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05-29-2011, 07:05 PM
  #1
Trevor3
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Fundraising Tips/Ideas

Hey people, I need some help!

I play in a junior B league in Newfoundland called the Central/West Junior B Hockey League. No teams are owned, they're all run by a group of volunteers. Our teams volunteer group consists of players, coaching staff, a manager and the players girlfriends. It costs around $15-$20,000 a year to ice a team in this league. Basically, you have to pay for officials for home games, the rink for home games and practices, busses and hotel rooms etc... Jerseys are recycled every year, as are socks, players need their own equipment as nothing is supplied. Its pretty much a bare bones operation but costs pile up when you have to travel half way across the island for games.

Anyway, our main revenue streams are ticket sales and sponsorships from the business community. Generally, we ask for a few hundred dollars from as many businesses in town as we can and in exchange, they get advertising on our jerseys and in game programs, as well as announcements during games. Unfortunately, we've been in last place for the last 5 years, and this resulted in the teams relocation a couple of years ago to start fresh in a new, larger community and rink. Problem is, the team has failed to draw enough fans and, although we're definitely good to go next season, long term is questionable.

This is where my question comes in, does anybody have some fundraising ideas that worked for them in the past and may work here? So far plans are in the works for a golf tournament, ball hockey tournament and a couple of smaller things at local festivals over the summer. As part of the team's fundraising committee, and a returning defenceman, I figured its worth a shot to put it out there and see if any of you may have something I can bring to the table at our next meeting. So if you have anything in mind, or an experience to relate, post it! Or if you're shy, hit me up with a PM. It will be appreciated in the biggest way imaginable!


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05-29-2011, 07:46 PM
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It won't get you a ton of cash, but you can put those big water jugs in the entrance to the rink as a spare change donation. If advertized it could help. You could also do a group tag sale. Have everyone from the team bring stuff to sell and use someone's house. They do that for relay for life.

You don't have deposits on your soda cans and what not do you? If so bottle drives work too.

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05-29-2011, 08:07 PM
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You could do a 50/50 draw at games. Half of the ticket sales go to the winner and half go toward your cause.

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05-29-2011, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mygameworn View Post
It won't get you a ton of cash, but you can put those big water jugs in the entrance to the rink as a spare change donation. If advertized it could help. You could also do a group tag sale. Have everyone from the team bring stuff to sell and use someone's house. They do that for relay for life.

You don't have deposits on your soda cans and what not do you? If so bottle drives work too.
How did nobody think of that one at the last meeting... Bottle drives are so simple, it just might work! Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Pog Form View Post
You could do a 50/50 draw at games. Half of the ticket sales go to the winner and half go toward your cause.
We've been doing the 50/50 (which I forgot to mention) but the problem with it is that our attendance was down to under 100 at the end of last season so you can imagine what happens when there isn't anyone to buy the tickets... However, at the start of the season when attendance is up around 4-500, the 50/50 is a great fundraiser. The funny part is that as I type this I realize we have never played in front of better than 40% capacity, and there are teams in this league that sell out and have season tickets.

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06-01-2011, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevor3 View Post
How did nobody think of that one at the last meeting... Bottle drives are so simple, it just might work! Thanks!



We've been doing the 50/50 (which I forgot to mention) but the problem with it is that our attendance was down to under 100 at the end of last season so you can imagine what happens when there isn't anyone to buy the tickets... However, at the start of the season when attendance is up around 4-500, the 50/50 is a great fundraiser. The funny part is that as I type this I realize we have never played in front of better than 40% capacity, and there are teams in this league that sell out and have season tickets.
I think you're on the right track with doing tournaments. The key, though, is to have some sort of incentive for participants to raise more money. I'm not talking about getting a t-shirt or something with a dollar value, but more along the lines of an experience, something that you can't necessarily buy. I'll give you an example:

I played in a charity hockey tournament last fall where the top individual fundraisers got to play in an alumni game at the end of the weekend with and against a number of ex-NHLers. The tournament was great, but getting a chance to play alongside former pros (a huge honour for benders like me) was a great incentive to raise more money.

Whatever you do, the key is to get people motivated to support you.

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06-01-2011, 02:08 PM
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My old team used to camp outside of LCBO's and other liquor stores and just ask for change to support our hockey team and we would actually make a fair bit of money, some people were very generous. You have to be pretty enthusiastic though.

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06-01-2011, 02:19 PM
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My kids sports teams would do car washes and electronics recycling if you have local companies that provide that service by purchasing old computers and electronic equipment.

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06-01-2011, 02:23 PM
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Hockey camps or classes for minor hockey players, taught by your players and coaches. Give the participants a practice jersey with your logo on it and a free ticket to a game to help build support.

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06-02-2011, 02:26 AM
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50/50 with the lottery, the pot grows as nobody hits it.

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06-02-2011, 03:36 AM
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the good old bottle drive
or what about a fundraiser car wash
in addition to the other stuff the guys suggested

edit: 15-20,000$ a year ,ok forget about the bottle drive

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06-02-2011, 09:25 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Target

Been involved with youth hockey and community centers since is was growing up during the 1950's.

First and foremost, regardless of the activity you have to set a specific $ target. Flying by the seat of your pants will result in many negatives main one being that people are careful when they do not see a firm objective. This is due to the fact that scam artists do not bother with clearly defined $ targets. Also with a clearly defined $ target its is much easier to evaluate progress and manage time and volunteer efforts.

Concentrate on activities that may be repeated annually since the biggest problem is time and having to re-train volunteers or find qualified people is not productive.

Avoid activities that may put you at risk. Beer counter during a weekend tournament raises money but if you have a brawl as a result or a DWI accident that may be traced back to you it is not worth the effort.

Good luck.

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06-03-2011, 01:51 PM
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we used to sell coaches cards that sponsored discounts by local business's. Also, a camp coached by the coaches and players was also very successful. Our football team did a strongman competition too that could be adapted to an all star game, skill competition, something like that

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06-03-2011, 02:32 PM
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As weird as this sounds, a local high school football team around here was fund raising by selling Beef Jerky. I did buy some, and it was delicious.

I thought it was a cool idea since who wants a crappy chocolate bar for 3$ when you can buy a massive bag of beef jerky for 20$.

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06-03-2011, 09:54 PM
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my fundraising experience comes from an inline league i direct (yes, i do play competitive ice hockey as well). anyway, like someone else mentioned, tournaments are a great way to raise money as long as you can keep costs down. doing tournaments for all different age groups is a good way to raise extra money too rather than a single tournament. you can also do other things WITHIN the tournament such as skills competitions (and participants who AREN'T in the tournament can also compete for a fee). of course the tournament and skills winners would need to be rewarded, but like someone else mentioned, there are ways to do that without spending money. raffles are also great, especially if you can get free raffle items. i contacted a few local pro shops before our tournaments took place and got some new donated equipment to raffle, we also had an online hockey shop create a special coupon code for our league that got people 10% off purchases from the shop's site. good luck!

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06-05-2011, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pog Form View Post
I think you're on the right track with doing tournaments. The key, though, is to have some sort of incentive for participants to raise more money. I'm not talking about getting a t-shirt or something with a dollar value, but more along the lines of an experience, something that you can't necessarily buy. I'll give you an example:

I played in a charity hockey tournament last fall where the top individual fundraisers got to play in an alumni game at the end of the weekend with and against a number of ex-NHLers. The tournament was great, but getting a chance to play alongside former pros (a huge honour for benders like me) was a great incentive to raise more money.

Whatever you do, the key is to get people motivated to support you.
I get what you're saying, and I like it. Problem is getting something to be that experience. There are no past or present NHLers from the area, and nobody famous either. So this is going to take some creativity, but it may work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kulluminati View Post
My old team used to camp outside of LCBO's and other liquor stores and just ask for change to support our hockey team and we would actually make a fair bit of money, some people were very generous. You have to be pretty enthusiastic though.
We're trying to get rid of the image of a "drinking team with a hockey problem" that accompanied the team when it moved here, so we want to avoid anything involving alcohol. The biggest issue with that though is the number of liquor stores, not sure of you're location, so I don't know what its like where you live, but here you can buy alcohol at any convenience store, gas station and most grocery stores/supermarkets. It would difficult to find the highest traffic one and then get permission etc...

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Originally Posted by mooseOAK View Post
My kids sports teams would do car washes and electronics recycling if you have local companies that provide that service by purchasing old computers and electronic equipment.
Car washes are definitely on the table, may have to get the girls to take the lead on that one though, just because... you know

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Originally Posted by madmutter View Post
Hockey camps or classes for minor hockey players, taught by your players and coaches. Give the participants a practice jersey with your logo on it and a free ticket to a game to help build support.
This could be a big moneymaker, over christmas when minor hockey takes its 2 week holiday break. Can't do it in the summer because there is no ice at the rink, and we only have 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redman View Post
50/50 with the lottery, the pot grows as nobody hits it.
I think minor hockey did something like this last year and did well on it. It may be a better method for our 50/50 if attendance stays down.

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06-05-2011, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Been involved with youth hockey and community centers since is was growing up during the 1950's.

First and foremost, regardless of the activity you have to set a specific $ target. Flying by the seat of your pants will result in many negatives main one being that people are careful when they do not see a firm objective. This is due to the fact that scam artists do not bother with clearly defined $ targets. Also with a clearly defined $ target its is much easier to evaluate progress and manage time and volunteer efforts.

Concentrate on activities that may be repeated annually since the biggest problem is time and having to re-train volunteers or find qualified people is not productive.

Avoid activities that may put you at risk. Beer counter during a weekend tournament raises money but if you have a brawl as a result or a DWI accident that may be traced back to you it is not worth the effort.

Good luck.
Agree 100%. The only thing I have to say is that we play in a fairly small town, our coach is a town councillor, the assitants and trainer are all local business people that have been around for years, so I'm not worried about people thinking we're a scam. That said, I think our goal for the golf tournament is around $1500. We figure to start small this year and grow it over the next couple of years. And as I said in my last post, we're avoiding all things alcohol related, its just easier that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt9050 View Post
we used to sell coaches cards that sponsored discounts by local business's. Also, a camp coached by the coaches and players was also very successful. Our football team did a strongman competition too that could be adapted to an all star game, skill competition, something like that
Quote:
Originally Posted by devils4cup View Post
As weird as this sounds, a local high school football team around here was fund raising by selling Beef Jerky. I did buy some, and it was delicious.

I thought it was a cool idea since who wants a crappy chocolate bar for 3$ when you can buy a massive bag of beef jerky for 20$.
Moose jerky, I wonder if any of the guys have some moose yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooseamania View Post
my fundraising experience comes from an inline league i direct (yes, i do play competitive ice hockey as well). anyway, like someone else mentioned, tournaments are a great way to raise money as long as you can keep costs down. doing tournaments for all different age groups is a good way to raise extra money too rather than a single tournament. you can also do other things WITHIN the tournament such as skills competitions (and participants who AREN'T in the tournament can also compete for a fee). of course the tournament and skills winners would need to be rewarded, but like someone else mentioned, there are ways to do that without spending money. raffles are also great, especially if you can get free raffle items. i contacted a few local pro shops before our tournaments took place and got some new donated equipment to raffle, we also had an online hockey shop create a special coupon code for our league that got people 10% off purchases from the shop's site. good luck!
Actually, the golf course is willing to donate time/waive fees and such so we get the course for free, we collect team registration fees for ourselves etc... the course gets people in at the bar so they make their money and we're trying to get one of the grocery stores to donate something for the BBQ which we can sell. For the ball hockey tournament, an elementary school in a neighbouring town is giving us their gym for $20 and were planning on charging about $100 per team. So far, our margins look great! I think some local businesses are on board to donate prizes as well.

One of our biggest issues is dealing with a rather frugal public. A while back, Loblaws (Dominion here, but same company) started charging 5 cents per plastic shopping bag. People wouldn't buy them and carried out their items by hand or just thrown into the cart. As word spread, business dropped off dramatically and they had to give up the 5 cents per bag rule in order to save themselves. Yeah, we nearly shut down a Loblaws over 5 cents..., I think eventually the company may have dropped it altogether but we were first.

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06-07-2011, 10:23 PM
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Thank you for the better picture of your situation. The arena where you play is it a publically owned municipal or community facility or privately owned or one of those semi public/semi private multi level efforts with grants from various levels of government?

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06-09-2011, 09:28 AM
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Thank you for the better picture of your situation. The arena where you play is it a publically owned municipal or community facility or privately owned or one of those semi public/semi private multi level efforts with grants from various levels of government?
It's owned by the municipality by operated by the 'Stephenville Gardens Corporation' under the towns public works department. So it is publically owned, receives operating subsidies from the town but operates independantly without government interference.

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06-09-2011, 11:18 AM
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This could be a big moneymaker, over christmas when minor hockey takes its 2 week holiday break. Can't do it in the summer because there is no ice at the rink, and we only have 1.
I'm also in a small town with no ice in the summer. This year a former pro is running pre-season camps for all levels of minor hockey in September. The camps are scheduled after school and on weekends and because he was willing to book enough time to make it worthwhile, the town is putting the ice in early for him. The upside of the timing is that evaluations are the week after this camp so anyone who doesn't sign up feels their kid will be at a disadvantage having been off skates all summer and as far as I know registrations have been going very well. At christmastime people are tapped out for money and time.

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06-09-2011, 12:28 PM
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Canteen / Pro Shop

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It's owned by the municipality by operated by the 'Stephenville Gardens Corporation' under the towns public works department. So it is publically owned, receives operating subsidies from the town but operates independantly without government interference.
Is there a canteen and a pro shop? If there is not but the situation exists where the equipment from previous operations was not removed you may be able to step up and raise the necessary dollars.

The one qualifier is that such operations are not part of the collective agreement with the public works employees.

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06-09-2011, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Is there a canteen and a pro shop? If there is not but the situation exists where the equipment from previous operations was not removed you may be able to step up and raise the necessary dollars.

The one qualifier is that such operations are not part of the collective agreement with the public works employees.
There is a canteen but that's run by minor hockey. The pro shop idea is interesting, there has never been one in that building. Right now rink staff do skate sharpening and the canteen sells tape, socks etc... so I'm not sure if the logistics would work to set one up, however, it is worth checking out.

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06-09-2011, 04:14 PM
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We have done a few things over the years, never needed to raise $20,000 but have had some successful fundraisers over the years.

1. Texas Hold-em tournament.
2. Dodge Ball tournament - you would be surprised how many adults love to relive high school gym class.
3. "Beat the Pros" We set up a typical round robin type tournament where 12 teams all competed and if we were defeated there was a $1500 cash prize.

Make sure you are confident in your skill level before offering up the "beat the pros" tourney, that one almost backfired on us haha.

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06-09-2011, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor3 View Post
There is a canteen but that's run by minor hockey. The pro shop idea is interesting, there has never been one in that building. Right now rink staff do skate sharpening and the canteen sells tape, socks etc... so I'm not sure if the logistics would work to set one up, however, it is worth checking out.
For the size of your community it would have to be all inclusive and the canteen has cherry picked the low cost high profit items.

The sharpening. Perhaps it is a perk for the public works. Usually when the canteen and pro shop are joint there has to be a physical separation mandated by the municipal code.

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06-09-2011, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinofGrizz View Post
We have done a few things over the years, never needed to raise $20,000 but have had some successful fundraisers over the years.

1. Texas Hold-em tournament.
2. Dodge Ball tournament - you would be surprised how many adults love to relive high school gym class.
3. "Beat the Pros" We set up a typical round robin type tournament where 12 teams all competed and if we were defeated there was a $1500 cash prize.

Make sure you are confident in your skill level before offering up the "beat the pros" tourney, that one almost backfired on us haha.
I like the beat the pros idea, a lot actually. Except we only won 3 games last season, so I could see that backfiring horribly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
For the size of your community it would have to be all inclusive and the canteen has cherry picked the low cost high profit items.

The sharpening. Perhaps it is a perk for the public works. Usually when the canteen and pro shop are joint there has to be a physical separation mandated by the municipal code.
I'm not sure what the code is, that would be something to have our coach/town councillor check on, but what you have said does make sense.

As far as I know, the canteen has always doubled as the pro shop, aside from sharpening, because the old stadium was built inside a WWII aircraft hanger. The olympic size ice surface and ridiculously large seating capacity took up a lot of space so the operations were combined to save room. Once the new building opened, people kept the status quo, which by that point may have been negotiated into contracts with unions or into the code itself one way or another.

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06-09-2011, 07:22 PM
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The Old Beauties

Quote:
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I'm not sure what the code is, that would be something to have our coach/town councillor check on, but what you have said does make sense.

As far as I know, the canteen has always doubled as the pro shop, aside from sharpening, because the old stadium was built inside a WWII aircraft hanger. The olympic size ice surface and ridiculously large seating capacity took up a lot of space so the operations were combined to save room. Once the new building opened, people kept the status quo, which by that point may have been negotiated into contracts with unions or into the code itself one way or another.
Quebec still has a few of those old beauties in remote areas.

Assuming you may get the skate sharpening how large of a hockey playing population do you have? Where do the figure skaters and speed skaters go for sharpening?

As long as you have a fairly competent staff of sharpeners you with basic traffic you should do 4,000 pairs a year. A serviceable used or portable should do the trick. Check to see if there are product categories that are hockey related, offer good mark-ups and terms, that the canteen does not carry.

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