Fundraising through Crowdfunding for A New Gym Floor

crowdfundingWhat is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly common method of fundraising, it’s time to spread the word about it! So what is crowdfunding? It’s a type of fundraising which usually takes place through the internet on secure websites. It allows for citizens (anywhere in the world) to donate whatever amount they would like if they like the project.

There are many examples of projects that have been fully sponsored by this type of fundraising. Gateway Green, a public works project, fully funded a $100,000 project through crowdfunding. And, Michigan State University raised over $15,000 for its Extreme Makeover: Sparty Edition crowdfunding initiative.

Crowdfunding is a great way to start fundraising for a new gymnasium floor for your basketball, volleyball, and other athletes.

How do I know when it’s a good project?

So, you have a project in mind, but is it the right one? It’s important to pick a project that resonates with people – those people are going to be the ones that push your project to the next level and help it become a reality. Crowdfunding makes it easier for people to market their passions and gain a following.

A new gymnasium floor for a high school basketball team, for example, not only benefits the school, but the students playing on it. Parents, community members, and students have a reason to back a new floor that could benefit everyone.

For a funding goal, start small. These passionate people want to see how they are contributing, and from then on, your crowdfunding can grow.

How do I choose a crowdfunding site?

There are so many crowdfunding websites, how do you know which one to use?Some sites are tailored to one type of project or another.

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Crowdfunder are all well-known crowdfunding sites. RallyMe, NLAB, and Sportyfunder are a few sites that are built to support the funding of athletes, teams, or other sports initiatives, like a new gymnasium floor.

While selecting a crowdfunding site, it comes down to the terms of use. When looking at each one, consider the following questions:

  • Does your project fit into the site requirements?
  • Does the site charge a fee?
  • Is the fee dependent on your project’s success?
  • Will you still receive the donations if your goal is not met?
  • What other tools does the site offer to help promote your project?

What do I do once it’s on a crowdfunding site?

Once the site is up, it’s like any other fundraising campaign: promote and spread it! Use word of mouth, social media, local media, press releases, and get the people close to it pumped about it.

It is like other fundraising campaigns – and it may fail in reaching the goal in the allotted time. But, don’t let that discourage you. It could be your best way in finding out what your supporters really want and help future initiatives.

You won’t know until you start; so, go out there and try!

For more in-depth information, check out Mass Appeal in Athletic Business.
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Grants for a New Athletic Floor

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While fundraising for a new hardwood athletic floor, make sure to consider all your options. Many organizations and foundations offer grants that you may be eligible for. Keep in mind that the grant writing and selection process can be very detailed and lengthy, so make sure to plan ahead and do your research!

See if your community or local communities have available grants. Look for ones that fund renovation or capital projects with an interest in fitness or athletics, or educational facilities in particular if that’s you. Ask around in your community to see if there are Small Recreation Community Grants.

Check your state for any grants offered. The Grantsmanship Center is a great resource with a database that lists foundations by state, including the level of funding offered. This service is free, so take advantage of it! Simply click on your state and explore the possibilities.

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Also consider applying for the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant, which is a nationwide grant program which focuses on community-building and facility-enhancing projects. The grant is only for public schools or public parents associations, so if you’re looking for a new gymnasium floor for your school, check it out.

The government can also be a financial help when it comes to grants. Check out Grants.gov or the U.S. Department of Education grant!

For more information on fundraising for a hardwood athletic floor, visit our FREE fundraising eBook!

Fundraising with Product Sales

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When deciding upon a product sale fundraiser (such as selling frozen-pizza-making-kits or selling scented candles), focus on the following four characteristics:

  • Product Type
    • Make sure you select a good product for your community or area. If you’re selling to a family community with small children, maybe open-flame candles aren’t the best product. Maybe a pizza-making-kit would be a better choice, as it could be a family activity and relive the stress parents may feel over planning dinner.
  • Brand recognition
    • It’s easier to get someone to support a cause when they know the brand name. Using a brand name product may  also assure your organization that you are following an established fundraising plan set up by the company.
  • Quality
    • It’s much easier to sell a quality product than a poor quality product. Remember your goal is to make a profit, but the supporter’s goal is to get something they actually want and will use.
  • Customer Service
    • Make sure whatever product you decide upon is sold by a company that has excellent customer service, with a step-by-step guide to their fundraising process

For more information on fundraising for a hardwood athletic floor, visit our FREE fundraising eBook!

Fundraising: Walk-A-Thon

Another large scale event that could boost fundraising efforts for your new hardwood athletic floor is a walk-a-thon.

Consider having students sign up to walk a certain distance or for a certain period of time and find a sponsor (or two or three!) who will pay a small amount of money for every half-mile or half hour that the student walks. Consider holding the event on your current athletic floor to increase motivation for the new one. This is also a great opportunity for the youth to participate in the fundraising efforts so they can have a sense of pride for the new floor.

You could also consider inviting community members to sign up to walk. They can sponsor themselves or find another sponsor. This will help get the community further involved and help them feel as if they are included.

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To make the event a bit more fun, consider having breaks during the walk for dancing or fun little games, such as a corn-hole toss or ladder ball. Consider offering small prizes for these fun game breaks, such as each win will earn you a ticket. You could have these tickets represent several things.

  • A prize table
    • You could have a booth or table set up with dollar-store prizes as well as a few “big ticket” items. Set a ticket cost to each item, such as five tickets for a stuffed animal, etc. Have participants choose their prizes based on their wins!
  • A concession stand
    • Also consider having a concession stand to further raise funds for your organization. If people are walking, they’re likely to get thirsty or want a snack. You could have each ticket represent a dollar or $.50 toward an item.
  • A raffle
    • You could hold a raffle at the end of the walk-a-thon with the tickets (have each winner put their name and contact information on their tickets). The winner could receive a cash prize, an athletic clothing item with the school’s name or logo, or a designated seat or bench in the stands when the new athletic floor is built.

Want to consider another large scale event? See our blog post about a basketball tournament! For more information on fundraising for a hardwood athletic floor, visit our FREE fundraising eBook!

Fundraising Event: Basketball Tournament

Basketball-Wallpaper-Free-DownloadA fundraising event that could bring in a lot of revenue and community involvement is a basketball or volleyball game or tournament. Consider:

  • Alumni Team vs HS Varsity Team
  • Parent Team vs Alumni Team
  • HS Varsity Team vs Parent Team

For a basketball tournament or game, consider including a small dunk contest or a free throw contest (perhaps with an audience vote) to increase entertainment for the spectators.

  • Ask the players to volunteer their time
  • Charge admission
  • Keep concession stand open (to increase fundraising efforts during the game)
  • Ask businesses to match an amount raised by the community for the game
  • Ask for sponsors of the game or of a player, in return the sponsor will get their name in the program

4A successful example of this fundraiser is Laurel High School. Their goal was to raise $5,000 to $7,000. They ended up raising over $48,000. Read their story!

For more information on fundraising for a hardwood athletic floor, visit our FREE fundraising eBook!

Fundraising: Quality vs. Quantity

Quantity does not always beat quality, and that’s true with fundraising too. Sure, every little bit helps, but keep in mind that quality can work better than quantity when it comes to fundraising. A group of small fundraising efforts can be very effective, but some studies have shown that more money can actually be raised through fewer events that are larger in scale.

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So why do fewer, larger events work better?

Supporters who are expected to participate in less fundraisers are likely willing to spend more for a large fundraiser, as opposed to less for multiples fundraisers. It may also be easier on your organization to simply plan a few big events rather than to plan several smaller ones.

If your organization does decide to do a larger fundraising effort or project, make sure it is well organized. Perhaps make a committee of people committed to the project. You could even boost your fundraising efforts by featuring product sales, such as food, at the large scale fundraising events. An example of a large-scale fundraising event is a basketball or volleyball tournament with a concession stand and ticketed entry. Keep an eye out for our next post about the tournament fundraiser!

Looking for more information? Check out our fundraising eBook!

Fundraising Ideas

Are you trying to fund-raise for a new hardwood athletic floor or a synthetic athletic floor? Are you out of ideas to raise money or don’t know where to start? Here’s a few suggestions and fundraising ideas from us that have worked well for other organizations.

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Restaurant Fundraisers:

Ask businesses or restaurants if they would be willing to create their own fundraising efforts for your cause, such as 10% of every order on Friday toward the fundraising efforts or 10% of the daily revenue, etc. Many local restaurants may be inclined to do this, as it may increase their own sales by directing more traffic on a certain slow day.

This will help to promote the business’s reputation within the community, potentially increase their own sales, and increase your own fundraising total. For their donation to the fundraising effort, consider hanging a plaque for them or their banner/logo in the gym.

Business Donations

“It doesn’t have to be a monetary donation, ask for donated snacks or drinks to help increase fundraiser attendance!”

Consider writing to or stopping by local companies, restaurants, or businesses to ask for donations. Offer to have a sponsor plaque that will hang in your gym above the new floor with donor names or to have donor banners. Mention that anything helps, the donation doesn’t have to be monetary – perhaps the business can donate snacks or drinks to fundraising events (such as a walk-a-thon or basketball tournament).

Book Fair

Consider having a used book fair at your school with all proceeds going toward the new athletic floor. What better way to raise money than to encourage students to read new-to-them books for a low price? Consider asking families and community members to donate books that may be sitting on a shelf collecting dust for the cause.

A Penny Jar

Consider putting penny jars in your classrooms. The new gym floor will be for the children, why not invite them to help make it a reality so they can feel involved? Kids generally like to help, especially if you put an incentive into place, such as an ice cream party for the classroom that raises the most money per month. Encourage students that no amount is too little, a penny per day per child adds up!

Interested in knowing more? Check out our FREE eBook: The Fundraising Guide for a New Athletic Floor!