School sports are not cheap to organize, with the cost of uniforms, paying a coach, and traveling to away games. When the school budget does not fully cover the cost of student participation, it is often up to parents to fundraise and come up with additional money to cover the remaining costs. Programs like selling candy bars and t-shirts work well, but why not also use the sports games themselves as an opportunity to raise money? Here are three ways to raise some funds at school sporting events.
You can often find large, commercial popcorn machines for sale at garage sales, on online auction sites, or even in the newspaper. These machines make a large amount of popcorn at once, and since they are set up to automatically coat the popcorn in butter and salt, the resulting snack is really delicious.
Invest in a popcorn machine, some popcorn, salt, and butter or oil, and start selling bags of popcorn at the games. Most attendees will gladly pay $5 for a big bag of popcorn, especially if you make them aware that proceeds go to support the sports teams. Since popcorn itself is cheap--and even popcorn machines are not terribly expensive--most of the money you make will be profit.
Offer Face Painting
Face painting is a fun way for fans to show their support for the school's team. You can set up a booth and have a few artistic parents volunteer to paint attendees' faces for a $5 or $10 donation. You can decide on one design, like the school mascot, to offer everyone--or you can offer a few different designs and let each person choose. Make sure you buy plenty of paint and sponges or brushes because you don't want to re-use them between guests and risk spreading any infections.
Have a Raffle
Perhaps at each game, you could sell 50/50 raffle tickets. Walk around and sell them to anyone who is interested for $2 or $5. As the game draws to a close, count up all of the money you've collected, and divide in half. Draw a ticket and give one half of the money to the winner, and keep the other half of the money for the team. If you do this at every game, you could raise quite a bit of money!
Discuss the ideas above with the school administration and see what they think about turning games into a money-maker for the sports teams.