage your audience to stop by on their way out.

Be sure to promote the event ahead of time so that players, families, and fans can adjust their plans accordingly and ensure a large enough turnout to make a profit. Bring in all kinds of new and exciting food trucks to boost excitement surrounding the event.

36. Junk Drive

Cost: $

Effort: ✔

Fun: ☆☆☆☆☆

Collecting and selling junk is a great way to get donations from community members for your sports team without requesting money.

Did you know that people throw away items that are still worth quite a bit of money every day? Seemingly useless things like old computers, empty ink cartridges, and used flash drives can be collected and easily traded for cash.

Encourage players, family members, and other community members to collect these items and donate to a junk drive fundraiser for your sports team instead. These are popular campaigns because, instead of asking for money, you’re essentially asking for donors’ trash (which they’ll be much more likely to hand over).

The fundraising possibilities are endless! Find the campaign ideas that are most suited for your specific team, and start planning right away. After all, the most successful fundraisers are the ones that have a lot of thought put into them.

For more information and further fundraising ideas, check out the resources below:

Plan your next sports fundraiser with 99Pledges today.