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Good Fundraising Ideas
Help your Team Come Together for a Successful Season

Good fundraising ideas can do more than just add cash to your team bank account - they can add a sense of team unity and shared purpose, things that, especially at the beginning of the season, are at least as important as being able to buy that new set of basketball uniforms.

Basketball coaching is a lot more than just teaching skills and plays - it's also a lot about team development. And of course, there's always the administrative end of things - setting up trips and tournaments, arranging venues and refs, and of course, making sure you have the money to get it all done. Whenever possible, try to combine the team development with the administrative aspect of the job.

Fundraising is a necessary part of most coaches' lives. With some luck, you might have an active parents association, or maybe even a few alumni with fond memories and deep pockets. But for most of us, raising money for uniforms or trips comes down to the activities and events our teams can organize.

So here are a few good fundraising ideas I have come across through my coaching and playing career. The list is by no means complete, but it is a start. Most of the links you see throughout the list will take you to a fundraising company called Fast Track Fundraising - you can find some of their fundraising ideas here. It's a good company that supplies all kinds of fundraising ideas and product you can use for your teams.

Good Fundraising Ideas for your Team

  • Handyman Auction - essentially, you auction off your players for a couple of hours of household chores or work around the yard. Leaves to be raked in the fall, snow to be shoveled in the winter, grass to be mowed in the summer. Always lots of work to be done, and people will feel good to be supporting the team while at the same time getting some much needed help around the house.

  • Silent Auction - for this, people place bids privately on a host of items. Nobody knows anyone else's bid, so it's possible for bidders to get a good bargain, but also possible for you to get lots of money. You can find a Silent Auction Guide and Toolkit here.

  • Coca Cola - almost every lunch room will have a Coke or Pepsi machine quietly humming away in the corner. Students drop a dollar into the machine for thier can of Coke - some of that goes to pay for the Coke, but some of it goes to whoever owns the machine. At my high school, the basketball team owned the Coke machine, which meant we received revenue every time a student bought a can of soda. You'll need to take care of ordering and stocking the machine, but it is a pretty easy and hassle-free way to get a steady stream of income.

  • Chocolate - we've all seen it done by all kinds of organizations, but it's done because it works. And it doesn't have to be chocolate - you can be a little more creative and offer lollipops or popcorn or snack packs or beef jerky, or kinds of things. Click here for some more good fundraising ideas along these lines (mostly with food).

  • Car Wash - another old standby, but usually a good money earner.

  • Dances and BBQs - either together or one at a time, the team can organize and manage a dance or a bbq. Players can create the advertising, sell the tickets, arrange the facilities and entertainment, bbq the food, dj the dance - basically manage the whole show. Good fundraising and good team work combined.

  • And lots more... - limited only by your and your team's imagination. You can check out other ideas at Fast Track Fundraising like a cookie dough fundraiser, Fundraising Cards or a Magazine Signup Fundraiser, or simply make up your own - be creative, and there'll be no end to the list of good fundraising ideas you can come up with.

Many of these ideas will work best when players work together, and so you won't only be making money, you'll also be building teamwork. But a word of caution for those who haven't done fundraising before - it's always better to get started early and stockpile the money away, rather than wait until you need it and then try to put some event together.

Think of fundraising as a team event, as a way to get the team together and working on a shared vision, and as a way to build not just the team but the community as well. Don't regard it as an onerous task, because it will quickly become that for you and you will dread this much needed activity. Have fun with it instead.

Good luck in your fundraising efforts!

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