Use Lift-A-Thon to Raise Big Money with Less Effort

  • Post category:FUNDRAISING


By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

High school coaches can use to help organize a fundraising effort that brings out the competitive spirit in athletes while leaving the sales, marketing and organization to the experts.

How It Works offers custom fundraising campaigns that are designed to help maximize teams’ Lift-a-thon results. The company can help organize fundraising pages, marketing campaigns and money collection – as well as send thank you cards at the end of the campaign.

Johns Creek High (Ga.) partnered up with in 2017 in Matt Helmerich’s first season as head coach. In previous seasons, Johns Creek organized a letter writing fundraising campaign for its Lift-A-Thon and brought in approximately $27,000 in revenue each season.

Last season, representatives visited Johns Creek at the start of the campaign to help set up individual fundraising pages for each player. The players sent out requests for pledges to friends and family, and the team eclipsed its fundraising total from the previous two seasons combined – with more than $51,000 in profits.

“This was our first time using online donations and it won’t be our last,” Helmerich said. “With very little work on our end, we successfully raised more money than the two previous fundraisers combined.”

Terry Brooks of helped design the software that provides support for players as they fulfill their marketing and fundraising responsibilities.

“It’s hard enough for a high school kid to be a high school kid – much less a saleseman,” Brooks said.


8 Benefits of Using

Inter-Team Competition. Any offseason event that pits players against each other to show off their strength and conditioning gains is a worthwhile endeavor. Players typically receive $1 per pound lifted in exercises varying from the squat to bench press.

The Proceeds. There are fewer expenses when the fundraising effort is organized online rather than mailing letters and spending gas money tracking down payments.

Personal Responsibility. Every player has his own personal fundraising page, so he can customize it as he wishes and take responsibility for bringing in pledges.

Automated Emails. can organize emails to go out weekly – or as often as the individual wishes.

Customer Support. will send representatives to a school to help players create personalized fundraising pages and explain how the campaign works.

Offseason Excitement. The Johns Creek staff brought the weights for the Lift-A-Thon Challenge into the school’s gymnasium, sold concessions, played music, and made it a fan event for the local community.

Automatic Payment. Players don’t have to chase down money after the Lift-A-Thon like they would in a letter-writing campaign. The database will show the donors how much the player lifted and accept payment.

Thank You Notes. sends thank you receipts to all donors.


Everyone Contributes Equally

Brooks has found that the formula often results in a shared division of labor among players when it comes to fundraising.

“With fundraising, it typically comes down to the 80/20 ratio,” Brooks said. “Twenty percent of the people do 80 percent of the heavy lifting. This goes against that. Everyone has parents, grandparents and former coaches they can reach out to in a tactful way.”

The inter-team competition can also ensure that all players are contributing. Some schools have a “Battle for the Belt” on competition day. Championship belts are awarded to the player who lifts the highest number of total pounds and the player who raises the most money.

“A lot of schools do the bench press and squat,” Brooks said. “They also reward the kid who raises the most money with Ric Flair championship belts.”

Brooks believes the key to the whole operation is the thank you cards that are mailed immediately following the campaign.

“If you don’t thank your grandparents, you better not ask again,” Brooks said. “Why it works so well is we take care of the thank you receipts. We really work well for teams that do the lift-a-thons already, because we know how to collect donations.”