Two, four, six, eight! Who do we appreciate? Cheerleaders are the lifeblood of a sports team, providing pep, excitement, and team spirit to any game. Without them to put on a wonderful show, the crowd wouldn’t get as excited and the players may not do their absolute best.
Plus, who can resist those pretty girls smiling and performing their acrobatics? What everyone forgets, however, is that although the sports teams need funds to pay for all of their equipment, the cheerleaders also need money to keep the squad going.
It can be tough for the school to find the money for uniforms, coaches, and travel expenses when they go to visitor games. Sometimes, cheerleaders are so good that they get to perform in competitions with their peers, but it costs money to pay for the transportation, the costumes, the food and the hotel stays, if the competition is out-of-state.
It’s unfair to ask these hard-working girls to pay for everything themselves – they deserve someone working on their behalf to raise money, too.
What kind of fundraiser can the squad do themselves? Well, you could do a brochure sale or sell some other sort of product, but that can eat into your profits and require a lot of time you may not have.
Cheerleaders are resourceful people – they can come up with a lot of great ideas. They also may have a lot of contacts, so your fundraiser will likely see a good turnout.
Lastly, don’t forget about the kids that tried out for the squad, but didn’t get on it. They can form a cheerleader booster club that can be in charge of staffing fundraising booths and raising money for the team. Get away from selling expensive product and let those girls be creative!
Great cheer fundraisers
When your cheerleading squad decides to put on a fundraiser, you want to make sure that you’re choosing one that will net you the most profit. This means, basically, that you need to do everything, or at least most things, yourself. Stay away from fundraisers that require a lot of money upfront and will only net you 30%-40% profit.
Also stay away from ones that will take up a lot of time, especially if you’re fundraising for a trip or event. The reason for this is because you may not be able to collect the money that you need before the event happens, and the last thing you want to do is to disappoint the whole cheerleading team. Instead, find fundraisers that are fun and easy to do, and get the girls involved. They’ll love to participate, especially if it involves taking leadership.
You could put on an auction, but instead of finding things to auction off, you could auction off free dates with cheerleaders who want to participate. The student with the highest bid wins, and you can alert the school over the morning announcements. This is always quite popular among the male high school population, and some cheerleaders have reported making quite a lot of money for the team this way.
Some cheerleaders really like to make things, so you could make posters or a calendar of the squad or one of the sports teams. You could even make a calendar with a different sports team, player, or cheerleader for every month. You can choose to go with a company that makes calendars, or you can have the girls make them themselves with a laminating machine and a photocopier.
The hardest thing will be to get good pictures of the teams, but you’ll find that parents and friends of the students will likely want one of these on their wall for the coming year.
Another good fundraising idea is for the cheerleaders to sell “cheer accessories” at sports games throughout the year. These can include foam fingers, clappers, pom-poms, and more. The cheerleaders can set up a table before and during the games to sell these accessories and gear the fans up for the game.
This may require that you buy these things beforehand, but the school may either help with the cost or buy the accessories itself. A portion of the proceeds will go to the squad, and it’s a great all-year fundraiser to keep the money coming in.
Raffles are always great fundraisers, especially when everyone gets together to choose something really great to award to the winner. Some cheerleading squads ask each girl to donate $5 or $10 to a pot, and then everyone goes out together to buy something with the money to raffle off.
Depending on how much you sell the tickets for, you can make a good profit and people won’t mind buying a ticket when they see how good the prize is.
Cheerleaders can also run “cheer clinics” on the weekend for younger girls who want to become cheerleaders when they get into high school.
American Cheerleader has a lot of great tips for routines and tricks that the cheerleaders can teach the kids. They can charge a flat fee for the clinic, which would include instruction and any extras that the squad wants to do.
Tips for the best fundraising success
The number one tip to make your fundraiser a success is to let everyone be involved. Too often, there are kids that get left out in the cold when it comes to participation, so let them step forward and offer their ideas. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they come up with! Also, let the kids make things like posters and flyers for advertisement.
You can also nominate one girl to remind students over the morning announcements about your fundraiser. At the games or during the lunch hour, have a group of girls ready to staff the booths, in uniform. This will attract students who want to meet the squad. If the cheerleaders are performing, form a cheerleader booster club or ask parents and friends to help the team out.
Try to do everything yourself – you don’t want to be paying out extra money when you don’t have to. See if the school will divert some of the sports teams’ budget to help you if you want to sell product from a company.
Cheerleaders deserve everyone’s support, because they do so well supporting the team. With a cheerleading fundraiser, they get their reward and get to use their creative skills to do something great.