By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
You’re probably familiar with the global crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and GoFundMe. Even if you’re not, you’ve probably seen one or two projects that these platforms helped to fund, and maybe even contributed to the billions in pledges they’ve processed in the last decade. Some teams have used these platforms to fundraise or market their respective programs.
Many coaches may be wondering: What’s the difference between Kickstarter and GoFundMe?
Kickstarter is a platform that focuses on creative projects like art, music, film, etc. Funding is all or nothing, so if the fundraising goal is not achieved, all of the donors get their money back.
GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform designed for individuals and personal causes. There is no all or nothing requirement, so any donation is final.
Here are some ways in which football coaches have used these fundraising platforms.
- A Lynchburg, West Virginia, team, the 2018 championship-winning Heritage High School football team, raised money for its championship rings through GoFundMe. The team brought home the Class 3 state championship title, but now need to raise money to be able to buy their championship rings, which are $215 a person. The team has so far raised more than $4,000 towards its $20,000 goal.
- A family of a Minnesota football player turned to GoFundMe last fall to help drum up funds for legal representation to fight a controversial call. East Ridge High football player Marco Cavallaro was ejected from a game and suspended “4 1/2 games” over a targeting penalty. In a letter to MSHSL, which was shared on GoFundMe, the family said the suspension would ” effectively end Marco’s high school career and jeopardize his college recruitment.” The campaign raised $1,000.
- Supporters of Sincere Davis, a critically injured Page High School (N.C.) senior and football player, organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help pay for his medical expenses. The fundraiser raised more than $31,000 before Davis died in March of 2019 due to the effects of being the victim of a shooting. Page was headed to play football at Guilford College upon graduation in May.
- Central Michigan master’s candidate Mason Flick produced “Ithaca: The Climb” – a story of Ithaca High (Mich.) football, the community, and their 69-game winning streak that put them on a national stage. The film explains how the Yellowjackets were able to get themselves to the top of the mountain of Michigan high school football — and how the streak came to an end. Featuring in-depth interviews with members of the media, players, coaches, and community members, the story of Ithaca football is told through the eyes of those who have experienced some of the best high school football in the past 20 years. The project’s fundraiser brought in $7,570 from 116 backers.
- A full-length, narrative documentary film, “The Akron Holy War,” highlighted the heated rivalry between two Akron, Ohio parochial high school football powerhouses. Nestled in the comfy confines of Akron sits two parochial football powerhouses, Archbishop Hoban High School and St. Vincent St. Mary (STVM) High School. Each year, these schools breed Division 1 talent en route to bringing home Ohio state football championships. This film showcased how one week of prep for 48 minutes of a football game affected these players for the rest of their lives.
- While this one may not be a fundraiser for a particular program, it’s one that may be of interest to high school coaches. A publisher in Texas created “Friday Night Legends,” a board game featuring the greatest Texas high school football teams of all time. The group launched this project as its first Kickstarter, compiling data on Texas high school football teams for 15 years. The trivia game includes history and records dating back more than 100 years. The Kickstarter raised $3,300 between 16 backers.