Simple Fundraising Tips for a Grand-Slam Fundraiser!

Below are some excellent tips from our partners at Just Fundraising.


Often, a team fundraising manager can put in endless hours of effort organizing, following up, and reporting on their fundraiser, only to have the fundraiser yield dismal financial results. Here are 3 important pointers that will significantly increase your chance of fundraising success.

1- Know WHY you are fundraising and communicate it throughout your fundraiser.

When parents and players know WHY they are running a fundraiser, the results are always better. It gives the fundraiser more purpose, and with purpose comes people’s desire to step-up to the plate and help. Another key reason to communicate your WHY to your participants, is so they can pass on the message to their potential supporters, who will often be more generous when they know WHY they are supporting your team instead of just WHAT they are buying. Wouldn’t you buy more than 1 chocolate bar if you knew the team would be representing your city in their very first out-of-state tournament? Would you be more open to buying a $15 tub of cookie dough, if you knew the city had recently cut the local budget for youth sports, and that the teams’ 4 year-old uniforms needed replacing? When you communicate WHY you are fundraising, you appeal to your supporters’ emotions, and they will naturally want to help you.

2- Establish your precise fundraising goals.

When our sales team asks coaches and group leaders how much they need to raise, 90% of the time, the answer is ‘as much as possible!’ By having a vague or unrealistic target, you’ve already taking the energy out of your fundraiser. Most participants need to know what effort and results are expected of them in order to reach a pre-determined meaningful goal. If not, they simply won’t be as motivated and many will take the easy route, and sell a bare minimum. If your overall goal is to raise $750, the exact amount needed to cover your 2 tournaments this season, and if you have 15 players on your team, then each child needs to bring in a minimum of $50 profit. If you’re selling products (i.e. gourmet popcorn), and making $5 profit per unit sold, then you should set a clear goal for each player to sell a minimum of 10 units each. If you want to encourage more sales, add more prizes over the 10 unit mark, and let your team know before-hand where any extra funds raised will be allocated.

3- Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!

A great location is to business, what great communication is to fundraising.

Prepare them… Before the fundraiser kick-off, it would be a good idea to let parents know of your team’s budgetary shortfalls, and the need to fundraise, so that they’re not surprised when they are asked to fundraise.

Kick-Off … Even if this is just a team fundraiser, it’s important to have an official fundraiser kick-off, with all of the parents and children. It’s the perfect opportunity to create team spirit and to talk about how much greater your season will be thanks to everyone’s expected fundraising efforts. It’s also a great idea to have a few kids do a role-play of the perfect sales pitch in front of all, so they can all see how it’s done!

Parent Letter … Make sure you write up a parent letter specifying the important dates, reminding them why this fundraiser is so important, and noting their expected sales obligations,.

Follow-up … once or twice per week, take the opportunity to highlight the players who are doing a great job selling, to share their selling strategies and to encourage all to keep up their fundraising efforts so they reach their individual and team fundraising targets.

JustFundraising’s How to Start a Fundraiser guide has more in-depth tips and ideas to help teams, schools, and other groups run a successful fundraiser.

Michael Jones is a writer at He has 16 years of experience helping sports teams, schools, church organizations, community groups and charities reach their fundraising objectives

Happy New Year from CoachDeck

Here is wishing all a safe, happy and prosperous 2017. Here’s also wishing all youth sports leagues provide a safe, fun and educational experience for their players this year.

Follow us on Facebook

You’ll always know what’s coming next with CoachDeck if you follow our Facebook page. Go into 2017 knowing everything new pertaining to CoachDeck and youth sports.

Guidelines for youth basketball players

For the first time ever, USA Basketball and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have put out guidelines geared toward promoting proper participation levels in youth basketball. The announcement addresses the amount of playing time, rest and guidelines on specialization.

Running a great youth practice

Whether it be baseball, softball, soccer, basketball or any other sport, there are a few keys to running a great practice with your youth team, regardless of their age. The first, most important aspect is making it fun. This doesn’t mean you just mess around all practice, but nearly any serious drill can be made into a fun and exciting game that kids love. Check out to see how we turn ordinary drills into competitions that also simulate gameday intensity.

Youth Recreational Basketball League in Trouble

Is this a sign of the times? The Graham, (TX) Little Dribblers basketball league is facing a desperate challenge this year. More community members are needed to step up and volunteer in order for this league that typically serves around 300 kids to exist. One threat to the organization is the growth in popularity of “travel” basketball, where kids (or their parents) opt for a more competitive (and expensive) type of play. But not every child wants that level or can afford it, which is why organizations like the Little Dribblers are so vital.

This WAS a mess

In a contrast to yesterday’s post where a league shut down due to possible financial mismanagement, this threatened basketball league has gotten a little better news. Nice to see that, in this case, it looks like the kids are going to be able to continue playing.

How about this for Father’s Day?

It’s coming up and you want to find something unique and surprising for dad or hubby on Father’s Day. Well, dispense with the cologne or tie, and get him something cool he’ll use when coaching that youth football, baseball, softball, basketball or soccer team. A CoachDeck! CoachDeck is a standard deck of cards containing 52 good, fundamental drills that can be turned into games kids love. Perfect for the youth, (5-14) coach on your list. Shipping turnaround is quick, (3-4 days) so there’s still time to get it before the big day!

Cool. And not so cool

If you want to just watch this clip, it is about 10 seconds long, and it shows a 3rd grader named Tyrik Petway make an incredible, buzzer-beating behind-the-back shot from nearly half court. It is pretty fun and cool. But if watching the entire You Tube video makes us wonder if these little kids really are enjoying themselves with the screaming parents who seem to be a little too “into it.” It’s great to cheer, but you be the judge is this is a little much and should be toned down.

Another letter about playing time

Below is a note we recently received from a parent who is distressed at the playing time their daughter received. There are many questions we have such as, is this a competitive team or a recreation team and was there discussion about playing time prior to the season? It also seems like perhaps the amount of crying that occurred might be a symptom of more than simply an unjust coach. We hope to hear more on this situation and will post an update if we do.

My daughter for the 1st time in her life wanted to join a team sport.  She has been at all the basketball practices.

It is 5th and 6th grade girls.  It is apparent what girls are better.  And they have been working with a few others that are new to the game or rusty.  During the practices he scrimmages them all and then there are times when the rusty kids just sit on the benches.

  First game was last night.  5 of the girls played like 98% of the game the rusty girls played 2% and 2 girls never got off the bench.  My daughter was one of them. Sitting there til the 4th quarter the realization came over her that she was not going to play and started crying. I went by the team and said out loud, tell the coach you wanna play.  She did by nothing came of it.  It was not only heart breaking to watch but also pissed that several of us got off work early , trampled thru traffic, just to see her sit on the bench.

  Later when she was crying after the game, I said to stop crying there is time for that later (in the car) that she needs to congratulate the other player.  Another mom comforted her probably cuz she thought I was harsh.

We got in the car and she cried. I don’t want her to be a poor sport either but I certainly can share in her frustration.

Here are my thought about the whole thing.

My daughter want to practice and learn & be a better player.  Being a part of a team I think is great for anyone.  I would imagine that while the girls are starting out in 5th grade it is an opportunity for a coach to help every player be their best.

You can imagine that having a team player sit the entire game when the excitement and anticipation is high, how much that can just rob them of their self-esteem.  This is my number one reason I’m excited she joined.  This coach has all the power to make or break her 1st impression of a team sport.  We can all say it’s about being ON a team, but we can all agree it’s a different feeling when you keep sitting there.  I read the definition of a coach and that is to develop his team, nowhere does it say to win a game.  I can imagine that 1 or 2 minutes of putting her in would damage the game.  We lost anyways EVEN with the best player playing the entire game.  The kids aren’t applying for a scholarship and the coach is not making money or changing he=is status, maybe only his ego and trophy is at stake.  Since when is winning the most important thing for  5th or 6th  grade.  I think its ridicules.   I don’t expect him to play her much, but to sit them there just says to them and the other parents, those kids just aren’t good enough!

I think a great coach doesn’t just play his best players, but he helps players be their personal best!

There’s a meeting at 4 today with the coach and parents. Do you have time to offer any advice.  I want to voice my opinion.

I’ve seen some GREAT coaches and they make it about the kids.  They say play your best and have fun.  To me that’s a good coach!