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Sporting Events for Your Organization’s Fundraising Plan

When it comes to fundraising opportunities, there are many options for your organization to look into utilizing as sources of income. It can often be overwhelming for organizations to select a fundraising event that will be enjoyable for all involved and an efficient use of your time. If your organization selects a type of fundraiser that its representatives are not passionate about, instead of being an exciting event, planning the fundraising program can just feel like a chore to complete. For many community members, this can bring back memories of trying to sell items for your school that were often over priced and were not things that people really needed to purchase.

That is where holding a sporting event can come into play for your organization’s fundraising plan. All across the country, community members spend much of their recreational time either watching or participating in sporting events during their free time. This can be an easy way for your organization to raise funds while your neighborhood’s residents get to participate in an activity that they truly enjoy.

Choose Your Sporting Event

There are a variety of sporting event fundraisers that your organization can facilitate no matter where you are located or the time of year. Basketball tournaments are an option for the summertime or at indoor facilities during the winter. In order to operate this fundraiser, your organization can facilitate a three on three basketball tournament and charge each team an entrance fee to join. Another popular event is holding a run/ walk marathon for community members to participate in. Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise and community members will jump at the chance to train for a good cause. You can charge an entrance fee for each runner, or they can seek out sponsors that will pledge an amount for the distance that they complete.

Other sporting events for your organization to consider may include softball tournaments, pool tournaments, tennis tournaments, golf tournaments, and volleyball tournaments. Have a planning meeting with your board of directors and fundraising team to assess the most popular types of sports in your region and determine if there are any particular events that your representatives are passionate about.

Plan It Out

Once your organization has selected the type of sporting event to implement as a fundraiser, now comes the planning part! The first step is to select a date and location. We would suggest speaking with local school facilities or community parks as potential site locations. These can be a cost saving location because your organization may be able to utilize the facility at no cost or at a very nominal rate. If it is a public venue, such a public tennis courts, you will want to inquire about reserving the location. This will help to avoid any disturbances on the day of the event. Be sure to keep in mind the venue capacity of the location and determine if it will be able to hold your expected participation size. Having required sign ups in the months leading up to your event will also allow your representatives to plan for the day of the event.

Corporate Sponsors

The next step of planning for the event is to solicit for corporate sponsors. If you have not created a corporate sponsorship brochure, this will be an excellent time to create and utilize one. A corporate sponsorship is where business will donate to your organization in return for being recognized as a donor within the public.  For example if a pizza restaurant donated food for your event, then you may put their logo as sponsor on your website and marketing materials for the sporting event.

There are a lot of ways that a corporate sponsor can be extremely beneficial for your event. Not only may they donate cash for your event, they may also donate supplies needed for the day of the fundraiser. You can approach restaurants and grocery stores for the event’s catering and refreshment needs. You could also approach retail stores and sporting good stores for the supplies needed for your event (for example, basketballs, referee supplies, volleyballs, etc.).

Corporate sponsors may also come in handy for your event’s prizes. Most tournaments will provide a cash gift or a physical prize for the top winners. These items can be very expensive and take away from your profits unless you are able to get these items donated to you. You can also use these donations to hold a silent auctions during your event. This will provide some extra fun for your audience as they are watching the competition.

Market the Events

After your location and corporate sponsors have been covered, you will want to begin marketing the events. For best results, you will want to have several months lead time to market the date to the public. It is imperative that you give participants enough time to sign up and attend the event if your organization wants to have a proper turnout. Your organization can utilize a variety of marketing avenues that includes your website, social media, fliers, and print media. If you do not have a website or personnel that are experienced with marketing, you may want to look into hiring professionals that can assist with these services.

Fill the Positions

The next step in planning is recruiting individuals that will facilitate the sporting event. You will need a variety of positions to be filled by your representatives and fundraising team. You may have to budget to pay a stipend for individuals to fill certain roles. This may include the necessary referees, catering, and DJs. Having a representative that can MC the entire event and keep things moving along to the time schedule will also be crucial to the day.

Your organization will also need to ensure that you have filled all of the necessary paperwork in order to avoid some hefty fines. The city may require that you file a permit to hold your event. If you are going to hold a raffle or silent auction at your event, you will need to comply with the state requirements. Be sure to have a representative that will look into these requirements. Lastly, your organization will need to file a charity registration with the state in order to solicit for donations.


If you need assistance with your fundraising resources, corporate sponsorships, or marketing services, please contact BryteBridge at 877-857-9002 today!