If done well, fundraising can be a great source of income for your club. However, be careful about trying to raise money to subsidise membership fees or participation costs. Your club, like any business, has operating expenses that you must pay, like lease costs, insurances, electricity, water and affiliation fees. Your club’s costs of doing business should be covered by your membership income. Any money you seek to raise through fundraising should be for specific projects (e.g. new facilities, equipment or programs) and to support your longer-term growth, and not for your day-to-day operations.

Understanding what motivates people to give to the activity they love is critical to every club’s success in fundraising. The Australian Sports Foundation’s report into what motivates people to give money to sport provides insights to increase fundraising success.

The top motivators for people giving money to sport, according to the Australian Sports Foundation, are:

  • Sports giving involves both our emotional heart and rational mind
  • The success of fundraising campaigns depends on how well donors are engaged
  • Giving to sport is like a boomerang – it returns powerful psychological rewards to donors
  • Giving to sport affects people’s emotional well-being
  • Giving to sport is very personal and is tightly linked to dedication and commitment to the sport and the club
  • Donors like to be present in their donation experience
  • Satisfaction with the donation experience drives donors’ willingness to give again (or more).

If you are not a sporting organisation, many of the above points can be related to community or cultural clubs.  The Australian Sports Foundation report focuses on sport, but the principles can be borrowed for other community organisations.

To be successful in fundraising, you need to put donors at the centre of your efforts. To maximise your club’s potential for funding, it is essential to plan your efforts to make better use of volunteer time and seek greater success.

Fundraising is an additional responsibility that the management committee of your club may not have time to execute properly, so it is important for the committee to delegate this responsibility:

  • Establish a fundraising subcommittee to guide activities in your club
  • Identify specific volunteers in the club to assist with fundraising activities throughout the year
  • Share the workload with volunteer rosters – ensure all age groups/teams are involved in fundraising activities
  • It should not be the responsibility of some to raise funds for the benefit of all.

Fundraising activities commonly include:

  • Events (e.g. trivia nights, dinners, social competitions, dances)
  • Raffles
  • Selling a service (e.g. car wash)
  • Selling a product (e.g. chocolates)
  • Selling acknowledgement (e.g. buy a brick for the new club house).

The following are some top tips for fundraising:

  • Develop a detailed budget that outlines the funds required and the projects the funds will support
  • Develop a fundraising calendar to ensure your activities are spread throughout the year and timed appropriately to coincide with club requirements
  • Plan your activities in detail to ensure the activities are executed efficiently. A web search will reveal heaps of fundraising ideas you can try, from proven activities like raffles and chocolate drives to some clever out-of-the box thinking
  • Research and obtain the appropriate permits and licenses, where necessary
  • Motivate volunteers and parents to be involved in fundraising activities – the fun and social benefits of fundraising can be just as rewarding as the profits
  • Spread the word to the local community to encourage them to contribute to your fundraising goals
  • Create a fundraising thermometer for your website to help keep track of your progress – free fundraising thermometers are available via a web search to help keep your members engaged with your fundraising targets.

Clubs with Bronze level Go Clubs accreditation have access to the Go Clubs Guide to Fundraising, Grants, Sponsorship and Donations document and Charitable and not for profit gaming fact sheet and template.

Clubs with Silver level Go Clubs accreditation have access to fundraising budget and calendar templates hyperlinks.