The majority of community clubs are stuck raising funds the same way they did in the 90s, and sometimes earlier. Traditional fundraisers are hard work, and just don't cut it when you need to maintain facilities, pitches, courts or simply covering operational costs.
We would always suggest to move your fundraising and revenue streams online,
So, is your community sporting organisation generating any revenue online?
Background to community sport fundraising
Community sport has evolved in many ways in the last 20 years. Whether it’s embracing technology, facility improvements, diversity and acceptance, there is a new minimum standard that is improving all the time. Unfortunately fundraising at most community sporting clubs hasn’t moved with the times.
Most grassroots sporting clubs are using an out-of-date revenue model, majority of the time raising funds the same way they did in the 90s. Chocolate drives, meat raffles, sausage sizzles, trivia nights are all great community exercises but they are all really hard work, and often fall to the same few people to run them.
Many of these community clubs are also facing financial challenges such as maintaining their facilities, pitches, courts or simply covering operational costs. These fundraisers just don’t cut it when you need to raise significant funds. Couple this with less people helping out, the reality is that volunteers are working too hard to earn too little for their club – and there are better ways to raise funds out there, especially online.
We are still coming across clubs that aren’t raising any money online or utilising any digital revenue streams.
Have you heard of the Australian Sports Foundation?
All not-for-profit community sport organisations need to know about the Australian Sports Foundation. More commonly known as the ASF. The ASF host an online fundraising platform that facilitates donations to your club, while providing donors with a tax deduction – which would otherwise be unavailable at most clubs.
We often refer to the ASF as the best kept secret in sport. Most clubs, leagues and associations we speak with haven’t heard of the Australian Sports Foundation, and those that have aren’t utilising it nearly enough.
The ASF was originally set up to raise funds for major facility projects, but now it is open to anything that will benefit sport.
Through the ASF, your community club can fundraise for anything that strengthens your club or develop your sport. You can start a small fundraising campaign for much needed equipment, volunteer development, new sporting programs; or dream big and raise funds for major facilities upgrades.
So, how does it work?
The first step is to register your organisation and launch your campaign. Their guidebook has some great information on how to get started, how to script the ‘ask’ and how to promote your campaign.
Once the campaign is live, donations can be tracked via an online portal, where donors and supporters can see the progress you are making towards your fundraising goal. Most clubs have more willing supporters than they think they do, and something like an easy-to-access online tool removes barriers for potential donors. The tax deduction that the ASF provides also allows supporters to donate more to your club.
To get the most out of your campaign your club should be promoting over all channels, including email. Your club’s social media platforms and database are crucial resources for getting in touch with past players, members, or volunteers. Most projects are funded by a combination of large & small donations, so getting in contact with the right person can be a difference maker.
Because of the tax deductibility, the ASF is always really popular leading up to June 30, but this is a new-age community sports fundraiser that can be launched at any time.
Other ways to raise money online for your club
Some clubs are still collecting registrations, memberships, sponsorships and event tickets via physical forms and cash. All of these can and should be done via your organisation’s website. Event tickets, apparel, coaching programs are all other ways in which you can bring your revenue streams online.
Sponsorship is a whole other beast that is so often under utilised at the grassroots level. We’ll cover this in another post in the near future but clubs just don’t quite understand or realise what has real value to sponsors. Digital sponsorship assets is one of the biggest missed opportunities and should be explored further.
An overlooked aspect of raising funds for any project at a community level is your club’s story. Your club story is at the heart of every successful fundraising campaign or initiative. You must engage the people within your community, invite them in and appeal to their emotions. Videos and photos on social media are a great way to keep your supporters engaged with your project or program, highlighting the problem you are trying to solve and celebrating the small wins along the way.