Running a swim club or any kind of school team takes a lot of time and effort. It also requires money to pay coaches, rent places to swim or to build a facility specifically for a given team. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that your organization can raise money in an efficient and consistent manner.
1. Organize a Can or Bottle Drive
In most states, cans and bottles can be redeemed for up to 10 cents each. Therefore, collecting a large quantity of them may be an effective way to raise a tangible amount of money for your team. It’s fairly common for organizations to ask local grocery stores or bottle redemption facilities to collect cans and bottles on their behalf.
However, you can also ask local residents to bring them to a predetermined location at a specific date and time. Alternatively, you can offer to stop by a donor’s house to make the process of giving easier and convenient for that individual.
Can and bottle drives tend to be effective because they provide people with a chance to clean out their kitchens or garages without putting in a lot of effort. Furthermore, it enables people to give to two worthy causes as people get to help save the planet by recycling while also helping your organization.
2. Run a Silent Auction
A silent auction can be an effective way to raise funds because you can hold the event almost anywhere. In most cases, all you need is a picture of the item that is being auctioned off until it is time to deliver the prize to the highest bidder. Therefore, you can have people bid at many different places throughout the community. It may also be possible to accept bids online to make it even easier to conduct the event at your organization’s convenience.
While it’s generally a good idea to have at least one or two big ticket items, you can generally stock the auction with goods donated by individuals or businesses. For example, you can ask people to bid on a dinner for two at a local restaurant or on free tickets to a minor league baseball game in town.
It may also be possible to auction off free swim lessons or other services related to swimming or diving. In most cases, people will bid on almost anything at a charity auction that seems interesting because they know that the money is going to a good cause.
3. Solicit Sponsorships
Local businesses may be willing to sponsor organizations that are seen as beneficial to the youth of the community. In fact, larger companies will often have community outreach coordinators or individuals with similar titles who can work with your group to work out a deal.
You can also ask former members of the swim team, famous people within the community or other individuals for help. For example, you could agree to name a facility after a key figure in the community in exchange for providing the funding to build it. You could also agree to put people’s names on bricks, benches or other objects inside of an arena in exchange for donations.
It may be worthwhile to consider offering various sponsorship tiers. For example, those who donate $5 a month are entitled to receive a monthly newsletter or get to purchase tickets a day before they go on sale. Those who donate $10 monthly could be entitled to buy tickets three days before they go on sale and at a 10% discount. Finally, people who donate $20 per month can be given perks such as private events or seating in a special section reserved just for them.
4. Have a Swimming Competition
You can give your team a sense of what it takes to run a successful organization by having them participate directly in the fundraising process. One way to do this is to hold an event during which each member of the team will try to complete as many laps as possible in a certain amount of time.
Prior to the event, each participant will collect pledges from individuals or businesses. For instance, a participant’s parent may agree to give $1 for every lap completed. If the team member completes 10 laps, he or she would earn $10 toward whatever goal the organization was pursuing.
You can also hold various other competitions in an effort to raise funds such as a fastest lap or best dive challenge. This can be a fun way to both solicit donations and develop a healthy sense of competition between teammates that can help everyone strive to be better.
5. Conduct Some Other Type of Community Charity Event
A bowling tournament, softball game or similar event can bring the community together to have fun and help your cause. You can charge each team an entry fee, sell tickets or sell concessions at the event in an effort to raise money for the team. There are a variety of formats that you can use such as having your team go up against members of the community or simply slot players or teams against each other at random.
6. Bake Sales are Usually Popular
Having a bake sale can be an ideal way to raise money because people typically like to consume brownies, cookies and other sweets. Furthermore, no one needs to be a culinary master to take part in the event. Instead, you simply need to find a group of folks who are willing to share their favorite recipes with the community. In fact, baking cookies or brownies is a basic enough task that the kids on the team can do so themselves with a parent or guardian’s supervision.
7. Create an Online Donation Portal
An online donation portal allows donors to contribute funds to your cause whenever it is convenient for them to do so. It also allows them to contribute from wherever they happen to be, which increases your potential donor pool. This may be an ideal way for grandparents who live out of state to support an organization that their grandchildren are a part of. It can also be an ideal way to collect funds from other swimming clubs or other outside groups that want to help in some way.
Most online donation sites accept contributions from debit and credit cards as well as bank transfers. It is worth noting that you’ll likely have to pay hosting and other fees to your crowdfunding platform provider. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to look at a number of different providers before choosing one.
8. Sell Merchandise
It doesn’t take much time or effort to put your team’s name, logo or other identifying information on a cup, hat or t-shirt. You can also sell sweatshirts, cellphone covers and other products through a physical or digital marketplace. These products can also be used as promotional items to spread the word about your organization or as gifts to those who donate to your cause or agree to sponsor your organization for the upcoming season.
9. Raffles Are Always Fun
People generally participate in 50/50 raffles for the same reason that they buy lottery tickets. While they know that they likely won’t win, there is nothing more alluring than the possibility of going home with hundreds or thousands of dollars. In addition, most people buy lottery or raffle tickets because they know that their money is going to a good cause. Therefore, in a way, they can go home feeling like winners even if they don’t actually increase their net worth.
It is worth noting that some localities have bans against any raffles as they are seen as gambling. At a minimum, you may need to obtain a license before you can hold such an event. Furthermore, even if you do have a license to have a raffle, you may be restricted as to where it can be held and who can participate. Typically, minors are not allowed to buy raffle tickets or win prizes.
10. Leverage Your Online Connections to Raise Funds
If you have a blog, you can add links to whatever platforms you use to raise funds for your team. You can also post links to social media accounts or use those accounts to raise awareness about your efforts. This may be effective even if you typically use your blog or social media accounts to raise awareness for your business or to raise your own profile as an online influencer. By mentioning outside interests to customers or to your followers, you help to humanize yourself and showcase your ability to be a good corporate citizen. Ultimately, you may be able to increase sales while also helping your team get through another season.
Without adequate funds, it becomes almost impossible to operate a functional and successful swimming club. Fortunately, there are many strategies that you can use to make sure that your team has what it needs without alienating the community or causing personal or professional burnout. Over time, you may actually find that the relationships forged during the fundraising process makes it easier to get what you need without putting in more time or effort than you can afford to give.
Adrenaline Fundraising is here to help when you need it.