25+ Winning Sports Fundraising Ideas for Your Team

25+ Winning Sports Fundraising Ideas for Your Team

Fundraising is rarely a one-person job. Even the most passionate individuals can only reach out to so many supporters by themselves. Fortunately for sports teams, you already have a team assembled. With the right tools, your team can mobilize its members to raise more together!

All you need is a strong fundraising idea to base your campaign around. In this article, we’ll walk through our list of the best sports fundraising ideas that will inspire your team and your supporters. Here is what we’ll cover:

At ShopRaise, we know that individuals can do more together. Our years of experience empowering sports teams and other organizations to boost their fundraising results have given us valuable insight into how individual contributions add up—especially when backed by the right software. Let’s get started!

Click through to request a free ShopRaise demo and learn how the platform can boost your sports fundraising results.

Some sports fundraisers encourage team members to straightforwardly ask for contributions, as you would for any other fundraising campaign. However, by leveraging creative sports fundraising ideas for your team, you can make the most of your added manpower and bring your team together as a community.

The top sports fundraising ideas that work well for any team are:

The top sports fundraising ideas for all teams, as explained in more detail below.

Online Shopping Fundraisers

Shopping fundraisers allow your supporters to contribute funds to your team while purchasing everyday items through online shopping, grocery store donation programs, charity-specific product lines, and more. Taking your fundraiser online provides the most flexibility for supporters since they can support your cause by purchasing various items from their favorite e-commerce businesses.

To launch an online shopping fundraiser, your sports team will need to partner with a platform like ShopRaise. ShopRaise is a convenient solution that allows your community members to support your team without deviating from their normal shopping routines. You can get started with ShopRaise in three easy steps:

The steps to start sports fundraising through an online shopping fundraiser, as explained in more detail below.
  1. Sign up for ShopRaise. Create a free ShopRaise account and complete a simple onboarding process facilitated by one of our fundraising experts. They’ll answer any questions you may have and even create a branded landing page for your sports team to share with the community.
  2. Spread the word. ShopRaise will also provide customized marketing materials to help you get the word out about your sports team’s fundraiser, including email templates, flyers, and website banners.
  3. Track your results. Through ShopRaise’s reporting suite, you can track your team’s fundraising progress and thank supporters for participating. To maintain privacy, you’ll be able to see the total amount of funds each shopper brings in, but not their specific purchases.

When your supporters make purchases from ShopRaise’s wide network of popular online retailers through the ShopRaise app or browser extension, you’ll receive a portion of the revenue. Essentially, online shopping fundraisers are a free, low-effort way for your sports team to boost its revenue and engage its supporters.

Benefits of Using ShopRaise

ShopRaise stands out among other online shopping platforms in many ways, including:

  • Branded pages. ShopRaise will use your logo, branding, and messaging to design your fundraising pages, so supporters can trust that their contributions are going to your specific sports team.
  • Customized marketing materials. Your team will need to promote your fundraiser to encourage supporters to sign up and remind them to continue shopping for your cause. Fortunately, ShopRaise will handle the heavy lifting and create email templates, flyers, and other custom promotional materials for your team.
  • Supporter tracking. ShopRaise allows your team’s leadership to view which of your supporters are participating and how much they’re earning. This means you can recognize your top supporters individually and hone your marketing strategy as you continue fundraising.

Plus, you can leave your fundraiser open all year long. This means you can continue bringing in contributions even during the off-season, providing a reliable revenue stream to invest in your sports team’s future success.

Explore our free webinars to learn how your team can take its sports fundraising ideas to the next level and raise more for your efforts.

Gift Card Fundraising

Similar to online shopping fundraisers, gift card fundraising is a highly effective and convenient sports fundraising idea for your team. Your community members can contribute simply by buying gift cards for themselves or a loved one. They’ll be able to use the cards to make online or in-person purchases while your sports team receives a portion of the gift card proceeds.

Launching one of these fundraisers is just as straightforward as an online shopping fundraiser:

  • Partner with an online fundraising platform. If you’ve already signed up for ShopRaise, then you’re one step closer to generating revenue through gift card fundraisers! The ShopRaise app provides access to both online shopping fundraising and gift card fundraising features, which means you can give your supporters even more options for contributing to your team through everyday shopping.
  • Promote your team’s gift card fundraiser. The more channels you use to promote your sports fundraiser, the more regular supporters you’ll be able to reach. ShopRaise will produce the materials you need to spread the word on your team’s website, through email, in social media posts, and on printed flyers.
  • Measure your fundraising performance. Use the ShopRaise platform to view real-time data on your fundraising performance. You can track metrics such as participation rate, average contribution amount, and traffic sources, then use this information to identify ways to improve your marketing strategy.

Research shows that 54% of U.S. consumers buy gift cards as holiday gifts and nearly 50% do so because they’re convenient. If your sports team is looking to generate extra revenue throughout the year, tap into the popularity of gift cards by launching a gift card fundraiser. Plus, supporters can “double dip” and contribute even more to your team by using their purchased gift cards to shop through ShopRaise’s app or browser extension.

Sales-Based Sports Fundraisers

Hosting a sales-based sports fundraiser can be an excellent way to incentivize more community members to get involved and support your team. After all, they’ll be able to receive something in return for their generosity—whether they’re purchasing a t-shirt or a baked item. Plus, purchasing promotional materials and goods through ShopRaise retailers can earn even more revenue for your team.

Consider the particular interests of your team and community members as you explore these popular sales-based fundraisers for sports teams:

The top sales-based sports fundraising ideas, as explained in more detail below.

Fundraising eCards

People send cards for countless reasons—in fact, Americans send 1.1 billion holiday cards every year, not to mention all of the thank-yous, birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions they celebrate. So, why not incorporate greeting cards into your sports fundraising strategy?

Fundraising eCard platforms make this fundraising idea accessible to teams of all sizes and resources. The digital nature of eCards allows you to create your own stunning designs and reach more supporters outside of your local area without having to worry about printing and mailing physical cards.

The process of starting one of these eCard sports fundraisers looks something like this:

  • Find an eCard platform and create your designs. Choose a user-friendly eCard platform that provides easy tools for producing your team’s eCards. Some will even allow you to add animations to make the cards even more visually appealing. Be sure to incorporate your team’s branding and add a basic message template that senders can personalize when they buy an eCard.
  • Add eCards to your website or online store. You can either embed the eCards into your sports team’s website and allow supporters to send them alongside a small donation of their choice or add them to your online store at specific prices.
  • Promote your eCard fundraiser. Spread the word about your eCard fundraiser on multiple platforms, including email, social, media, and text. Especially around the holidays, you can create themed designs and promote them as a way for your community members to send well wishes to their loved ones while supporting your team.

You can brainstorm a variety of purposes and designs for your eCards. For example, you might make an invitation card that says, “Join us on Game Day!” or individual player cards that people can buy to demonstrate their support for a specific team member.

Branded Merchandise Sales

Branded merchandise sales provide opportunities for community members to publicly demonstrate their support for your sports team while contributing the funds you need to meet your goals.

For instance, you might add your team colors and logo to:

  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Water bottles
  • Backpacks
  • Notebooks
  • Mugs
  • Magnets

Once you’ve decided on the specific items you’d like to sell, reach out to a fundraising partner to produce the branded merchandise and facilitate distribution.

Bake Sale

For many people, it’s hard to say no to a sweet treat that will brighten their day. A bake sale is a classic fundraising idea that your sports team can use to bring your community together. Enlist your team members to contribute a variety of baked goods, such as:

  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Muffins
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Pies
  • Banana bread

Plus, this sports fundraising idea can double as a team-building activity if you choose to assemble your team and bake together.

Concession Stand

Delicious concessions can enhance the sports spectating experience and provide a way for your team to raise funds on the side. At your next game, enlist volunteers to run the concession stand. Depending on your resources, you might sell popular snacks like:

  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Nachos
  • Hot dogs
  • Soft pretzels
  • Cotton candy

Don’t forget to account for other supplies such as plates and napkins. Additionally, to appeal to more dietary preferences and needs, consider incorporating vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options such as fruit cups, rice cakes, and trail mix.

Holiday Candy Grams

Whether you’re gearing up for Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, take advantage of the holiday spirit by organizing holiday candy grams. Candy grams, which usually come in the form of a personalized note attached to a piece of candy, are a sweet way for your supporters to show their loved ones that they’re thinking of them—while contributing to your sports fundraising goals at the same time.

All you need to do is gather an assortment of candy, cardstock, and rolls of ribbon. Then, set a price for each candy gram and start selling them in open, crowded locations. For example, if you’re raising funds for a high school sports team, you might set up a table outside the main entrance or in the cafeteria.

Delivering candy grams is much easier if the majority of recipients are located in the same building, such as a school. However, it’s possible to coordinate transportation and distribute candy grams around your local community as well.

Restaurant Sponsorship

Restaurant partnerships have quite a bit in common with shopping fundraisers. Your team members encourage community members to make purchases to support your team, only instead of shopping online, they dine out.

Some restaurant chains have partnership programs that some types of teams, such as school-based clubs, can enroll in. If your team doesn’t qualify or you’re more interested in partnering with local restaurants, you can negotiate your own partnerships. Usually, restaurant partnerships work by dedicating a night to your team where the restaurant keeps half the proceeds and the other half goes to your team!

You can turn restaurant partnerships into effective team fundraisers by asking your team members to go out in the community and promote the event. This can consist of encouraging their friends and family to come to the restaurant that night, handing out flyers, and more. You can even track who got the most guests to attend by letting diners share which of your team members invited them.

Plus, if your team runs a restaurant sponsorship and a gift card fundraiser at the same time, encourage everyone who attends to buy a gift card to that restaurant and pay with it to help you raise even more!

Grocery Store Fundraiser

A grocery store fundraiser is similar to a restaurant sponsorship in that your team can partner with a local grocery store to raise funds in a way that is convenient for everyone involved. There are several ways that you can arrange one of these fundraising partnerships:

  • The grocery store agrees to a specific day during which community members can shop there in support of your sports team. You’ll receive a portion of the sales made from eligible purchases on that day.
  • The grocery store provides customers an option to round up their purchase total as a contribution to your sports fundraising goal.
  • The grocery store allows customers to opt into supporting your sports team with a percentage of their purchases when they use their rewards card.

The details of your grocery store fundraiser will vary depending on the specific store and any existing fundraising programs they may have.

Sports Fundraising Ideas That Give Back

If your sports team is looking for ways to raise funds and better your community at the same time, explore these top sports fundraising ideas that give back:

The top sports fundraising ideas that give back to your community, as explained in more detail below.

Kids’ Sports Camp

Many athletes fall in love with sports because they’re exposed at an early age. Give your team members the opportunity to nurture the next generation of sports stars by hosting a kids’ sports camp. You can either structure the activities around your specific sport or cover a more general scope.

For example, you can engage your team members in leading camp participants in:

  • Fundamental drills, such as dribbling and catching.
  • Exercises that promote teamwork, such as relay races.
  • Discussions about nutrition and developing a healthy performance mindset.

To raise funds, you can charge a registration fee for each participant and sell branded merchandise that children can take home to remember their time at your camp.

Car Wash

Especially if the weather is nice, a car wash can be an ideal sports fundraising idea for bringing your team together to enjoy the sun and connect with your community. Simply choose an outdoor location and gather the supplies your team members need to do the job, including:

  • Hoses
  • Buckets
  • Rags
  • Sponges
  • Window cleaner
  • Tire cleaner
  • Microfiber towels

In addition to charging for each car wash, you can sell snacks, refreshments, and branded merchandise to drivers to earn additional revenue.

Dog Wash

According to UCLA Health, petting an animal can promote the release of hormones that elevate moods. With this in mind, hosting a dog wash fundraiser for your sports team can generate revenue to support your goals, help out your community members, and make your team members feel good.

Even if some of your team members have limited experience handling dogs, they can fulfill other roles, such as collecting donations and making sure you’re well-stocked with dog-washing supplies. Set up multiple stations in an open, outdoor space and prepare supplies such as shampoos, gloves, and hoses.

Consider researching homemade dog treat recipes and selling some freshly baked goods for owners to purchase for their newly-cleaned companions.

Community Service Day

Decide on a community service activity for your team members to engage in and have them collect pledges from their friends and family to encourage their participation. For example, you might plan to clean up your local park. To raise funds, your team members can collect pledges for every bag of trash they fill.

A community service day is an excellent idea for generating revenue for your team while demonstrating that you care about your community’s well-being. Plus, you can incorporate an element of friendly competition by establishing prizes for the top team contributors, such as a gift card or free movie tickets.

Community Picnic

Is there a scenic park or nature center in your sports team’s community? If so, planning a community picnic can be an especially memorable sports fundraiser that gets your supporters outside for a relaxing meal. Sell picnic tickets to community members who are looking for an excuse to meet new people and enjoy a delicious lunch, all while contributing to your team’s fundraising efforts.

Have an assortment of blankets and picnic tables ready to suit various preferences. Plan your picnic foods strategically and give a chance for attendees to share any special dietary restrictions they may have. Sandwiches, biscuits, potato salad, and hand pies are all worthy options to consider.

You can spice up your community picnic further with additional fundraising activities, such as a trivia contest or a raffle. Besides bringing in extra funds, these events will keep supporters entertained during the picnic and make it even more memorable.

Carnival Fundraiser

A carnival fundraiser is a sports fundraising idea that can appeal to supporters of all ages. Whether you’re hosting it at your school or a local park, come up with a list of engaging games and activities to wow your attendees. Many activities have additional fundraising potential, including:

  • Raffles
  • Photo booths
  • Face painting
  • Pie throwing or dunk tanks

Don’t forget to sell concessions and, if your carnival will land around a major holiday, make it themed! You can add additional activities related to the theme such as a costume contest for a Halloween carnival.

Shoe Drive

A shoe drive fundraiser is an easy option for your sports team to raise funds without directly asking your supporters for monetary donations. All you need to do is collect gently worn shoes, which your team members probably already have at home, especially if they’re in the elementary-to-middle-school age range when kids tend to outgrow shoes quickly.

The process typically looks something like this:

  • Your sports team reaches out to a shoe drive fundraising coordinator.
  • You’ll promote your fundraiser in the community, encouraging people to clean out their closets and donate their new or gently used shoes.
  • You’ll collect these shoes and arrange for your fundraising partner to come pick them up.

Your shoe drive fundraising partner will calculate the value of your collected shoes and issue you a check in return.

Easy Sports Fundraising Ideas

You don’t have to go all out with your next sports fundraiser for it to be effective. If you’re short on time or resources, check out these easy sports fundraising ideas that you can start planning today:

The easiest sports fundraising ideas, as explained in more detail below.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

The more team members you have fundraising on your team’s behalf, the more personal networks you’ll have access to. Peer-to-peer campaigns work by getting supporters to give to individual team members that they have a personal connection with.

To get your peer-to-peer campaign started, follow these steps:

  1. Onboard volunteers. You’ll need your team members to be familiar with your team’s voice and core talking points before approaching supporters. You should also provide instructions for any technology your team members will use, as well as information about who to reach out to if they encounter any problems.
  2. Set up unique campaign pages. Peer-to-peer campaigns are most effective when your team members can share their personal stories and experiences. Use a peer-to-peer platform to empower your team members to create unique campaign pages, so their friends and family give to them rather than your team’s generic donation page. This way, each team member can stand out and monitor their individual donation totals.
  3. Manage your campaign. Peer-to-peer campaigns require your team’s leadership to monitor several team members all running their own fundraisers. Ensure you have the proper communication and reporting tools to keep track of them, offer motivation, and even jump in if they need help.

Peer-to-peer campaigns lend themselves to friendly competition. In fact, many peer-to-peer fundraisers aren’t sports team fundraisers but still award their top-earning volunteers prizes and recognition. When combining the two, the competitive spirit will likely rise. Just be sure to remind everyone they’re all ultimately working together!


Crowdfunding campaigns are similar to peer-to-peer campaigns. Both benefit from social media promotion, but while peer-to-peer fundraisers have your team share their individual pages, crowdfunding campaigns have one central donation page your entire team shares.

Crowdfunding campaigns are usually launched to fulfill a specific goal rather than provide general fundraising support. For example, your sports team might launch a crowdfunding campaign to purchase new equipment for the upcoming season or cover your travel expenses to a faraway game.

You can make your crowdfunding campaign a team activity by encouraging your team members to spread your fundraising page online. Add easy social media sharing buttons to your crowdfunding page, as well as promotional content such as videos, pictures, and stories about your team.

Matching Gifts

Matching gift programs are highly impactful yet often overlooked opportunities for boosting fundraising revenue. Many businesses launch these programs as part of their philanthropy initiatives, offering to match the donations their employees make to eligible organizations, often at a 1:1 ratio.

All your donors need to do is check their eligibility and submit a matching gift request to double the impact of their generosity. However, some of them might not be aware of the opportunity. According to Double the Donation, more than 26 million people work for businesses with matching gift programs, but over 78% of them are not aware of the program or its specific guidelines.

Start a matching gift drive to spread awareness of this opportunity among your sports team’s supporters. Share basic information through channels such as:

  • Your website
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Text messages

However, it’s important to note that many companies focus on matching gifts to 501(c)(3) nonprofits or educational organizations. This means your sports team may be able to benefit if it is affiliated with a school or nonprofit. If you’re not, don’t worry. Your sports team can still arrange a challenge gift matching campaign with a local business or even a major donor who is passionate about your team’s success.

Fundraising Letters

While digital marketing has become the new normal for fundraising campaigns, direct mail is still alive and well. With the increase in online communication, handwritten letters and cards feel even more personal and can be quite persuasive for earning support.

Of course, hand-writing and personalizing letters takes time. However, with an entire team powering your fundraiser, your sports team can produce far more letters than you could alone. Additionally, try the following best practices to make your fundraising letters more effective:

  • Provide templates. Writing many letters in a row can be difficult. Help your team out by providing them with a variety of templates that they can fill in with personal details about both their letter’s recipient and their connection to your team.
  • Ask for both monetary and in-kind donations. In addition to individuals, your letter-writing campaign can also send requests for support to businesses. Ask organizations in your community to consider giving supplies, space, or other contributions they might be more willing to give than monetary support.
  • Consider who will sign your letters. In some cases, having your team members sign their letters makes sense. For example, a school’s sports team might encourage their team members to tell personal stories in their fundraising letters, making it more meaningful for the card to come from the student. However, your team can add a little extra authority by having your president, coach, or other leader add their signature.

Writing many letters by yourself can be tedious, but by making it a team activity, you can add some fun to your campaign. Make it an event by gathering your team together, ordering food, and encouraging your team members to keep each other motivated until the last letter is written.

10,000 Steps Challenge

Looking for a sports fundraising idea that will keep your team in tip-top shape while rallying your community to support your funding goals? Start a 10,000 steps a day challenge! Challenge your team members to walk 10,000 steps a day for an entire month and collect donations from their friends, family, and other community members to encourage their efforts.

Each participant can use a wearable activity tracker or app that logs their daily steps and challenge progress. Keep both your team members and supporters motivated throughout the fundraising challenge by posting regular updates on social media and emphasizing what donations will allow you to accomplish. You can also add a competitive element by awarding a prize to the team member who reaches their daily step goal for the most days during the month.

Sports Team Fundraising Events

Sometimes, a well-planned sports fundraising event is what your team needs to mobilize your community to assemble around your goals. Use the following ideas to inspire your planning:

The top sports fundraising events your team can plan, as explained in more detail below.

5K Race

Get your whole community moving by hosting a 5K race for your team’s fundraiser. If you’ve never organized one of these events before, use these basic steps to guide your efforts:

  • Decide on a name for your race, such as “Running for Rugby.”
  • Set an entry fee for race participants.
  • Promote the race on various channels, such as email, social media, and flyers.
  • Enlist your team members and other volunteers to manage the event.

Celebrate participants by awarding prizes such as a branded t-shirt or medal. In all of your marketing materials and event signage, be sure to display your team’s logo and colors so participants and onlookers alike know what your 5K is supporting.

A-Thon Style Event

A-thon sports fundraisers are a type of peer-to-peer fundraising event that involves your team members participating in a specific activity and collecting donations based on their performance. There are several popular types of a-thon events, including:

  • Walk-a-thons
  • Bike-a-thons
  • Bowl-a-thons
  • Dance-a-thons

Let’s say your sports team decides to host a bike-a-thon. Your team members can then complete a set course while collecting donation pledges from friends and family based on how many miles they complete.

Also, don’t feel limited by traditional a-thon style events. Consider setting up an event that aligns with your sport to help your team develop their athletic skills. For instance, a swim-a-thon is perfect for swim team members to build endurance, while a basketball team could hold a free throw shoot-a-thon so players can work on their technique as they fundraise.

Silent Auction

A silent auction can be a highly interactive and enjoyable event for both your team members and your supporters. Appeal to the sports fans in your community by hosting a sports-themed silent auction fundraiser.

Your team can prepare for this type of event by:

  • Selecting a spacious venue, such as a school gym.
  • Collect auction items, like autographed equipment, VIP game tickets, and coaching sessions.
  • Set prices for each auction item.
  • Find silent auction software to support the bidding process.

Once you’ve finalized these specific details, all that is left is for your sports team to start promoting the upcoming auction to the community.

Cook-Off or Bake-Off

There’s nothing like a warm meal to bring your supporters together. Raise funds while doing so by organizing a cook-off or bake-off. Focus on a specific type of dish, such as a popular one among your local community, or a type of cuisine. Then, set up a registration page for participants to sign up in exchange for an entry fee that will go toward your fundraising goals.

Make it an engaging event for participants and spectators alike by establishing a reputable panel of judges, offering tasting opportunities to everyone, and incorporating other activities such as raffles. Don’t forget to come up with prizes for the cook-off or bake-off winners, such as gift certificates or baskets!

Wrapping Up: Additional Resources on Sports Fundraising

Sports fundraising campaigns are opportunities to earn revenue for your team while bringing your members closer together. Explore your choices to find fundraising ideas that will motivate your team to take action and fundraise on your behalf. Plus, don’t neglect fundraising opportunities, like shopping fundraisers, that allow your community to support your team at no additional cost.

As you prepare your team for your next sports fundraiser, check out these resources on some of the top easiest fundraising methods available:

Click through to book a free ShopRaise demo and learn how the platform can support your sports fundraising.
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