January 14, 2021 • Athletic AdministrationFootballTechnology

6 Tips to Maximize Fundraising Around Football

  1. Efficiency Surrounding Fundraising Efforts — It is integral to develop positive relationships with your local businesses, boosters, and parent groups. Having a strategic plan to direct your efforts is key in prioritizing your fundraising efforts. Work with your school administrators, student-athletes, coaches, and parents to develop a strategic plan.Your strategic plan can act as a mechanism to share your story and identify the needs your student-athletes and programs need to be successful. Have a vision and use your vision to drive your fundraising campaigns!

Here are a few tips in using internal support to assist your efforts in providing your athletic department with the necessary funds to offer your student-athletes the best experience possible. First, I would suggest working with your director of buildings & grounds to discuss a 10-year capital plan in many instances, working with your school in facility planning can truly act as an internal fundraising mechanism. Secondly, I would also have your coaches submit budget requests each year to work with your school budget planning team & booster to identify what your school budget can absorb and what boosters can help in supplementing your school budget. Thirdly, share your strategic plan and needs with your alumni, business community, supporters, and boosters! 

  1. Effective Ways to Involve Student-Athletes — Using student-athletes in fundraising is essential to the success of any fundraising campaign. Here is a simple low-cost strategy to incorporate your student-athletes in your development of funds. We have incorporated video public service announcements as well as using social media to promote fundraising events. Our student-athletes do a great job of telling our story!
Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

Example: Social Media Text & Email Campaign

In the last few years, we have conducted Social media, email, and text campaigns in which we ask our student-athletes to send social media posts texts, and emails to friends, family, and alumni. We have set up our own website to collect donations. Our student-athletes send our various texts and emails throughout a two-week period. We typically use this campaign for a specific request such as uniforms or technology.

  1. Starting a Booster Club to Offset Duties / How to go about Fundraising for Capital Projects around Football Teams — We worked with our local youth football organization to promote our Punt, Pass, & Kick Contest for Grades 3 through 7. We secured a sponsor, which paid for awards & sponsorship fee. We invited 1200 students to the event, which we conducted prior to our varsity football game that evening. We charged $20 per entry. We had the winner of each grade presented our football halftime along with a demonstration of their skills.

Our Jaguar Pride Night is a celebration in recognizing coaches, support staff, teachers, and community members. Invite a local celebrity, former college, or professional football players to speak at your event. Integrate a silent auction, autograph session, catered meal, and “ASK” for funding requests to your event and watch your fundraising soar! For our Jaguar Pride event, we assembled four committees, awards, decorations, publicity, and silent auction. We worked with a local restaurant in providing the venue and meal we charged $50 per person. This is a night to celebrate and raise funds to support your student-athletes.

  1. In-Game Promotions & Sponsorships — Our in-game promotions and sponsorships include fall media guide advertising, quarter break game promotions, in-game announcements, red zone sponsorship, touchdown sponsorship, goal sponsorship, win sponsorship!
  1. Video Streaming Advertising — We worked with our local sponsors to secure the pre-game show, starting lineup, halftime show, and post-game show sponsors. Each sponsor received two commercials per broadcast and on-air mentioned during their chosen sponsorship along with on-air graphics. This was a large boost to our revenue the past three years. These are premium sponsorship opportunities for local and regional partners.
  1. Video Board Advertisement — We work with a local advertising firm that secures video ads for our stadium video board, which generates more than $150,000 annually.

Scott Garvis, CMAA, is the director of activities and athletics for Ankeny (IA) Centennial High School. He has been recognized by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association as a “National Athletic Director of the Year Finalist” and was recognized by the National Interscholastic Administrators Association with the Bruce Whitehead Distinguished Service Award. As a leader in the sports industry Garvis has presented to athletic administrators across the country and his ideas on athletic leadership have been published in numerous professional journals.