Published March 16, 2023
Many cheer squads participate in competitions that require travel and special uniforms. Because of that, prices quickly add up. Instead of searching for pennies in sofa cushions, squads should fundraise the money! Check out the top six fundraising ideas for your cheerleading squad and select your favorite options.
Why Cheer Fundraisers Are Important
Cheerleaders bring morale to schools and team sports. They motivate people and bring energy and excitement to all types of events. Unfortunately, school districts overlook cheer squads for financial support unless they’re the best in the state. Furthermore, some districts don’t consider cheerleading a real sport. This mindset leads to limited funding for many cheer programs.
Parents and coaches often have to compensate for limited funding, so they exhaust their financial resources to support teams. Fortunately, there are ways to help cheer squads without breaking the bank. Continue reading for some fundraising ideas that work!
Host a Cheer-a-Thon
At a cheer-a-thon, cheerleaders do what they do best—cheer! A cheer-a-thon is an event where cheerleaders perform all day. Squads open the event to the general public, and participants pay an entrance fee as a donation.
Understandably, it may seem daunting to cheer all day long since cheerleading is a high-intensity sport. However, squads divide into groups and take turns performing dance routines, tumbling, and shouting cheers.
Members can also host a Q&A session to discuss cheer-centered topics. A member might share the secret to hitting a stunt or explain how to achieve the perfect high ponytail. It’s all about keeping everyone’s spirits high as squads spend the day cheering and doing fun activities.
Offer Customized Cheers for Donors
Everyone likes to feel special, and customized cheers are great ways to do so. For each donation, squads choreograph a customized cheer for the donor. Use their name and information to personalize the cheer. For example, “Hey, Jess. You’re the best. Good luck on your test.”
Depending on the donation amount, squads can choreograph simple or elaborate cheers. For example, donations over $100 might receive stunts in their custom cheers. Team members and coaches should set guidelines and expectations for this.
For custom cheer donations, it’s important to set a deadline and schedule time to record them. If things become overwhelming, squads should divide into smaller groups to handle personalized cheers.
Do a Cheerleading Day Camp
A cheerleading day camp is another fundraising idea for your squad to consider. Cheering is fun for all ages, and participants can become team members for the day. Charge a registration fee and host an all-day camp.
Divide squad members into groups and assign them roles. For instance, group one teaches participants how to do cheer stunts, and group two goes over popular cheers and fight songs. People rotate groups, which lets them experience all aspects of cheer! At the end of the day, participants form teams and create personalized cheers. Then, the teams will present their cheers to the entire camp. It’s a chance for everyone to showcase their new moves and cheers.
This fundraiser idea is fun but requires a lot of planning and participation. Coaches and squad members must commit for this to work! However, though it’s a lot of effort, cheer camps are well worthwhile.
Try a Game-Day Snack Sale
One of the best things about cheerleading squads is that they perform at all types of sporting events. When it comes to fundraising, visibility is a big advantage. Therefore, squads should try game-day snack sales at sporting events. Parents or volunteers run the stands, and all proceeds go toward the squad.
Though concessions are part of most games, it’s important to distinguish the cheerleading snack sale. Create a unique booth with a colorful sign and decorate it with team gear. It’s also best to sell exclusive goodies. For example, chocolate-dipped bananas, snow cones, roasted nuts, and cake pops are treats you don’t see every day. People gravitate toward unique snacks and are more willing to help cheer squads. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
Consider Virtual Fundraising
Cheerleaders are student-athletes. Committing to practice, cheerleading at sports games, and being full-time students is a lot of work. Occasionally, members don’t have extra time to dedicate to a traditional fundraiser. Luckily, there are donation platforms for virtual cheerleading fundraisers.
Online crowdfunding is easy and effective, and it helps teams go above their fundraising goal. When squads create virtual fundraisers, members and coaches share a link to the donation page. Then, people from all over can donate money to the team.
More than ever, virtual fundraisers are popular because they reach many people. Squad members don’t have to track down donors for cash or checks. Instead, they just send the link, and donors send the funds. If desired, people can send multiple donations throughout the fundraising window. Cheer squads interested in simple and efficient fundraising should consider this option.
Have a Seasonal Baskets Raffle
For this fundraising idea, squads put together baskets with seasonal goodies and raffle them off. For example, a summer basket might include flip-flops, sunscreen, candy, a beach towel, and a blow-up pool floaty. Members sell raffle tickets to participants. During the next pep rally or sports event, the team selects the winner (or winners).
People tend to love prizes, and offering seasonal items will entice individuals to enter the raffle. However, teams can host basket raffles every season with goodies like the following:
- Gift cards
- Skincare products
- Artisanal jams
- Inexpensive electronics
- Flavored coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
Though we named the top, most effective cheer fundraisers, there are more ways to raise money for squads. Here are other ideas:
Spirit Night at a Local Restaurant
Your cheer squad can partner with a local restaurant for spirit night. Members advertise the event to bring in customers, and a percentage of restaurant proceeds go to the squad. This idea supports local businesses and cheer teams!
Cheerleading squads can take professional photos to create a customized calendar. Of course, all proceeds from sales go to the team. Squads should have fun with this idea and take unique photos. For example, showcase different stunts, pyramids, and poses.
Spirit gear is always a big hit. After all, who doesn’t like T-shirts, hats, and hoodies? Squads can sell team gear at pep rallies or sports events. An alternative is creating specialized gear with a limited-time offer. In many cases, people are willing to purchase special items if there is a time crunch.
Silent auctions are traditional yet effective fundraising methods. Coaches, parents, and team members donate items or services to the auction. People bid on the desired item or service, and the highest bidder receives the prize.