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Discover the 6 Secrets of Sports Fundraising Success
by Jordan Kern of

sports fundraising

Secret #1 Selling does NOT work!
Any project that requires your athletes to sell products whether it's candy bars, magazines, or cheesecakes is doomed to fail before you even begin.

Secret #2 Make sure you can earn thousands.
Most fundraisers return a measly profit of less than $100 per athlete. If you don't have a realistic chance to earn $3,000 or more, keep looking.

Secret #3 Get it done quickly
Avoid burnout by selecting a project that does not turn you and your athletes into full-time fundraisers.

Secret #4 Earn a high profit margin
It's difficult to succeed if the fundraising company keeps 50% or more of your collections. Stick to projects with high profit margins that require the fewest transactions.

Secret #5 Choose a strong leader
Coaches who demand 100% participation and support from their athletes and team parents always raise the most money. Don't be a fundraising wimp!

Secret #6 Eliminate your risk
Watch out for companies that charge a start-up fee or penalize you for any items your athletes do not sell.

Scouting Report
Read about the strengths and weaknesses of some popular fundraisers before selecting your next project.

Case Study: Selling candy bars
Selling candy bars seemed like an easy way to earn the money Coach Smith needed for his team's new uniforms. Learn what went wrong.

Case Study: Car wash
Coach Foley assumed that a team-wide car wash would deliver a huge profit with zero expense. Learn why it failed.

My Sports Dreams & why it works
Discover why My Sports Dreams may be the best solution for your team.

sports fundraising introduction

Dear Coach, Parents and Players

Sports fundraising is a necessary evil. You desperately need money for your team's travel, equipment, or uniform expenses, but you hate the thought of organizing another time-consuming and risky project.
At times it feels like the fundraising industry hasn't changed one bit in the last 50 years. Coaches continue to force athletes to sell products door-to-door that no one seems to want to buy.
Well, times have changed!

After 18 years of working in the amateur sports industry and helping thousands of teams like yours raise the money they need quickly and profitably, we've learned six secrets that all successful coaches share.
Follow them and you will increase the likelihood of raising $5,000 or more for your team. Ignore them and you are setting up your athletes to fail.
We know you didn't become a coach because you enjoy fundraising. That's why your ultimate goal with any fundraiser should always be to earn the most profit in the shortest time with the fewest possible transactions.
So take 10 minutes right now and read this valuable report. It could be one of the best coaching moves you make all season!

Good luck!

Jordan Kern

sports fundraising selling does not work!

Selling does NOT work!   Trying to earn money by having your athletes sell products, magazines, discount cards, food, etc. simply doesn¡¦t work. Any coach who has experienced an old fashioned fundraiser knows this golden rule.
For starters, the typical 50/50 split with product companies means that half or more of every dollar you collect disappears. Ask yourself: how many games would your team win if the score was cut in half? Not many.

Here are some reasons why selling products are a big mistake:

- Student-athletes hate sales, which is why parents end up buying so much of the products athletes are supposed to be selling to other people;
- Parents don't have time to chaperone athletes selling door-to-door or standing in front of a mall all day;
- Most people usually don¡¦t want or need what the team is selling, depressing results;
- Fundraising fatigue has taken over America's towns as the same doors are knocked on again and again by members of the marching band, PTA, church groups and, of course, your team;
- Most athletes give up prematurely after receiving a few rejections; 
- About 80% of athletes on a team have little or no success reaching their sales goal;

sports fundraising

Make sure you can earn thousands.  Don't bunt if you need a home run! Too many teams make the basic mistake of starting a fundraiser only by collecting $1, $5 or $10 from supporters at a time.
That's like a football team trailing by six points at the end of a game, but elects to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown. sports fundraising money
Before you begin, do the math and work backwards from your goal.
For example, if your team of 15 athletes needs $3,500, here's what you would need to sell with four different fundraising options.

- 7,000 candy bars for $1 each / 467 sales each
- 800 raffle tickets for $5 each / 53 sales each
- 700 discount cards at $10 each / 47 sales each
- 300 magazines for $20 each / 20 sales each

The enormous quantity of items you need to sell makes it nearly impossible to succeed. Even if you selected the magazine option, you would probably fall way short because the average athlete sells only 4 magazines, not 20. The odds of success are even steeper if your goal is greater than $3,500.
You are wasting a great opportunity to earn even more money when you collect less than $20 per transaction. It's a common mistake: a family friend  who would be happy to donate $50 or more to your athlete's cause, buys your $20 magazine and your team loses out on earning an easy $30 extra.
Don't set your team up for failure by aiming for a target that's impossible to reach. Instead, find a method of raising money that brings in $25, $50, $100 or more per contributor.
sports fundraising

Get it done quickly Another big blunder is getting on the "fundraiser of the month" merry-go-round. Since old fashioned fundraisers usually generate only hundreds -- not thousands -- of dollars, teams are forced to work a variety of projects during the season.

This approach NEVER works:

Sell cheesecakes in January, Hold an auction in February, a bake sale in March, sell Easter baskets in April, canning at the mall in May, and so on.
Too much time spent fundraising wears everyone out and the law of diminishing returns takes over. Each fundraiser does worse than the one before it because the coach, parents and athletes run out of time, patience and enthusiasm. We call it "fundraising fatigue."
Focus instead on a concentrated effort to accomplish your goal in one shot that takes hours instead of days, weeks or months.
People work much harder and with more energy when they know that a fundraiser will be completed quickly. You¡¦ll find that everyone is supportive and much more productive.
One quick and profitable fundraiser per year allows you and your athletes to concentrate on winning games, not trying to become full-time fundraising professionals.
sports fundraising

Earn a high profit margin. Count the profits, NOT the gross. The old fashioned fundraisers " magazine publishers, candy bar makers, frozen pizza companies"  trick you to focus on collections instead of profits.

Think about it. They turn your student-athletes into a sales force for their products AND they get to keep at least half the collections. What a great deal for them!
For you, however, it stinks!
Can you imagine working your tail off to collect $5,000 and then dumping $2,500 of it out the window?
Don't even consider a fundraiser unless you have a realistic opportunity to keep 70% or more of the total amount collected. You need that money for team travel, uniforms or equipment!
Knot to make some fundraising company rich!
Also, don't be fooled by fundraisers' sales pitches that promise you'll "earn up to 90%," because that usually requires your athletes to make an unrealistic quantity of sales. Make sure to read the fine print behind any offer that sounds too good to be true.
sports fundraising

Choose a strong leader.
If you're taking a team trip, or purchasing equipment, every one of your athletes is going to benefit. So, why would you even allow participation in the fundraiser to be optional?
Too often, the standard 80-20 rule applies (80% of the team's results come from 20% of the athletes) and it's just not fair.
Equal participation in any project should be a requirement. On every team, there always are some athletes who don¡¦t want to pull their weight or parents who don¡¦t want their children to participate.
Don't be a fundraising wimp!
Your response should be the same as it is when an athlete announces he or she won't practice this week, but still expects to play in the next game.
Enforcing universal participation is a challenge that requires leadership, but leadership is exactly what's expected from a coach and what a good coach expects from his or here athletes.
Coaches who demand full participation and demand that every athlete devote his or her best possible effort always raise the most money.
Coaches who present a fundraiser as an optional project and without any urgency, usually fail miserably.
sports fundraising

Eliminate your risk. Avoid any fundraiser that requires you to pre-pay for their products or penalizes you if you fail to reach your sales goal.
Make sure to ask yourself, How much will we owe the fundraising company if we fail to sell out?If the answer is anything but zero, select another project.
Too many coaches pre-purchase food (candy, cheesecakes, donuts, hotdogs, etc.) or custom print their team¡¦s logo on products (sweatshirts, hats, discount cards, etc.) only to find out that the unsold items cannot be returned for credit.
Choose a fundraiser that will cover all start up fees and charge you only for the items you actually sell.
Your fundraising company should invest in your success, not hinder it.

Scouting Report

Here's a summary of how different fundraisers stack up in some important areas.
When selecting your next fundraiser, never lose sight of your ultimate goal:

Make as much profit as fast as possible!

fundraising comparison

Case Study: Selling candy bars


Coach Bill Smith selected a candy bar fundraiser as the best way to earn the $3,500 his soccer team needed for new uniforms. He reasoned that everyone loves candy so the potential market was enormous. Also, the team could sell the candy at school and around town for only $2, making the fundraiser affordable to sponsors.

To reach the goal, each of the 18 players needed to sell eight boxes of candy bars (25 bars per box). Coach Smith believed that selling only 144 boxes among the entire team was definitely doable. He charged the $3,600 ($1 per bar cost) to his credit card and gave his players two weeks to sell them all. Since Coach Smith¡¦s credit card bill wouldn't be due for 30 days, he figured he'd have plenty of time to pay from the collections.


The players worked hard for 10 straight days and sold 54 boxes, an average of three per player. Nevertheless, the fundraiser was a huge failure and only raised $788. Since food items are non-refundable, Coach Smith was stuck with 90 boxes of unsold candy in his garage. Luckily, he recouped some of his expense by reselling them for $.75 per bar to another school group that also needed to fundraise.


- Assumed each player would make 200 sales at $2 each an unrealistic goal.
- Failed to realize that players hate to sell.
- Pre-paid for a fundraiser and assumed 100% of the risk.
- Earned too little profit per sale.
- Lost an opportunity to generate more money from a donor, some donors would have given $20 or more if they were asked.
- Fundraiser took too much time away from practice.

Case Study: Car wash


Coach Ann Foley wanted a fundraiser with zero cost so she organized an all-day car wash. The thought of earning 100% profit to pay for half of her softball team's tournament expenses was too enticing to pass up.

In order to reach the $1,200 goal, her 19 players needed to wash 133 cars, only one per hour per player. A popular store in a high-traffic area allowed the team to use its parking lot, water, and even donated the soap and sponges. It seemed too easy.


When it started to rain, Coach Foley knew that the car wash might not be as profitable as she had hoped. All of the players and several parents worked for seven hours, yet only washed 48 cars and collected $336 in profit. Since they only had one hose, it took 10 minutes per car and they could only wash one at a time.

Coach Foley estimated that they lost about 12 other customers who didn't want to wait in line and left prematurely. Although the players had fun and it was good for team unity, they spent 189 total hours (19 players + 8 adults x 7 hours) and earned a pathetic $1.78 per hour.


- All-labor projects (bake sales, golf tournaments, auctions) have similar results ¡V too much time for too little profit.
- Assumed more people would want their car washed.
- Couldn't wash enough cars and charge enough to make it profitable.
- Too many people sitting around.
- Fundraiser took too much time away from practice.

my sports dreams team fundraiser

My Sports Dreams & why it works
My Sports Dreams can solve your team's financial challenge quickly, easily, and profitably. Here's why this fundraiser works so well and has raised over $15 sports fundraising lettermillion for thousands of college, high school, and youth teams.


Entire effort takes less than one hour to complete. This allows you to focus on getting your athletes ready for the next game, not wasting time fundraising.

Mail-based campaign so athletes do not have to sell anything.

Everyone who receives a mailer regardless of if they donate or not can save $50, $100, or more with unlimited access to valuable discounts at popular stores, hotels, and car rentals. This increases the likelihood of a donation.

Allowing supporters to donate online or by phone will increase your profits. The average credit card donation is $64 double the average check.

Clients include teams at every level of amateur sports including prestigious schools like Stanford, Williams, U. of Michigan, and UCLA.

There's no upfront fee. Pay only a small fee from your collections 45 days later. All teams even receive a written guarantee that they will earn a profit!

Average team profits are enormous: College $6,230, High School: $5,098, Youth: $4,356 (based on only 18 athletes per team)

Limited space is available and spots are given away on a first-come, first-served basis.
Click to watch a presentation explaining how the program works