Bottom line: your school doesn't have enough money to give you everything you need.

At some at point, you're going to have to take your destiny into your own hands. Fund-raising is how you and your teammates are going to make your dreams become reality. And the victory will be that much sweeter when you've won it yourselves through hard work.

 

Fund-raising is definitely a challenge. Convincing people to part with their money is no small feat. First and foremost, you have to motivate yourselves. Bring your A-game! 

 

Make sure to have a detailed account of everything you need funds for. Keep your eyes on the prize! Does your squad need new uniforms, new poms, or new shoes? Are you going to Nationals and need money for transportation? I'm sure you can think of plenty of things your team could benefit from spending money on! When you keep your goal in mind, it's easier to muster the courage to keep working. It isn't just the organizer's responsibility to keep everyone on task. You've got to want your goal enough to put in the work.

 

Decide how much money you need to raise. While you could just fund-raise as much as you can, it's actually better to set a specific goal. When you have an actual number to achieve, it's realistic and therefore doable. Plus, it's a great selling point: “We're only X away from making our goal!”

 

Now that you have a mission, how are you actually going to raise the funds? There are two schools of thought:

 

1) You can ask for money directly. This is the fastest and arguably the easiest way, but it does rely on your ability to convince people to care enough about your cause to donate. It's pure salesmanship. But if you have enough girls with a strong support group, and a reasonable goal, you can knock it out with a direct money fund-raiser.

 

The best way to make money directly is with Omni Cheer's Fun 2 Raise cards. They combine the ease of direct cash fund-raising and the fun of scratcher cards! Once you've convinced someone to donate, they get to scratch off a couple of boxes on your Fun 2 Raise card. The boxes have values ranging from $.75 to $3.00, and once you've gotten all 125 boxes scratched off, you've raised $250 dollars! This is not only an easy and direct way to fund-raise, but you can order as many cards as you need to meet your specific goal.

 

2) The other way to raise funds is to offer a good or service. The key here is to charge more money than it takes you to produce the good or service, in order to make a profit. What are you guys good at? What do you already enjoy doing? Maybe you could all bake something sweet or cook something delicious, and have a bake sale or cook off! Do you and your teammates have an excess of clothes, books, or other items? Hold a book swap, clothes exchange, or giant yard sale! If there is a big holiday coming up like Christmas, play into that and sell seasonal items. Summer time? Throw a pool party! If you choose to do an event type fund raise, keep these things in mind: You'll raise money through an entrance fee plus costs of sales. The location for the event must be secured, and that costs money itself; try to make a deal with the venue to save on costs. Rely on volunteer labor from your team and family to make the event happen.

 

Here's a tip: fund-raise in uniform; it will catch peoples' attention!

 

Your very first market is going to be your immediate family and friends. Ask everyone you know – they'll be more inclined to help than total strangers! Now is the time to cash in favors. Next market would be your community, specifically people involved in cheer. Besides your family (who loves you), who else would care? Who is most likely to respond to your pitch?  Seek out corporate help, and target stores where cheerleaders shop. Your school's alumni cheerleaders are definitely a good lead to investigate.

 

Also, don't forget about internet marketing! Social media is a great tool for fundraising. Post a photo of those new uniforms you want on Instagram, take a Snap of what you're selling, make posts on Facebook and your Facebook groups. 


Just keep in mind: when it comes to raising funds, nothing is better than word of mouth. People might consider donating when they read about your plight, but it's just too easy to get immediately distracted. One person putting money in your hand today is better than ten people reading about it and thinking “maybe later.”

 

You've got the goal, you've got the plan. Now you just have to stay on track! Reiterate your goals weekly, and keep track of your progress. Give kudos to your teammates and brag about your own accomplishments. Salesmanship is an impressive skill! It blends public speaking with business sense and marketing. Remember, the experience of fundraising can be harrowing, but you will surely learn a lot about communication, planning, and tenacity!