Fundraising is rarely a one-person job. After all, even the most passionate individuals can only reach out to so many supporters by themselves. Fortunately, team-based organizations, such as little leagues, high school sports teams, and sports clubs, already have a team assembled. With the right tools, these teams can mobilize their members to raise more together than they could individually!
A wide range of teams can benefit from team fundraisers, from soccer teams to chess clubs. All these teams need to get started is a group of individuals ready to raise for their club or organization, a strong fundraising idea to base their campaign around, and the right tools to make that campaign succeed.
To help your team get started, this article will walk through the fundamentals of team fundraising and dive into seven top team fundraising ideas.
Here at ShopRaise, we know that individuals can do more together. Our years of experience empowering teams to raise more have given us unique insight into how individual contributions add up, especially when backed by the right software platforms. Let’s get started!
Team Fundraising: Frequently Asked Questions
Before exploring specific fundraising ideas, let’s begin with some team fundraising basics.
What is team fundraising?
Team fundraising initiatives are fundraisers conducted by a group of people all gathering contributions for the same cause. Most often, team fundraisers are conducted by sports teams and clubs but can be hosted by any team-based organization. In fact, some fundraising campaigns allow volunteers to sign up as teams and compete either amongst each other or other teams.
For the most part, team fundraisers follow many of the same practices as campaigns where fundraising volunteers work independently. Team members ask supporters to give to their team, and they record how much they have raised. Some team fundraisers create a sense of friendly competition by sharing the totals each member has raised, while others pool all funds raised together as a team. These approaches encourage individuals to earn more and help each other out by sharing fundraising tips and tricks.
What makes team fundraising successful?
Team fundraising relies on groups of people working together, which means they’ll need to coordinate and have strong leadership to be successful. You can motivate your team and help them present a united front by following these best practices:
Use gamification tools. Gamification makes fundraisers more engaging for your team members. While much of their passion comes from their dedication to your team, you can give your members extra motivation with points, badges, ranks, or other awards based on their fundraising success. Some team fundraisers even give prizes at the end of their campaign to the top earners.
Create strong lines of communication. Team fundraising has the added benefit of helping to build a sense of community between your members. Ensure your team members can always get in touch with a member of your team’s leadership—whether it’s their coach, club president, or lead fundraising organizer—if they need guidance. Plus, encourage your team members to be available to each other as well. This can include making a group chat for them, holding team meetings, and even hosting events to celebrate a successful fundraiser.
Maintain consistent branding. While each of your team members likely has their own approach to fundraising, you’ll want to ensure that they present your team in the right light when interacting with supporters. To help them maintain your team or club’s brand voice, create a communication and style guide for your team members. This guide should include your team’s values, core talking points, branding strategy and any specific phrases, statistics, or stories you want your team members to share.
Whether your team members are competing against each other or working together, your club or team’s leadership should give them the tools they need to succeed and feel supported. If you’re ever unsure what your team members need, don’t be afraid to ask them!
How can you lead a fundraising team?
Keeping your team on the same page can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are a born leader or are busy improving your leadership skills, there are a few strategies you can use to make managing your team easier:
Invest in the right resources. More team members means more fundraising potential, but also more people for your team’s leadership to track. Use donation tracking, team fundraising, and communication tools to stay in touch with everyone and monitor their progress.
Listen to team member feedback. As mentioned, the fastest way to know what your team members need is to ask them. You may not be able to implement every piece of advice you get, but just by collecting feedback, you can get a better sense of how your fundraiser is progressing, while also helping your team members feel heard.
Ensure all team members are working towards the same goal. It’s an old cliche, but there really is no “I” in team. Even if you’re running a competitive team fundraising campaign, you should check in with your members to remind them that ultimately they are all working together for the good of your team as a whole.
You can start your team fundraiser off on the right foot by choosing an experienced leader. Ensure they’re familiar with the type of fundraiser you’re running so they can be a resource for the rest of your team. This means that if you’re trying out a new software solution, be sure to give them extra time to learn your platform before starting your fundraiser.
7 Team Fundraising Ideas
Some team fundraisers encourage their team members to straightforwardly ask for contributions, as you would for any other fundraising campaign. However, many of them combine team fundraising with creative fundraising ideas to make the most of the added manpower and bring their team together as a community.
To help inspire your team, here are seven fundraising ideas that pair well with team fundraising:
1. Shopping Fundraisers
Shopping fundraisers are fundraisers where your supporters raise money for your cause while purchasing everyday items. These can include online shopping fundraisers, grocery store fundraisers, charity-specific product lines, and more.
When supporters shop at participating retailers or buy specific products, the retailer will give a portion of the proceeds to your team without charging your supporters extra. This means your supporters can raise more for your team at no additional expense.
Most shopping fundraisers require a partner organization to facilitate the relationship between your team and the retailers. This includes negotiating the rates retailers will give and also which retailers are participating in the program.
ShopRaise is an online shopping platform that allows your supporters to raise money for your team when they make everyday purchases through ShopRaise’s app, online mall, or browser extension.
ShopRaise is a convenient solution that allows your community members to support your cause without deviating from their normal shopping routines. Here are just a few ways ShopRaise stands out among shopping fundraisers, specifically for team fundraising:
Branded pages. Invoke your team’s spirit in every part of the fundraising process by branding your team’s online shopping page and app. ShopRaise will use your team’s logo, branding, and messaging to design your fundraising pages, and even create branded social media posts and emails to jumpstart your marketing campaign.
Supporter tracking. ShopRaise protects your shoppers’ privacy by not revealing their exact purchases, but it does allow your team’s leadership to view which of your supporters are participating and how much they’re earning. This means you can encourage your team to continue making purchases through ShopRaise and recognize your top fundraisers.
- Customized marketing materials. Online shopping fundraisers are a convenient, low-stress way to earn revenue for your team. However, these aren’t passive fundraisers. Your team will need to get the word out about your fundraiser to have supporters sign up. Fortunately, ShopRaise is here to help and will create customized marketing materials for your campaign. Then, all your team needs to do is distribute them and regularly promote your program to remind your supporters to keep logging into their ShopRaise app.
ShopRaise fundraisers can be held all year long. This means sports teams and clubs can continue fundraising through ShopRaise even during the off-season, providing a reliable stream of revenue to invest in your team’s future success.
2. Peer-to-Peer Campaigns
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.
Peer-to-peer campaigns and team fundraising often go hand-in-hand, especially for competitive team fundraisers, as each of your team members will be incentivized to reach out to as many of their friends, family, and social media followers as possible. To get your peer-to-peer campaign started, follow these steps:
Onboard volunteers. As mentioned, you’ll need your team members to be familiar with your team’s brand voice and core talking points before approaching supporters. During the onboarding process, 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.
Set up unique campaign pages. Peer-to-peer campaigns are most effective when your team members are able to 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 also helps each member of your fundraising team stand out and can be helpful in monitoring individual donation totals.
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 team fundraisers but still award their top earning volunteers prizes and recognition. When combining the two, feelings of competition will likely rise. Just be sure to remind everyone they’re all ultimately working together!
3. Team 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, handwriting and personalizing letters takes time. However, with an entire team powering your fundraiser, your club or team can produce far more letters than you could alone. Plus, you can implement best practices, such as:
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 personal 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, many teams and clubs can add a little extra authority to their letter campaigns by having their 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 into 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.
4. Restaurant Partnerships
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 fliers, and more. You can even track who got the most guests to attend by letting diners share which of your team members invited them.
5. Pledge Fundraisers
Sports teams, clubs, schools, and other organizations with athletic members can make the most of pledge fundraisers. Pledge fundraisers can be held with several types of events but are most often used to raise money for 5Ks, walk-a-thons, and other marathon type events.
Pledge fundraisers have three steps:
1. Gather initial pledges. Give your team members a pledge sheet for your event. Then, have them go out in your community to promote your event and collect pledges. Pledges can be either flat donations or based on how well your team members compete in your event. For example, if you’re hosting a walk-a-thon at a local track, a supporter might pledge $1 per lap walked. Then, if the team member walks ten laps, they’ll earn $10.
2. Host the event. The event itself is a fun opportunity for your team to come together to compete and motivate each other. Be sure to recruit enough volunteers to keep your event running smoothly, especially if it’s physically taxing on your participants.
3. Collect promised donations. After your event, your team members will record how well they did at your event. Then, they’ll go back to each supporter who made a pledge to collect their promised contributions.
You can motivate your team members further by offering prizes for both members who raised the most and those who performed the best in your event. For sports teams, these types of events can be an opportunity to both raise funds and push their members to get out and exercise.
6. Product Fundraisers
Looking for a team fundraising campaign that gives supporters something in exchange for their contributions? While they might not have the flexibility of online shopping fundraisers, product fundraisers allow supporters to purchase a variety of goods while giving to your cause.
Teams usually run product fundraisers by partnering with a service that provides items in bulk at a discounted price. There are a few classic products that fundraisers usually sell, but with the right supplier, your fundraising team can sell a wide selection of products, such as:
- Branded merchandise
- Cookie dough
- Flower bulbs
- Holiday decorations
Product fundraisers work best when teams have many members they can send out to sell their products. Plus, your team members will need to record each sale to ensure every supporter receives their purchases. This means that you can easily measure who sold the most for your team fundraiser and award prizes to your top earners.
7. Crowdfunding Campaigns
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, a sports team might launch a crowdfunding campaign to purchase new equipment or cover their 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.
Team fundraising campaigns are an opportunity to earn revenue for your team while bringing your members closer together. Whether you’re a chess club raising more to rent a new meeting space or a school sports team looking to update your equipment, team fundraising can help you leverage the power of your entire team to earn more.
Many classic fundraisers can be adapted to team fundraisers, giving your club or team a variety of options to choose from. Explore your choices to find a fundraising idea that will motivate your team to take action and fundraise on your behalf. Plus, don’t neglect key fundraising opportunities, like shopping fundraisers, that allow your team members to support your team at no additional cost.
As you prepare your team for your next fundraiser, check out these resources on some of the top easiest fundraising methods available:
Shop for a Cause: How to Give Back While Shopping Online. Your supporters can contribute to your cause in a variety of ways while shopping online. Explore these methods of how to shop for a cause, and choose the right one for your team.
Online Shopping Fundraisers for Schools: How to Get Started. Online shopping fundraisers can benefit many teams and clubs, especially school-based ones. Learn how your school can get started with this beginner’s guide.
Passive Fundraising: How to Earn Extra Revenue [+5 Ideas]. Interested in adding an additional revenue source to your annual fundraisers? Explore these five passive fundraising ideas.