In today’s economic environment, many scholastic wrestling programs struggle with funding. School budgets tighten, athletics gets squeezed and coaches, parents and athletes are burdened with raising additional funds to keep a wrestling program healthy. Some programs rise to the challenge, many do not.
Fundraising is hard work and few do it well. Often, the effort expended in fundraising seems huge in relation to funds raised. Also, the fund raising activity itself, a car wash for example, is both additive to the workload of the organizers and does not engage the donor in a meaningful way. Ideally, fundraising should create fans or, at least, interested observers. Lastly, fund raising activities are often a singular event that don’t produce support on a recurring basis. For most programs, foregoing fundraising at some level isn’t an option. What can be done to ease the burden of fundraising?
First, a fundraiser should generate revenue that makes sense given the level of effort involved. Organizing and executing a car wash or pancake breakfast requires a lot of time from a lot of people. The payoff needs to be high. Clearly, the lower the cost of a fundraiser -- denominated mostly in units of human effort -- the better. Second, fund raising should yield recurring revenue. I like a clean car and love pancakes, but unless you’re cleaning my car and feeding me pancakes frequently, I’m not supporting your program. And, organizing/executing these activities on a recurring basis is very, very time consuming. Third, fundraising should directly engage the donor with your team. A pancake breakfast could do this, but it’s an extra effort and, frankly, all I remember from a pancake breakfast is...pancakes. In contrast, a fundraiser that directly engages a donor, giving them a reason to care about and follow your team, will yield better results.
To be sure, fundraising is hard work. But, some approaches are better than others. We’d prefer fundraising to be low cost, high benefit, generate recurring revenue and engage donors in a meaningful way. If it’s fun, too, that’s icing on the cake. Fortunately, Takedown can help you create a fundraising program that goes a long way towards achieving these goals.
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