Fundraising for baseball and softball is a tedious, but necessary, part of any season. To set your team up for success, coaches and parents need to invest in things like equipment, tournament fees, and a camera system to capture the game film that helps the team improve.
Organizing and hosting fundraisers can also be a great learning experience for young players. These activities teach players valuable lessons about hard work and responsibility. Fundraising also makes parents a stakeholder in the soccer program’s success.
Our team at Trace works with youth teams, high school teams, travel teams, and club teams from around the country. We’re always surprised at the creative ways that teams pay to use our game film system. Check out this video for some of the best ideas we have heard for raising money for baseball / softball teams, then read below for more inspiration.
1.) Hit-a-thon Fundraisers
Baseball hit-a-thons can take any number of forms. Parents on the fundraising committee ask fans, donors, local businesses to pay a set price for every home run, every hit, or every steal that a team makes. The harder the action, the higher the donation amount.
One iteration of this fundraiser is the home run derby. Here’s a sample of how one team planned their event:
Each team will have a designated hitter that will hit as many home runs as possible in 90 seconds. For each additional $25 pledged to each team they will receive and additional two seconds hitting. Every second counts. In addition, there will be targets over the wall and in the outfield for extra time.
2.) Local Business Sponsorships
Local businesses love sponsoring youth baseball and softball teams. For a local business, sponsoring a team is a way to gain exposure while promoting an activity that has a positive impact on the community. With sponsorships, teams and clubs can lighten the financial burden for parents and provide players with the latest tools for player development.
Finding a sponsor is typically not a difficult process when coaches outsource some of the work to parents. Parents who own or manage businesses are often the most eager to sponsor teams, and parents are also fantastic resources in getting introductions to other potential sponsors from their own networks.
Put together a sponsorship tier system and be open to allowing local businesses to have promotional opportunities in exchange for funds that will help the team. For instance, bringing in $500 might allow the sponsor’s logo to be placed on the team’s marketing materials and website, while a bigger donation of $5,000 could get a logo on the team uniforms as well.
Some teams sell a “Game Film Sponsorship” or “Trace Sponsorship.” A local business might purchase Trace for the team with no stipulations. Or, teams can offer the business to be tagged every time the team posts game video from the Trace system. Your team gets a powerful camera system, and the local business gets free marketing for supporting your players.
3.) Individual Parent Donations
Split amongst a team, Trace is the most affordable way for players to automatically record games and get personalized highlights. The chart to the right show the cost of Trace when split among parents.
All parents want their children to have access to the latest resources, but not every parent can afford to provide large donations for big-ticket items. Soliciting donations from parents is a touchy process that will differ from team to team, but the best policy in all cases is to honestly outline the financial needs of your team and ask parents to contribute what they can (here’s a sample letter).
If your team is a nonprofit organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, you can solicit donations that parents can write off their taxes as charitable contributions, or that businesses can write off as expenses.
We often work with teams who have a Game Film Sponsor. This individual personally pays for the team to use Trace for the year; in return, all parents on the team get priceless video highlights of their child delivered after each game.
4.) Weekly Game Updates (With a Link to Donate)
Does your baseball team have a newsletter? Or a big social media following? Ongoing fundraisers through newsletters or social media accounts can be a fantastic way to quickly raise money.
Baseball teams can use Trace moments or to link to their players’ Trace iDs in newsletters so parents can watch video highlights, save memories of their child’s matches, and see the value in game film. Teams can include links to donate in these newsletters so that parents, grandparents, or others can send small donations to support the team.
You might also consider finding a “newsletter sponsor.” For a local business, this is a fantastic way to advertise.
5.) Holiday Fundraising
Many teams host special fundraising drives when people are feeling the spirit of giving. Here’s a sample message from a Trace team that hosted a Christmas fundraising event:
‘Tis the season of giving, there is no set minimum “gift” amount on this, $1 or $100 is equally appreciated! Remember the boys will benefit from every penny! So if you don’t know what to get your baseball player nephew / grandson / son / brother / friend on the team, forget a new pair of socks! Put your money toward something AWESOME!”
Note: Some particularly generous parents have given coaches Trace as a Christmas present so that they can save time on video editing and get automatic highlights for every player.
6.) Raffles for Baseball / Softball Fundraising
Raffles are a fantastic way to raise money for teams. The hardest part about this option is getting fans and parents to donate items to be raffled off. But after the items are donated, team members and parents simply need to sell tickets to the raffle. Here’s a sample raffle setup by one baseball team.
7.) Sell Vendor Space at Games
For local businesses, baseball and softball games and tournaments are an excellent way to gain visibility. Most businesses would gladly pay a fee or sponsor a team to have the opportunity to sell their goods to the parents attending the events.
8.) Host an Event
Events are the most popular way to raise money for youth baseball teams, and there are infinite types of events that players can host. In-person are often fun for players and great ways to build character. Events are also a great way to get parents collaborating and to keep them engaged and excited about the team. Here are just a few soccer fundraising events:
- Car Washes
- BBQs / Potlucks
- Silent Auctions
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