1. Host a clinic
Athletes can put their skills to good use by teaching them to others. They can help community members perfect their dribble or master their golf swing. Teaching is a great way to learn, so a clinic may have an added effect of helping athletes improve, too. Hosting a clinic is one of the most creative fundraising ideas for sports teams. Whether it’s a soccer club or school robotics, your team has a specific set of skills that others want to learn. Use those skills to your advantage by hosting a clinic. For example, Darin organized a community baseball clinic to raise donations for his friend Robert’s cancer treatment.) Ask friends or businesses to sponsor scholarships.
2. Organize an exercise class
Get people moving for a good cause. Organize a fundraising event exercise class and ask participants to donate at the door. If you ask a venue to host your class, tell them of your team fundraising ideas, and why you’re raising money—they may be inclined to sponsor the event and give you the space for. From Crossfit to Soulcycle to yoga, the options are endless.
3. Host an -a-thon
Most of us are familiar with walkathons, but why not put your own spin on it? For one of the more interesting sports fundraising ideas, you can tailor-make an event that fits your cause and team, find a venue, plan, the details, pick a day and time, and ask participants to secure pledges. If people don’t want to pledge a certain amount, give them the option of a flat-fee donation. On GoFundMe, we’ve seen teams host a Swim-A-Thon, Read-A-Thon, Skate-A-Thon, and Spin-A-Thon.
5. Take on a challenge
What better way to show your dedication for a cause than by taking on a major challenge that raises money at the same time? After his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Stu dreamed of running long-distance races with his family to raise awareness of the disease—and with his GoFundMe, he was able to do just that.
6. Offer unusual rewards
If you’re looking for creative fundraising ideas for sporting clubs, you may want to consider offering unique prizes. Sometimes we see teams provide rewards to their supporters as an incentive to donate. For example, wrestling champion AJ Mendez offered to mention donors in tweets to her following, and the JFK Library offered custom calendars.
7. Create something you can give
To implement a creative twist when designing fundraising ideas for sports teams, you can gather your team members to work towards something that relates to your cause. Consider asking a local business or a local restaurant for in-kind donations and resources that you can incorporate. A few examples we’ve seen on our site are a can sculpture for your local food pantry, brown bags full of food, personal care items, clothes, and hygiene products for homeless people.
8. Long-term athletic endeavors
The best fundraisers for sports teams create a long-term challenge. Athletic fundraisers that extend over multiple days have a unique advantage: they allow athletes to post updates throughout their journey. Supporters can follow the athlete’s progress and make donations as they go.
18-year-old Lucy and her dad had an audacious goal: to ride their bikes 2,500 miles from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida. The purpose? They wanted to raise money to fund mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer. Lucy kept her donor community in the loop with frequent Facebook posts of photos from the road—and she raised $4,000 for women’s preventative health.
9. Less-rigorous sport challenges
You don’t have to be superhuman to raise money through athletics. Softer adventures can also attract media attention, especially if they involve large numbers of people. A run, bicycle race, or swim empowers everyday people to exercise while giving back to charity. Remember that lots of participants means lots of social media shares—for more donations.
4th grader Lucas hadn’t even learned how to skateboard yet when he started his GoFundMe for a class project to benefit Skateistan, a nonprofit that helps kids in developing countries access education through skateboarding. But with the help of his donors, Lucas raised money for the organization, decorated some skateboards, and picked up a new skill.
10. “Punish” the Coach
This classic is less cruel than it sounds. An easygoing coach might agree to sit in a dunk tank, take a pie to the face, or even dye their hair if the price is right. After a grueling practice, players themselves might also want to donate to this fund.