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Getting Started

One of the hardest demographics to engage while fundraising is kids – students, to be exact. According to fundraising research, the average donor is more philanthropic as their life progresses, leaving young people on the other end of the equation. So, nonprofits are left to solve a difficult problem: how to engage this demographic to raise more money. 

The answer is simple: peer-to-peer fundraising! Students love to support each other and show school spirit for their sports teams. Friends and family also join in the fun and can be valuable targets. Your fundraising team should leverage these facts and make a fun event for not only students, but the entire community to enjoy.

What is a sponsorship event?

You might think of sponsors in a corporate context in which they pay to have naming rights over certain products or events. Your fundraising committee can apply this concept to your own event as well! You can use this fundraising format for a variety of groups, teams, and clubs, but for now, we’ll be focusing on sports teams. 

You can structure your sponsorship fundraiser in a variety of ways, but here are some recommended paths to get started:

  • Use a matching score commitment. Your participants will sign up to sponsor any number of student-athletes on the sports team. The catch is for however many points the athlete scores, the donor will give a proportionate amount to your cause. For sports like track and field and cross country that don’t have a points system, you can use another metric to determine giving levels, such as the student’s race time. You can prompt donors to double or triple their givings proportionate to their scored points.
  • Monetize a season record bracket. For all of the March Madness junkies out there, this one’s for you! For a long-term fundraising campaign, monetize a prize pool at the beginning of the season. Then, adults will bet on the team’s performance and all of the money will go towards your cause. Not only will this raise money for your school, but it’ll drive interest in your sports program throughout the season and incentivize ticket sales. 
  • Implement a paid gym decoration program. For each student-athlete, offer the opportunity for friends and family to sponsor a poster in the home gym or stadium. You can monetize certain aspects of the sign, such as special messaging. 
  • Monetize a school spirit week. During spirit week, have the student body engage in different activities themed around the sports team. You can collect donations by selling raffle tickets and VIP seats for games. Also, you can gamify the spirit week by hosting a student fundraising contest. Whichever student raises the most money can receive high-value prizes, such as electronics, gift baskets, and experiences around town. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising can be extremely powerful, especially with the virality of social media. A little friendly competition can do wonders for your fundraising efforts. This, combined with the infectious nature of school spirit, provides an ideal environment for fundraising with a student-aged audience.