By the FNF COACHES staff
There is no fun in fundraising. But fundraising is a necessary evil for most football coaches who are trying to expand their budgets to provide their players with more resources. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are planning your next fundraiser.
Believe in the Product
Both you, your staff and your players must be 100-percent behind what you are selling or promoting. The product must be one or more of the following: sellable, unique, exciting, useful, inspirational.
Start Early and Document the Journey
Be sure to document the entire process in writing. It will make the next year’s program a lot easier to execute.
Don’t Go It Alone
Get a partner or group of people involved in organizing the fundraising program, but keep it small. Your team needs to be organized, but uncomplicated. Assign responsibilities to people who will see it through.
Assign a Point Person
The person who believes in the fundraiser the most needs to be the one in charge. As a head coach, find someone who will champion the cause.
It is imperative you understand the program better than anyone so you can create a strategy and be able to make quick decisions when required. Creating a sales goal, schedule and procedure to settle and close the fundraiser is important. How is the money collected? How are the sold units distributed? Write it down or use Google Docs and invite multiple people to view and/or update.
Build a Solid Schedule
Create a schedule that reflects every step of the process. Identify the major milestones, including planning sessions, the team meeting, the launch, the closing date, and the different stages of settling and fulfilling the fundraiser.
Paint the Picture
Why are you doing this fundraiser? Be very clear to yourself, your organizing committee and the players as to why the fundraiser is important. Give them bullet points, on a piece of paper. Make them recite them.
Get Your Team in the Boat
If your team does not back the fundraiser, it will fail. Some coaches require compliance – and that system works if the players understand the repercussions if the fundraiser fails. Other coaches seek a buy-in from the players (via a vote for example).
Broadcast Your Goal
On a markerboard, post your goal (money or units or sign-ups, etc.) and provide updates along the way if possible. The board will serve as both a reminder and a motivator.
Create Accountability, Reward Achievement
Make the players understand that every contribution matters. Some players will do better than others, but encourage everyone to get involved. Set a minimum goal for each player and provide a “carrot” for the top performers. The incentive could be something exciting to the player (helmet sticker, football gloves, training shoes, etc.)
Keep it Fun
Fundraising is not fun. But you can make the process of raising money fun by emphasizing what success will look like. Give the players tips and advice and direction.
Focus on Intensity Rather Than Time
Go in thinking either your fundraising program is a pass-fail course (or has four quarters and a scoreboard). Either it is going to work or not going to work; either you will win or lose. Take advantage of the energy created from the launch.
Explain, and re-explain, why you are fundraising
At first, your players will not understand why fundraising is important. To them, it is a chore, a task, a pain in the butt. Keep reminding them over, and over, and over again.
Show the players and people who contributed the results of their fundraising donation. This will not be your last fundraiser, so keep that in mind. People love to help, but they also like to know that contribution went to a good cause.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, share on Twitter @fnfmag or email Craig Baroncelli at firstname.lastname@example.org