The trend in roller hockey in general is to get a team sponsorship from a big-name supplier. This, for some unknown reason, is almost exclusively a roller hockey trend. Not many other sports utilize this philosophy. Due to the growth of roller hockey nationwide, however, most big-name sponsors are reluctant to sponsor national champions, much less fledgling teams that have barely gotten off the ground.
Fortunately, there is another way to still get the financial backing necessary to operate a collegiate club. In fact, it's the way most other college club organizations find their programs – through fundraising. This doesn’t mean to ditch the idea of sponsorship entirely. Instead, go after sponsors that can gain the most exposure from a collegiate club team – local sponsors. They may not be an endless source of financial support, but local sponsorship deals can usually help the club obtain equipment and rink time at incredibly reduced rates. It is difficult for a single team to generate enough interest nationwide to catch the eye of a national sponsor in an industry that gets no television exposure and can't even support a single trade magazine.
Listed below are a collection of fundraising ideas that have been successful for college teams across the country. Please contact the NCRHA at [email protected] with any new fundraising ideas that aren’t listed here! If you used a fundraising website and had success or hardships, please let us know so that we can endorse the proper websites and warn students of any potential issues with others.
Create a Team Program
The program should include advertisements from local businesses as well as club information such as rosters, schedules, officers, stats, etc. Have each player sell two to three pages of ads. Each page sells for 150-200 dollars. Pages can be sold as a whole, half, quarters, or eight business card size sections. The program is usually handed out for free any time the team is playing somewhere locally. Keep it black and white (cheaper printing costs) and make sure you live up to your end of the bargain by actively handing them out during events. This will increase your chances of getting the advertising back the following season.
Charge at Tryouts
If you charge $10 per person at tryouts and have 75 people show up, that is an easy $750 and gets your club a little money in its operating budget before other fundraisers kick in, minus tryout expenses.
Credit Card Applications
Several marketing companies will offer money to organizations for each credit card application they receive. Often, it’s as easy as taking the applications they send you and setting up a table on campus and getting students to fill them out. Those filling out the applications usually get stuff like calling cards or candy for free and the team gets money for every single application. Another idea is to host a hockey party where the "cover" charge is to fill-out an application. More information on these type of fundraisers can be found at www.campusfundraisers.com and www.campusconcepts.com.
Work a Professional/Collegiate Sports Game
Several management companies offer groups the chance to work a concession stand or clean up the stands at pro/collegiate sports stadiums and arenas. If you have a professional sports organization in your area, this is a VERY easy way to make money. Often, the organization gets additional money if more people work the event.
Car Washes (seriously!)
Get a date and approval from the location ahead of time and make sure it is adjacent to lots of passing traffic, preferably local traffic, not university traffic. You can even go one step further and make it a "topless" car wash by having the girlfriends of the players stand by the road with signs advertising the car wash. After the car pays, they pull around to the actual car wash and have their car washed by the GUYS on the team, wearing their roller hockey pants, washing cars. This is a great way to create a little public relations and get some local exposure.
Buy shirts at $5-$6 and sell them for $10-$12. It works really well if you scrimmage high school schools or have a local rink willing to work with you and help sell the shirts. Sell them on campus at a table as well. Make sure to order no less than 100 for better prices and start out with simple designs. Hats also work really well, but require more up-front money.
Pizza and Burger Night
Many local restaurants and pizza parlors will allow you to hand out flyers and place ads in school papers for a feed night. Every person who goes in that food establishment and orders food with the flyer earns the team a dollar or a percentage of their bill. This is a good way to make about $100-$200 with very little work. Several national chains, such as Friendly’s, also support this type of fundraiser.
- Some larger chains that host fundraisers are: Krispy Kreme Donuts, Panera Bread, Rubio's Coastal Grill, Red Robin Gourmet Burgres & Brews
Host a Tournament
Hold a youth or adult tournament. Have the college players officiate and run the management side of the event. Get prizes donated and really hype up the event months ahead of time. This works especially well with youth programs.
All-night Public Skate
Find a local rink and help them run an all-night public skate with a live DJ. In exchange for doing the public relations work and providing players to act as skate guards (maybe even DJ's!), most rinks will split the ticket sales with the club.
Have local businesses donate various items and gift certificates and have a table on campus for students to purchase tickets.
Services in Exchange for Rink Time
A lot of college campuses, high schools, and local city youth clubs will pay your team to hold weekly hockey clinics, coach a local youth team, officiate house leagues, work at the rink, etc. Easy work and free rink time! Making it a non-cash deal seems better for rinks. Volunteer your team to run clinics or camps on a weekly basis in exchange for weekly practice times. Not only is this an easy way to get some extra cash, but also an easy way to generate interest for your team.
Run an In-house League
If you have a large number of players and a local rink willing to work with you or somewhere on campus adequate enough to play roller hockey on, set-up a beginner league. This is a way to increase your club membership numbers to more than just the travel team players, as well as create money by charging the members to play in an in-house league. By using the travel team players as the officials and administrators of the league, the league can cost virtually nothing to operate.
There are websites for fundraising companies that can help you fundraise. Their offerings range from selling candy door-to-door to soliciting donations from contact lists that you create yourselves. Other options are selling movie tickets, scratch cards and discount cards. Below are a listing of some sites that are out there. Do your research first to check the legitimacy of any website/company before proceeding.
- Campus Causes - www.campuscauses.com/ncrha - Shop. Donate.Score. Team members, family, friends and alumni, shop with over 500 brands to earn cash back for your club!
- GoFundMe - www.gofundme.com - Start fundraising today. More money raised online than anywhere else.
- Reaching Our Goal www.reachingourgoal.com - enter your family members/friends information and they will be mailed a brochure. the brochure has savings for all people, regardless of whether they make a donation or not. The website says the coupons are for National merchants, like Home Depot, CVS, Barnes & Noble, Nike, etc. They can send you via check or credit card a donation in amounts from $25 and up.
- ABC Fundraising - www.abcfundraising.com - have several different options for fundraising. Most seem like they need to be sold to people in your area, as the coupons are probably specific to your area. Movie ticket fundraiser, Scratch Card fundraiser, Discount Card fundraiser.
Please contact the NCRHA at ED@ncrha.org with any new fundraising ideas that aren’t listed here or if you have any questions!