Category: Fundraising Ideas
Cheerleading fundraisers are the ultimate in small group fundraising.
Cheerleaders possess boundless energy, determination, and loads
of contacts (for potential supporters).
Harnessing all this energy and enthusiasm can be a challenge,
but having the right cheerleading fundraiser is a great start. You
want to leverage their skills by giving them an exciting fundraising
product to sell.
So, what cheerleading fundraising ideas will generate excitement?
In this article, we’ll consider three types of cheer fundraisers. Each involves doing something a little different, each of them are easy to do, and each fundraiser packs a profit punch.
Cheer Fundraiser #1
One unique approach for a cheerleading fundraiser is offering custom
posters of school sports teams or of the cheerleaders themselves.
For instance, feature the team photo of the football team, or use a
series of action photos. Each can be turned into a wall-sized poster
or a fundraising calendar.
Add some allure to these cheerleading fundraisers by including your
game schedule or team slogan printed on it in a contrasting color.
You could also design one to celebrate your championship teams,
commemorate your previous titles, intensify a cross-town rivalry,
recognize all of your school’s sports teams on a spirit poster,
or feature the cheerleading squad in action.
Any of these items is sure to be popular with a wide range of
students. Local businesses will often buy one to put in their
front window. Players will want a souvenir copy suitable for
end-of-season autographs. Proud parents and grandparents will
want their own keepsake copy.
The posters can be sold easily at pep rallies, sporting events,
through the school store, and by the cheerleaders themselves via
a merchant table at a high-traffic location on a weekend.
Think of creative ways to design and market your own unique set
of cheerleading posters. Consider adding merchant sponsor logos
to reduce the cost. You could also cross-promote with another school
on a rivalry poster and double the overall market.
For more information, contact
Cheer Fundraiser #2
Another idea for cheerleading fundraising is selling customized
Holiday Greetings CD’s. This is a brochure or order-taker sale
of a personalized selection of holiday music favorites.
One of the nice things about this product is that a purchaser
selects their ten favorite holiday songs by checking off boxes
on a list of thirty classics.
Included in the choices are favorites such as Let It Snow, White
Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
These are licensed copies of the original recordings by the
original artists, assembled on a personalized CD that costs
your group a mere $4 each.
A retail price of $10 coupled with the ability for the customer to
order a personalized message on each copy, make these a great
The CD’s are available in six basic designs – Singing Snow Men,
Rudolph, Christmas Tree, Peace On Earth, Kwanzaa, and Happy
There is room for a holiday greeting of up to thirty characters on
each design. For example, the Christmas Tree version has the
phrase “Merry Christmas” in green and red, with space below it
for a “From the XYZ Family” greeting.
Shipments are sorted by salesperson and customer, making your
delivery a very simple task indeed.
Find out more information from the source of this great holiday
Holiday Greeting CD
Cheer Fundraiser #3
A third type of cheerleading fundraiser that creates an air of
excitement is selling flowering “airplants.”
Airplants, or more properly, Tillandsias, are unique, soil-free plants
that absorb nutrients and water through their leaves. All they need
is air, water, and light.
Tillandsias are attractive and fascinating members of the
pineapple family (Bromeliaceae). Their native habitat is the
southern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.
Bromeliads – Tillandsias – can be placed in anything: rocks,
shells, pottery, driftwood, around water fountains, fish tanks,
etc. They like bright, indirect lighting, and a heavy spraying
or soaking two or three times a week.
They have a growth cycle starting with one plant growing to
maturity, then blooming. One to two months after the blooming
has finished, new plants form around the base of the “mother”
plant. Each will continue growing and reproducing if given the
A cheerleading fundraiser Airplant package consists of a beautiful
example of the Bromeliad family, comfortably ensconced in a natural
Your group pays $3 per Airplant, including the seashell holder,
shipping and handling. Each Tillandsia retails for $6, so your
cheerleading fundraiser is ensured a good profit margin.
You can organize your sale as a special event or as an add-on
to a regular gathering. Set up a table with your sales display
and place a colorful Tillandsia poster on the wall behind to let
your prospective customers see how beautiful these Airplants
are in full bloom.
You can also conduct your cheerleading fundraiser as an order-
taker from a sales brochure. Each brochure contains colorful
pictures of these exotic, but easy to care for, plants.
Simple text explanations are included describing the simple steps
involved in nourishing these fabulous specimens.
For more information on doing an Airplant cheerleading fundraiser,
contact the largest Tillandsia source:
All three of these fundraising products will add some excitement
to your next cheerleading fundraiser.
When all the participants are enthusiastic about offering something
new and unique, it packs a powerful profit punch.
Here’s to making your next fundraiser a resounding success.
Everybody wants easy fundraisers. The problem is that you
also want good results. So, how do you get the best results
from an easy fundraiser?
Three things to consider in evaluating easy fundraisers:
- Effort Involved
- Resources Needed
- Duration of Fundraiser
An easy fundraiser shouldn’t take a lot of effort, but let’s be
honest. It is going to take SOME effort.
The level of effort is often directly proportional to the size
of your group’s monetary goal, but not always. That’s why you
are considering an easy fundraiser in the first place – you’re
looking for less effort, not more.
Resources are always a problem in small group fundraising. You
can never have too many volunteers and you usually never have
For an easy fundraiser, you want programs that don’t require an
excessive time commitment from a large number of people.
You want either a single weekend-only activity or a program
that takes only a small amount of time each week. It’s easier
to get people to help with something that doesn’t require more
than a two-hour commitment from them.
Conserve your resources with an easy fundraiser and you’ll have
more folks to draw on later when you really need help.
DURATION OF FUNDRAISER
Duration is important. An easy fundraiser that lasts more than
a single weekend should not require a lot of attention to keep
Those that only last a single day or weekend shouldn’t require
a tremendous amount of prep time.
So, which easy fundraisers only take a little effort, few resources,
and have the right duration?
Three simple easy fundraisers:
- Printer cartridge recycling program
- Onsite or Online Yard Sale
- Seasonal Specialty Item Sale
A recycling program for collecting used printer cartridges costs
nothing to put together. All collection boxes and shipping needs
are covered by the supplier. We recommend FundingFactory.
Your effort involves finding businesses to participate in the
program, leaving pre-labeled boxes with a site representative,
and providing directions on calling UPS to pick up a full box.
A used cartridge is worth between $1 and $20, depending on the
popularity of the printer and the cost of a new cartridge. Many
businesses encourage recycling efforts. For good prospects,
check with the leasing manager of large office buildings that
house multiple companies.
Another good location is an electronics store or office supply
retailer. Customers often bring in their old cartridge when
shopping for a replacement. You are doing the retailer a
service by providing them with an environmentally safe way to
dispose of these leftovers.
A good recycling program will cover a couple of dozen sites and
not require much work after the initial placement. Over time,
working this many sites can produce a considerable amount of
funds for your group.
One good source for a complete turnkey cartridge recycling setup
(at no cost to your group) is the Funding Factory. They recycle
inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges, and old cell phones.
Click here to check out the FundingFactory.
Mega Yard Sale
A big yard sale is another easy fundraiser to pull off. It’s
short in duration, usually just a Saturday sale with some prep
time the night before.
Choose a nice high-visibility location like a school or church
parking lot. Advertise in the local paper and put up signs for the
cagey veterans who troll around on Saturday mornings looking for
Group your items together by category – kids clothes, tools,
toys, books, pictures, music, etc. Place general price signs
around items instead of pricing everything individually.
For example, “$5-$10 Tools” or “Books: $1-$3” are signs that allow
people to haggle and help you avoid putting price stickers on
hundreds of items.
Resources are needed most for helping to sell. Recruit outgoing
types who can be enthusiastic about these odds and ends. Make
it a fun time with some helium balloons for small children and
have coffee and doughnuts available for adults.
By grouping items together from multiple households, you create
a bigger draw as well as a bigger workforce.
If you attract enough shoppers along with enough donations, you
can raise as much as $500 per participating household.
Online Yard Sale
A variation on the yard sale fundraiser is to sell the items
online. The best place to sell large quantities of lower-priced
items is on eBay.
You’ll get more for books, music, and consumer electronics that way.
Keep it in mind as a way to get better results on some items or
as an easier fundraiser to do for very small groups.
You’ll need to spend some time creating the listings. Having
online pictures posted seems to help with higher-priced items.
All in all, it’s an easy fundraiser that produces results.
Click here to check out Fundraising on eBay.
Specialty Item Sale
The third type of easy fundraiser is a weekend specialty sale of
a seasonal item. Examples would be a Pumpkin Patch sale, a
Christmas Tree sale, a Spring Flower Bulb fiesta, and so on.
This involves an effort similar to having a large yard sale.
You’ll need a high-traffic location and some advance publicity.
Your goal is to capture seasonal sales from the general public
as well as those from within your group.
Avoid stretching these sales over more than one weekend or
you’ll run into resource issues. Make it quick and keep it
fun. Setup on a Friday, sell hard on Saturday, and wrap it
up by Sunday afternoon.
Make arrangements ahead of time with your supplier about how
to handle left over items. Source pumpkins from the local
Farmer’s Market, Christmas trees from grower’s associations,
and flower bulbs from national suppliers.
Be sure to price everything competitively and offer great
customer service. For Christmas trees, have able bodies
standing by to tie them down on vehicles.
For pumpkins, help place them in the trunk. The easier you
make it for customers, the more you’ll net for your group.
Check out our supplier cross-reference section for sources of
specialty items for easy fundraisers.
Easy Fundraisers – Wrap-up
Putting together an easy fundraiser isn’t hard. It does take
some effort and it does require resources, but nothing too
Give your group a helping hand by taking it easy.
Youth Sports Fundraising
Looking for some tips on improving your youth sports fundraising? Every youth sports league must fundraise to cover expenses and keep fees low. So, how do you raise more funds? Focus on these seven factors and you can easily double your results.
In youth sports fundraising, it’s so important to select the right products to sell. The right selection is one that has mass appeal, an above average price point, and good profit margins.
Don’t sell what’s always been sold every year. Consider choosing items that meet the criteria below.
Product Price Point
Your product offering should be at an attractive price point. This means it should be neither high nor low, but rather right in the comfort zone that encourages people to open their wallets.
If you’re selling a low-priced product, you are at a disadvantage because you aren’t maximizing your revenue from each prospect. In this situation, try bundling a small quantity together and ask for more dollars.
For example, if candy bars are being sold for $1 each, put together variety three-packs or a family ten-pack. Get your prospect thinking bigger numbers. Many of them will step up to the bundle.
It’s important that your fundraising product has a high profit margin. Ideally, you’d like to make 80% or more if you can. This would be products like discount cards for two-for-one deals at fast food places.
Many standard items have a profit margin of 50% and that’s OK. It just means that you’ll have to pump up the volume to make the same net that you would with higher profit items.
If the product chosen is one with a lower profit range of say 40%, then it needs to either be a higher-priced item or it needs to be likely to inspire quantity orders from each prospect. For example, cookie dough is often in this range, but price points are $10 & up. Many families will buy two or three units.
Don’t send your sellers out unprepared. Part of youth sports is teaching and helping kids with their sales skills goes a long way toward building self confidence.
Here’s what to tell them:
1 – Make eye contact, smile and introduce yourself.
2 – Say one sentence about why you are raising funds.
3 – Say second sentence that asks for their help.
4 – Make sure that sentence includes the word “because”.
5 – Extend sample item, catalog, or order sheet.
6 – Suggest a personal favorite item or bundle.
7 – Always ask for the order.
Prospect, Prospect, Prospect
Now that your kids know what to say, they have to have prospects for their sales pitch. You can’t set sales records without having a large supply of prospective customers.
Have everyone make a list of their potential customers. Have them do it as a team exercise and make sure they write them down. It’s very important to do this and to have each seller commit publicly to doing their part.
Have each seller stand up in front of their teammates and state how many prospects they have. Then have them make a commitment to raising a certain financial amount. Set minimum amounts and encourage competition by offering prizes for various achievement levels.
Location, Location, Location
Another way to boost your youth sports fundraising is by going where the prospects are. Your group can reach incredible numbers of people just by setting up fundraiser sales tables at entrances to high-traffic retail locations.
Grocery stores, home improvement stores, and mass merchandisers are all places where hundreds of prospects are available. Get permission well in advance from the store manager.
Set up a small table to display your fundraising product items. Staff your spot with two adults and two kids for each 90-minute shift.
Decorate the area with league banners and large-lettered signs explaining your offer. Your signs must inform them well in advance of reaching your display and sales table. That way, those interested in helping your sports team will be primed to stop and will be more receptive to hearing each youth’s sales pitch.
“New Uniform Fundraiser”
“Tasty 3 lb. Cookie Dough – $10”
Imagine how many potential prospects there are at those locations who are completely outside your normal range of contacts. Now, go out there and sell them something!
Always make raising funds fun for the kids. Their emotions are subconsciously communicated to each potential prospect.
If they are smiling while cheerfully communicating your team’s need and asking for help, then chances are good they’ll get a favorable response.
If they’re looking down and mumbling some garbled sales spiel, then chances are more people will pass on the offer. The way to get them involved is to have some competition going, have some fun activities built around the process, and have some rewards waiting for success.
For example, post a list at each team practice of the top sellers. Everybody loves to be recognized!
Do a fun activity just for those who help out by working the retail location sales table. Take the participants bowling or to a batting cage or a golf driving range. It’ll bond fathers and sons and encourage increased participation.
Have a rewards party after the fundraiser wraps up. A simple pizza party or group picnic is sufficient. Just make sure that everyone gets recognized for pitching in.
Allow the kids time to run around and enjoy themselves. After all, isn’t youth sports all about having fun?
Follow these seven tips and your team’s fundraising effort will be a big success.
Car Donation Tax Deduction
Donating A Car to Charity
Donating a car to charity is not that difficult. However, you need to be aware of the tax regulations before you donate your car to a non-profit organization. The IRS provides some general rules of thumb on car donations:
- Starting in 2005, if the claimed value of your donated car exceeds $500 and the item is sold by the charitable organization, your tax deduction is limited to the amount of money the charitable organization actually receives from selling the vehicle.
- The charitable organization must provide you (the donor) with a written acknowledgement within thirty days of the sale, specifically stating the net amount they received for selling your donated car.
- As an example, let’s say you make a car donation to a non-profit charity, and the fair market value of that car is $5,000. The charity then sells the car without “significant use” or “material improvement”, for a total sale price of $2,500. Your deduction is limited to $2,500, not the $5,000 fair market value.
This is substantially different than earlier years when you could deduct the entire estimated fair market value instead of the amount that the car donation actually raised for the charity.
Another caveat is that many non-profit organizations use a third-party administrative service to handle the pick-up and auction sale or your car donation. The resulting administrative fees are often 20% or more of what the car sells for at auction.
Your tax deduction is correspondingly lowered by the amount of third-party fees because the net amount the charity receives has been reduced. In the example above, your car donation deduction would be reduced from $2,500 to $2,000.
There are a few exceptions to these car donation tax deduction rules of thumb that are recognized by the IRS.
Car Donations: Significant Use & Material Improvements
If the charity significantly uses or materially improves the vehicle, they must certify that in the form of an acknowledgement to the donor (within 30 days of the contribution).
In the case of significant use or material improvement, the donor may usually deduct the vehicle’s market value ($4,000 in the example above).
To be considered “significant use”:
An organization must use the vehicle to substantially further its regularly conducted activities.
The recipient organization’s use of the vehicle:
- must not be insignificant
- must not be intended at the time of the donation
Significance also depends on the frequency and duration of use by the non-profit organization.
“Material improvement” includes major repairs or other improvements that significantly increase the vehicle’s value.
Cleaning the vehicle, minor repairs, and routine maintenance are not material improvements.
Make sure you don’t get misled by a car donation sales pitch claiming higher tax deductions than the IRS allows.
See IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property ( PDF 101K)