Raising money, it’s one of the most difficult tasks a grass roots club faces week in week out, season after season. We have to applaud the legions of volunteers that give up their time all over the country to ensure the survival of their football clubs. We meet many of you at various county FA workshops and we are always impressed by how inventive you are in your fundraising mission outside of standard sponsorship, so we thought why not share some of them so others may benefit:
You already have the facilities, so put them to good use in the out of season summer months. 5-aside and 7-aside tournaments are always hugely popular and from the clubs we have spoken to probably the most lucrative of all fundraising events.
If you have the facilities on site at your home ground then this is a no brainer. For the early youth games and training offer the parents some breakfast options, the smell of bacon cooking on a Sunday morning is sure to drum up some business!
Wooden horse race night
Confused? Well let me explain . . . you will need a number of wooden horse shapes cut out of something like MDF and then mounted on a flat base. Each horse is then connected to a long piece of string and at the other end it is tied to a cut off section of broom handle. Your jockeys are then sat in chairs at one end of the room with the horses at the other. “And their off”, each jockey has to wind their horse in as fast as possible without pulling the string, first one across the line wins. Money is raised on the night by taking bets on each race. It creates a great atmosphere and you’ll probably take as much at the bar as you do from the races!
Supermarket bag packing
You will of course need permission from the supermarket first but once you have, get your team of volunteers kitted up and assisting at the checkout. Not only will you raise some money it’s also a great way to increase awareness of the club in the local community.
Other farm animals are available. This is one of the more interesting fund raising methods we have come across on our travels and is a great example of an event that will certainly stand out from the crowd during promotion.
Summer fun day/fete
Utilise your pitches to put on a summer fun day full of stalls and games run by your members. The possibilities are endless as to what you might include on the day. You could sell space to food operators like burger and ice cream vans or alternatively sell your own food with a BBQ station.
Source yourself a guest speaker, usually an ex pro and then raise money by selling tickets for the event. For this one you will likely need to hire a venue that can offer catering.
Car boot sale
Yet another way to make your ground work hard for the club when not in use. Simply charge each seller for a pitch. You can also run your own sale, perhaps ask your members to donate unwanted items that you can sell.
For nights like these make sure you also promote them outside of the club. If you can get the local community involved you can raise your profile and hopefully attract a few new volunteers along the way. Theming the quiz is often a great way to offer something a little different. We came across one club that offer a very popular music quiz put on by a club member that also doubles as a mobile DJ.
Get involved in local events
Offer a stall at local well-organised events like fetes. The obvious choice is a penalty shoot out stall. To optimise exposure you could position branded roll up banners either side of the goal and hand out flyers showcasing the club to all that take part. This is a great way of attracting new players and volunteers while raising a little money along the way.
This one is more of a tip for new up and coming clubs struggling for sponsorship. Interestingly we came across a club that were in just that situation and what they did was change the club name/branding to align themselves with the local village in which they played. Suddenly those local village businesses that had turned them down for sponsorship in the past were now keen to get involved. It just goes to show the power of community when you can offer a brand they believe in and can get behind with a sense of local pride.
Offer your facilities for hire
If you’re lucky enough to own suitable facilities hire them out for things like kids/adult parties, conferences, workshops etc.
Talk to your local County Football Association
Your county football association are a fantastic resource for assistance when it comes to fund raising. They will be able to advise you of any fund raising schemes in place as well as if you qualify to obtain grants for facility improvement. Many offer free workshops that give you the opportunity to share ideas with other clubs and are definitely worth attending.
There are countless ways in which volunteers raise money for their clubs, some of the more common methods we haven’t even mentioned like; club lotto, player sponsorship, raffles, sponsored challenges, football scratch cards etc. The key is to be creative, utilise the free resources at your fingertips and make the most of your facilities. We salute all the hardworking volunteers out there; you ensure our clubs and the future of the grass roots game are in safe hands.