Competitive Edge Fundraising for Sports Clubs

Fundraising Competitions for Sports Clubs

When it comes to being competitive we don’t need to dangle the carrot, right? You belong to a sports club, so you already know a thing or two about competition. What you may not realise is that this drive puts you in the perfect position to turn something you love doing into a winning fundraiser for your club.

In fact, sometimes you don’t even need to think outside the box (though we guarantee it will be more fun if you do!) to stage a great fundraising competition. A simple twist on your existing sport is often enough to create something that will get people talking, and donating.

However, the more outrageous the challenge, the more likely it is that people will contribute to watch it happen. If you can extend the fun to families and the wider community, you also stand a chance of recruiting new members, as well as raising much needed cash. And you’ll be adding some real excitement to the club’s social calendar in the process!

Brilliant fundraising competition ideas for sports clubs

  • A themed match – dress-up, silly wigs, or a three-legged game!
  • Exhibition match – organise a play-off between your club, and another, high profile team. This could be a rival club (provided it’s friendly!) or a team of semi-retired club legends.
  • Rival clubs quiz night – much like the exhibition match, this is guaranteed to play on supporters’ competitive spirit and get them digging deep.
  • Try something that’s not your usual sport – but play fair! Get tennis players competing with the kid’s football team to see who’s the most determined to win; organise a toboggan race for the ski team, or pitch divers against swimmers at your swim club.
  • Get a team together for a Tough Mudder, or British Military Fitness competition.
  • Archery competition – get people to pay a donation to enter and keep a running score.
  • Athletics – how about getting your club together with a local school or disability cause for a charity sports day. This could really improve your reach and awareness as both groups are working to promote the event. Pool your resources and split the donations.
  • What about something that’s not even a sport? A beard-growing competition; a man versus food challenge; think about what your members enjoy and set something up that you know they will love.
  • An It’s a Knockout competition, with obstacles, water relay races, a pole-spin race, etc. There are all sorts of party game style races you can incorporate here. How about balloon tennis or crazy golf for a family competition. Check out Pinterest for loads more ideas of this nature.
  • Almost any sport can lend itself to a charity competition: hold tournaments in badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volley ball, billiards, bobsleigh, boxing (maybe not one for the beginners!), canoeing, cricket, curling, darts, fencing, hockey, football, futsal, golf, handball, lacrosse, orienteering, pitch and putt, polo, tennis, roller derby, rugby sailing, shooting, snooker, squash, table tennis, bowling and volleyball! Cycling, running and swimming clubs lend themselves to races and galas, while figure skating, snowboarding, gymnastics and taekwondo are great sports to judge for skill, while onlookers bet on their favourites to win.

Create a buzz

  • The show’s the thing: the more spectacle you create, the longer people will stay to watch, and the more fun they’ll have. Time + Fun = Donations, so be as colourful and crazy as you like in the pursuit of competitive display!
  • Do something different: put a twist on your regular sport to make your competition stand out. It could be a kids mini-tournament after a fixture, or a knockout competition wearing silly wigs – whatever gets people talking will also get them donating.
  • Add in a prize: can you get a local business to donate a prize to increase the competitive spirit? Token trophies with winners names engraved in the clubhouse are always a hit for boasting rights. Or maybe one of your members owns a holiday home they’re prepared to give up for a week.
  • Make the most of your captive audience on the day too. Run a raffle, and a team merchandise stall; collect registration fees and sponsorships. And don’t forget takings at the bar. Before you know it, you’ve created an annual event at your club that the whole community looks forward to. With any luck they’ll spend the next season talking about who will win the trophy next time, doing the marketing for you!

Essential must-do’s for a successful fundraising competition

  • Think of your fundraising competition as a business project, rather than a charity endeavour. Decide on a target, budget for costs, and ensure you cover every angle, to make a good profit. Consider the bigger goal; can you tie your competition into a membership drive that will make the most of your fixtures calendar? Regular membership fees are a steady source of income for your club, so capitalise on any opportunity to boost numbers.
  • Keep a database of who was involved in your competition; knowing who entered, who donated, and who came along to support will give you a head start on your next activity, as well as a list of potential sponsors and members you can follow up with. And the more involved your new contacts are, the more they’ll contribute to the club’s future success.

What next?

Share these tips and ideas with your club, and with your online contacts, to help others looking for ideas for a fundraising competition. And if you’ve held a great competition at your sports club, tell us in the comments so we can share your ideas with our online community!

Fundraising Expert

Fundraising Expert is a driving force for effective fundraising and increasing donations. Helping you raise more!
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