This is part of the How to Run a Cricket Club series on PitchVision Academy
From multi-million professional clubs to a lowly group of friends playing together, all cricket teams need funds.
It's one of the most common club-related questions we get on PitchVision Academy. You are certainly not alone in wondering where you can raise the monies to keep going. It's not about profits but more about getting just enough to stay ahead.
Here are some simple but proven ideas for raising money from your club.
Focus on money
Many clubs shy away from the very idea of fundraising. You know you need to do it, but it's almost like a guilty secret you do quietly when nobody is watching.
Yes, making money for the club is very hard with a lot of rejection. But you should be proud to do it. It's always going to be difficult but it's always going to be essential.
So get stuck into it.
Unless you are lucky enough to be bankrolled by a wealthy benefactor, your club officers should include at least one person dedicated to raising money (not the treasurer). Ideally this person heads up a sub-committee who meet regularly to plan and organise ways to raise funds.
You need creative people to come up with ideas and organised people to put in the time to make it happen. Find these people first and give them the highly specific job of raising funds.
Contacting local companies for sponsorship is a good place to start as many support grass-roots sport.
Remember that many do not, and you will face rejection or even being ignored. So whoever does the approaching needs a thick skin.
Your best strategy is:
- Start with people you know as contacts. A recommendation always gets a better response than a "cold" approach.
- Contact small businesses as the owners/managers have more flexibility with budget.
- Ask for equipment/services rather than cash.
- Have sponsor benefits like inviting them to events, or even have a "sponsors lunch" to thank them.
- Offer a range of types of sponsorship from low amounts (ball sponsor) through to larger levels (shirt sponsors).
For more on getting sponsors, see this article (It has a UK bias but most of it applies anywhere in the world).
Putting on an event takes as much organisation and effort as raising sponsors, but is also very effective.
Ideally events will raise funds from people outside the club as internal-only events are often seen as "extra membership fees". However, both work well.
Either way, it's important to plan beforehand by deciding who your target market is for the event and how it will be advertised.
External events are best advertised by word-of-mouth (which is also free). Members can approach work collegues and other people in their social circles to attend. Social media is a great way to spread the word between friends.
The local press also are usually keen to promote grass-roots events, so it is always worth approaching journalists and local bloggers.
Ideas for fundraising can be large or small. In my own club we have had several successful events including:
- Quiz night
- Coffee morning
- Fantasy leagues (always great for competitive players)
- Bake sale
- Dinner and speaker
- Comedy night
- 6-a-side tournament
- Golf day
- Junior soft ball festival
Of course, there is much more and the only limit is your imagination.
A side benefit of these events is that it gives you a chance to talk to people about sponsorship. It's all about being bold enough to ask. Remember, we are not ashamed of trying to improve grass-roots cricket, or afraid of someone saying "no".
After the event, make sure and say thank you to everyone involved. It's not only polite, it makes it easier to do the same event again!
The final leg in the fund raising stool is to be opportunistic. This takes some creative thought but can be a rich source of external funding for little effort.
For example, my club shares a changing facility with several local soccer teams. During the off-season we sell food and drink from our tea room as it is unused.
You no doubt have some resource that you can tap into as well. Keep money as the focus and you wiull easily spot these opportunities.