Cash donations are often the best booster club fundraising sources because they are pure profit and require very minimal volunteer labor. Unfortunately, most booster clubs don't receive many cash donations. But you can change that!
First, lets understand why people don't donate cash to your club. It's not because they don't like your club. It's because you never asked, never gave donors a good reason to donate, and/or didn't make it easy to donate. If you do not ask, you will not receive.
When you ask, have a plan (a "campaign"). To generate donation revenue, your club must design a campaign having:
- a launch date
- an end date
- a reason to donate
- an easy way to donate
- people or businesses to ask
Defining a start date for a campaign will force you to have all of your ducks in a row before asking for money. It will also help you avoid overlapping with other club fundraisers.
An end date creates a sense of urgency. It gives potential donors reason to take immediate action and minimizes the chance they will think "I'll take care of this later."
When you give donors a reason to donate, you paint a picture of a way they can make an immediate impact on an urgent, tangible, needed result that would otherwise not happen without them. Consider the examples listed below.
You can make it easy to donate by removing barriers and providing easy, instant ways to donate from anywhere. From the donor's perspective, it is cumbersome to write a check and mail or deliver it to a destination. It is much easier to make a donation via credit or debit card from a smartphone.
You will have to ask more than once. Some people act when you ask the first time, some when you a second time, and some need many more reminders. Depending on the length of your campaign, you should ask two to five times.
When you ask, get to the point, be concise, and focus on the impact the donor's contribution will make. Show gratitude for their donation.
Donation Campaign Ideas
- Bring ___ to ___ (example: "bring bubble soccer to the senior picnic" or "bring an Acme1000 pitching machine to the baseball team")
- Together we can ___ (example: "pay for set design & costumes at the musical" or "replace torn uniforms for the marching band")
- When you ask for donations of food or materials, remember to ask for monetary donations as well: "P.S. - Can't donate time or food? Still want to help? Make a financial donation at www.ourwebsite.com/donate"
- When students earn a berth in "state" events (playoffs, competitions, etc), it can be a great time to ask parents, faculty, and businesses in your community to help fund anything related to state (buses, airfare, hotels, uniforms, supplies, etc) and help the team achieve their dream.
- Donors like to be part of a big purchase or improvement. You can ask donors to help cover the cost of painting "home of the (MASCOT)" on the local water tower, or buy robotics equipment for the high school, or beautify grounds with a garden or brick pathway.
- "District Days" happen once a year. For example, if your school is part of District 34, your club could ask donors for $34 on 3/4 (March 4th) with the goal of raising at least $3,434 that day. Optionally, say all donations received will be allocated to scholarships or another key asset. Play with your district's number and the calendar to define a unique campaign.
- In April or early May, encourage families of graduating students to make a graduation donation in honor of their graduate. Remind them that the opportunities their child enjoyed were partially funded by previous families, and now it's their turn to pay it forward.
- #GivingTuesday is the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving and has become a national day to donate to charitable organizations.
- If your club is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, consider asking potential donors for a year-end tax-deductible donation before December 31st. Note: be sure to say "your donation may be tax-deductible, consult your tax advisor" instead of claiming that their donation is deductible. Generally, cash donations are deductible only if no benefit is received. For example, if someone donates $100 and receives a $20 shirt in exchange, only $80 of their $100 donation is deductible.
Are Donations to a Booster Club Tax Deductible?
99 Booster Club Fundraising Ideas
22 Ideas for Booster Club Fundraising During COVID-19
Schedule a live demo to see BoosterSpark's capabilities and learn how it can help maximize your club's success in a private, live, behind-the-scenes demonstration of our Club Manager tool. Great time for Q&A! There is no sales pitch, no pressure to buy.Schedule Demo »