Starting a Fundraiser for a Cause You Care About

by AJ Pettersen · 4 comments

Baseball is what makes me come alive. I have been blessed with the opportunity to play for the past 20 years without worrying about having the right gear or a field to play on, but this isn’t the case for everyone. I recently had the idea to start a fundraiser to make the baseball dream possible for more kids even though starting a fundraiser is a large undertaking. Where do I start?

Finding a Reputable Organization

Searching for a high quality organization is the first task I tackled. I found one that donates equipment and money to places throughout the United States and to other countries. They have recently brought baseball to some of the most remote places on the planet. This seemed really cool to me, as I can picture the smiles on the faces of children from all different areas of the world. A new game to play, a new dream in their hearts.

If you cannot find an existing organization to start a fundraiser, try going at it on your own. The process will require much more work, but you can put your own stamp on it.

Deciding on The Event

After I found an organization, I had to think of an event that would be successful. My hometown is big into baseball. Private fundraising recently raised enough funds to build a $3.5 million baseball field at the high school, so interests won’t be the primary concern. In the winter the weather cools and the snow falls, and sometimes baseball can seem distant. So I came up with the idea for an indoor wiffle ball tournament. Finding a place should be possible because there are numerous domed football fields in the region that rent for reasonable prices, where each one could be arranged for 5 or 6 wiffle ball fields.

Working out the Logistics

I will have to punch a lot of numbers to ensure this is a plausible idea. There is a newer dome in the area that may be willing to rent for a reduced cost to further their business, but the initial cost is still a concern so I may need to get creative to make this a reality.

Keeping the event the right length will be important too. I am considering somewhere around 3 hours, which would be long enough for everyone to have fun without tiring everyone out.

There are a ton of other details to be worked out as well. Team t-shirts, prices and collection for gear are all things that needs to be addressed. How I market the event is something else I need to figure out, as this will make or break the event.

What’s Your Experience?

I am hoping to start work on this event more once my season is over. While planning the fundraiser may be a difficult task, I think it could be a remarkable event in my community.

What is your experience with fundraisers? What have you enjoyed about those you have attended? Have you ever started or considered starting one yourself?

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  • Grace Claudia Autumn Rosie Jemima Esmerelda Holly Cecilia Gordon-Lennox says:

    At high-schools try a teacher vs students sports game it is really fun to watch and creates money. In the Summer you can also sell refreshments to generate more money. Charities look to make a surplus many big organisations are being questioned how they spend their money, It costs a lot of money to run a charity so sometimes the money you give does not go directly to the people who need it. A certain proportion goes to people who need it and the rest to operating costs (offices, their shops, advertising etc).

  • Deb says:

    I was on our hometown booster club for 10 years and also participated in several fundraisers for my kid’s teams. A fun fundraiser for a baseball or softball team that is older is to have a tournament for younger players. You need a complex and so hopefully there is one in your town you can use for free. If you have to pay for use of the complex you need to get that money back in a sign up free. Most sign-up fees are $100 to 200 per team. They should also pay for medals or trophies and umpires. The boys or girls on the team along with parents can work on gate, score keeping and concessions. The tournament can be run Saturday and Sunday with gate being like $5.00 a day for adults only. A double elimination tourney works best because you want the teams to be there both days. There are free brackets on line. Coaches in the area should be notified in the age groups you are targeting even those at a distance. You can do two groups like 10 and under and 12 and under in separate tournaments. Concessions should be full type meals like Walking Tacos, grilled hamburgers, BBQ’s, dogs, pizza, chips, candy, popcorn, sunflower seeds, cookies, Gatorade, pop, coffee and water as some ideas. Anything you can get donated is great.

  • mvjcpa says:

    A big obstacle is when people donating want a tax deduction for their contribution. If you’re not operating through a 501C-3 Org – their donation, while with good intent – is not a qualified charitable donation. Forming a not-for-profit entity is easy in many States, but that doesn’t make donor contributions deductible – only an approved Charitable Organization qualifies – not just a non-profit. Getting approved for Charitable status is a huge ordeal – ususally not worth it for a single event. So, unless you’re under the sponsorship of a qualified 501C- 3 org (IRS approved), then you can’t promote the cause or event as eligible for DEDUCTIBLE contributions. A common problem in isolated fund-raising events like raising money for a individual with health or economic catastrophys, etc.

  • Jonathan@Friends and Money says:

    Excellent idea. I did this for an organization working with victim of crime and raised $4000 dollars. It feels great to do something so worthwhile.

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