Raise Money and School Spirit
A cheerleader’s main job is raising school spirit, so sometimes fundraising gets knocked down a few notches on the priority list. Don’t let it bum your squad out. You have a lot of things to pay for: uniforms, camp, competitions, spirit raisers… the list goes on, but you have to keep school spirit first.
What if we told you there were plenty of ways to do both? Believe it or not, it’s possible to raise spirit AND raise money! We have gathered a list of the top-selling fundraisers in the country that not only bring in the big bucks but bring in the big crowds! Read through these ideas, share them with your team, and get to work!
If you’ve ever been to a professional football or basketball game, you know that spirit doesn’t come cheap. T-shirts, hats, key chains, water bottles—you name it, and it’s probably in the gift shop. Stop for a second and think about the profit those professional organizations are making off of these spirit items. It’s safe to say they’re making a bundle. The good news is so can you, and you don’t even have to mark your items up as much as those professional teams do!
Whether you are the Tigers, the Lions, or the Giants, fans will flock to anything with your school’s team name or logo on it! Make this gear available by selling it at school, before a big pep rally, or at the Friday night tail gate. You could even open a little gift shop of your own by using part of your football field’s concession stand or setting up a table near the stands.
T-shirts and hats are always good items to sell, but get creative and think of even more items to have on hand. Teams from around the country have gotten creative and come up with some great money makers. Here are some examples:
• Coach Haynes from Beebe Junior High School says her team sells face tattoos, and students love it.
• Coach Lashlee from Southwest Junior High School says selling school sweatshirts was one of their best fundraisers yet.
• Sellers Middle School sells mascot dolls, which have been popular with both kids and adults.
Sell your team
People love cheerleaders. Your family, your friends, little girls who dream of being just like you one day, and even boys at your school who seem to always have a crush on one of the cheerleaders – people think of cheerleaders as role-models. You’re seen throughout the community and on the football field on Friday nights, and at school, you’re watched closely, all because you are a cheerleader. In a way, holding the “cheerleader” title makes you a local celebrity. You and your team are famous, so make money off of it!
Coach King from Florence Christian High School in South Carolina says her team makes a football programs each year. The team sells ads around town, gets pictures made of their team and the football team, and they put the program book together. She says this fundraiser has been their most successful over the years.
Calendars are another fun way to make money and show off your team. Get in touch with a local printing company and talk sizes and prices first. Once that is decided, give each team member a certain number of ads to sell to put in the calendar. This will pay for the calendars to get printed. Next, get pictures taken of your team for all 12 months in the calendar. Once your calendars are printed, sell them for about $10 each. This is a great money maker and has worked for several teams.
Raffle hopeful fame
In every high school, there is always that one athlete who is a stand-out. That person goes on to play ball at a big university and sometimes is even drafted to play for a professional team. Some schools have more than one of these players, but most schools at least have one. Use that star to make money.
Have the entire football team and/or basketball team sign a ball. For several weeks, sell raffle tickets for a few dollars. At half-time of one of the games, draw the lucky winner of the ball. He or she could be walking away with a ball signed by a professional. And if not, it’s a memorable keepsake to remember that football or basketball season forever.
You’ve heard of them all: walk-a-thons, rock-a-thons, and tell-a-thons – the list goes on. Add to that list by coming up with some of your own “a-thons.” Many teams have not only made money, but gotten help from a lot of volunteers.
Pierce High School in Arbuckle, California says, “Every year we hold a Poster-A-Thon. We spend the night in the high school gym painting all of the run-through posters for the entire football season. We have three types of pledges: flat pledges, hourly pledges, and per-poster pledges. We have to paint these signs anyway, but now we raise money doing it. We only have 10 girls on our team, and we raised $1,200 this year! It’s easy, fun and great team building time!”
Another popular fundraiser is a Cheer-A-Thon. Teams go to a local football stadium and cheer as long as they can. Local companies and families sponsor them for so much money per hour. If a team member stops cheering, he or she has to drop out. Fans, classmates, and families love this fundraiser, and you’ll be surprised at the support and money your team will get!
Have a “money making” Pep Rally
Sure, your team has your basic home game pep rallies every Friday, but what if you had a pep rally in the middle of the week or on a weekend? Students would love it! Think about how much they look forward to pep rallies on Friday. Holding one on a random day will make it special enough to have students, teachers, and fans willing to pay to go!
“We had a new football coach this year and decided to host a “parking lot pep rally/icebreaker,” for not only the new coach but the new freshmen as well. We charged $3 to get in and had two dunking booths. All the coaches and the principals sat in the booths and we charged $3 for three balls. We also sold concessions and t-shirts. We raised $1,100 in three hours and everyone had a great time,” says the coach from Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, Kentucky.
Another popular idea comes from Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, Washington. It’s their Pig Kiss pep rally, and it involves all the cheerleaders. Each cheerleader gets a jar that no one can see into, and the jars are placed in the commons area or cafeteria for two weeks. The object of the game was to fill the jar of the cheerleader who students would most like to see kiss a pig. A special pep rally was held and the lucky “pig kisser” was announced and had to pucker up!
Don’t sell yourself short on spirit and fundraising ideas. These ideas can be fun and profitable for your team, but also show your school and community that their cheerleaders are dedicated to supporting their athletes. Use a few of these, but don’t hesitate to get creative and come up with some of your own! For more fundraising ideas visit the Varsity.com Library.