Fundraising Ideas for Wrestling
Raising funds for a team is one of the most fundamental tasks a wrestling coach takes on. Without funds, your team will cease to exist! A lack of funds will hinder your wrestlers’ technical abilities (because they cannot travel to compete), and may take away the experience of being a member of a wrestling team altogether. The information in this guide should help spark some ideas and get you going in the process of earning money for your team.
The best way to earn funds for your wrestling team is through sponsorships or private donations. These types of funding allow your team to raise the greatest amount of funds with the least amount of time and financial investment by you and your team. Below are a few different ways you can go about getting funds donated to your program.
Sponsorships from Local Businesses
One of the least utilized ways to raise funds, though it’s the most beneficial, is through donations or sponsorship from local businesses. Getting a local company behind your team adds a sense of community and purpose for your wrestlers. Also, businesses are likely able to write off any donated monies on their taxes as business expenses. Essentially, companies will not take a financial loss for contributing to your team — this is a huge selling point for you!
Start by talking to the owner/manager of a local business. Share your team’s goals, and try to get him or her excited about the development of your team. Then, once the proposal has been accepted and they are ready to be a part of your team, make sure to express your gratitude!
Another good way to make contact with local businesses is to send your wrestlers out to personally ask for donations. Doing so will show business owners your wrestlers’ commitments to the team. Speaking face-to-face with a wrestler will make local business owners much more likely to donate because they’ll see that your student-athletes are enthusiastic about the upcoming season.
Some companies may also opt to donate products or other useful items to your team. For example, grocers may be willing to donate food to fuel the team, and sports equipment stores may be willing to donate much-needed wrestling equipment. There are countless ways that a local business can work with your team in order to raise funds, you just have to ask!
Hot Tip: Alumni Donations
Former wrestlers are extremely likely to make private donations in order to help the program. So, make sure to stay in contact with your alumni wrestlers. Invite them to come back to attend a meet, or even to wrestle around at practice. Keeping alumni wrestlers in the mix is a huge financial help.
Many companies may also want to use donations as opportunities to advertise their businesses while also supporting your team. One good way to accept a financial contribution and advertise the contributing business throughout the season is by putting the company’s logo on your team’s schedule or event program at a match. This choice is beneficial because you can advertise multiple companies on one program, maximizing your fundraising potential! Be creative with your sponsorship advertising!
Food is another popular and versatile way to raise funds for your team. Selling food to parents, friends, and fans is a sure-fire way to bring in some money for the upcoming season. Most schools have specific rules and procedures for how this can be done, so make sure to talk to a representative (athletic director, booster club, etc.) to find out what you are allowed to do. Below are some different ways you can use food to fundraise for your team.
There are many companies that are dedicated to providing sports teams certain food items for team fundraising. This is the most common way to use food as a fundraiser. These companies typically require a percentage of all profits, so make sure you know the procedure and terms of the agreement before deciding to go with a specific company.
Organized fundraisers are helpful if you are extremely busy because all of the logistics and planning is established for you. Your only job is to encourage your kids to sell. Popular food items provided by fundraising companies include:
- Beef jerky
- Cookie dough
- Seasonal foods
Another way that teams make a tremendous amount of money is by providing a snack bar for fans at home meets. Wrestling matches often last several hours, so having some snacks available for purchase is absolutely essential to maximize your team’s fundraising potential.
Providing healthy snacks such as fruits, energy bars, sports drinks, bottled water, etc. will encourage wrestlers and parents of wrestlers to purchase healthy foods from the snack bar during the competition. But, you should also stock up on some of the less-healthy snack options for the fans. The highest selling foods for fans at wrestling meets are:
- Hot dogs
- Canned soda
- Bottled water
You should now have a better idea of how to go about earning money for your team. There are countless ways to start fundraising — so many, in fact, that they could not all possibly fit in this guide! In whatever way you decide is best to earn money for your team, be diligent. And most importantly, start early! The earlier you get the ball rolling on your fundraising efforts, the earlier you can secure your team’s legacy. Good luck!