RallyCap Sports is a federally recognized 501-C-3 (EIN 22-3681722) not-for-profit organization, which means that donations made to us are tax deductible. All funding goes directly into our programs. We have built RallyCap Sports to be financially sustainable at each RallyChapter by charging RallyPlayers a nominal fee each sport season, and by utilizing the university network to gain student volunteers and low-cost (or free) access to equipment and facilities. However, there are many reasons for you to create a healthy fundraising revenue for your RallyChapter.
Here are a few reasons to fundraise:
- To maintain active status as a RallyChapter by paying annual chapter dues that cover resources like MyRallyCap, a dedicated RallyCoach, custom chapter website, discounted sports equipment, and more
- To help subsidize RallyPlayers who cannot afford to pay the sport season fees. Your RallyChapter can take that burden away from a family in need.
- To meet the needs of your growing chapter! Higher budgets allow for bigger events and even better activities.
As a part of our model, there are many ways to raise extra funds at a university! When considering how to fundraise for your chapter, begin with an estimate of how much money you need in order to operate for the entire year. Next, consider your fundraising options and determine which will be the best use of your chapter’s time and resources, and will yield the level of funding needed. We have split your fundraising options into three categories:
- Campus funding – your University may have available funding
- Donations and sponsorships – tap into the local community for support
- Chapter fundraisers – create your own fundraising events and opportunities
Before resorting to fundraising events, look into campus funding. How are other organizations or clubs on your campus funded? Have you applied for funding through your student government? You may only need to fill out a couple of forms! As soon as school starts, the Director, treasurer and Faculty advisor should meet to get on the same page about forms needed to apply for campus funding. File any forms and paperwork as soon as possible so that you don’t miss out on any financial assistance opportunities!
*HINT: work with other student organizations who might be interested in helping support your mission. At our very first expansion RallyChapter in Ohio, several university organizations put together small fundraisers to benefit RallyCap Sports. A business organization held a successful 5k fundraiser where they were able to donate $500 to the RallyChapter!
Donations and Sponsorships
At RallyCap Sports we believe in the power of community. If you passionately share the RallyCap mission with local community members and businesses, we are confident you will be able to generate donations and sponsorships. Sometimes you just have to ask! Here are some examples of in-kind donations and sponsorships that RallyChapters have received over the years:
- Food from local supermarkets or restaurants for events and activities
- Decorations from a party or supply store for dances or parties
- Local business donates the money you need to rent a facility or purchase equipment
- Gift certificates or merchandise for a raffle or prize give away at an event, meeting or activity
- Local business donates $500 to cover your chapter dues for the year
- Signs and flyers donated by a local print shop
These are just a few examples. If you are passionate about RallyCap Sports, your university and community will be able to tell – and there is no telling how much you will be able to raise!
How do I go about getting a donation or a sponsorship?
Step 1: Evaluate your needs: What is our activity or fundraiser? What specific supplies or products are needed? What types of stores or businesses should be approached to fill that need?
Step 2: Pool your resources: Gather information from your chapter members. Find out where their friends and families work. This is always the best place to start, because as they say, it’s all about “who you know!” (For example, if you’re trying to find a restaurant to host a fundraiser—and a family member or friend is a restaurant manager—that would be the perfect place to approach for that activity). You should also make a list of businesses that your chapter members frequent. Where do your families and friends, classmates and teachers go to shop and eat? These places receive business from your school community, which means they are concerned with promoting a positive image in this community and might be receptive to this opportunity to give back to a good cause. Lastly, don’t forget that the parents of your members are an excellent resource. They know firsthand the value of the program. If you ask, they might be more than willing to financially support your chapter!
Step 3: Make the contact: If you chose a business through a connection in your chapter, have that person make the contact. Call the business or, better yet, stop by in-person with your RallyPlayer. Find out who is in charge of charitable giving (in most cases, it will be a manager or director), his/her name and job title, their policies for donations, their procedures for donation requests, etc.
Step 4: Put it in writing: Most businesses will want your request in writing. If you have never written this type of letter before, don’t be scared! Follow the below steps to write a winning sponsor/donor letter.
Seven Steps to a Winning Sponsor/Donor Letter
- Make it professional: Create letterhead with the RallyCap Sports logo (available in your Resource Kit) in the header and your address in the footer. Try to fit your letter on one page, using 12-point font and one-inch margins. If you have any questions about the format of your letter, talk to your RallyCoach.
- Give them the facts: Tell them about RallyCap Sports, your chapter, the number of buddy pairs, and what you have done this year. Then give them facts about the specific event you are planning, such as when, where, what, and why.
- Tell them why: Explain how you will use the money or goods they will donate (for example, decorations for the annual RallyCap WrapUp event, or toward the chapter dues). State your total goal and your specific request. For a sponsorship, clearly state your fundraising goal and the specific amount you are requesting (for example, you are seeking a $50 donation towards your $300 goal). Alternately, you can offer giving levels with titles for each level. For a donation, state the total amount of whatever it is you need (for example, drinks for 200 people) and the exact amount you are requesting (for example, five cases of soda).
- Be clear with deadlines: State when you need to receive the money or goods. This should be at least one month from the date you mail the letter. Also, make phone calls to follow up and state in your letter when you will be calling.
- Give contact information: Give the name of someone in the chapter whom they can contact if they have questions and a phone number and/or e-mail address at which they can be reached.
- Be creative! The letter does not have to come from the Diretor; consider having a buddy pair write the letter from their perspective.
- Give incentives: Businesses are looking to receive something in return for their donation. Offer them incentives: print their name in the event program, post company logo on the chapter portal, put an ad in the school or local paper thanking them, put their name on your chapter t-shirts, send a certificate they can display at their place of business, have RallyCap Sports Headquarters recognize them on the national website, etc. Don’t forget to mention that RallyCap Sports is a 501(c) (3) organization; tax-deductible contributions are an incentive to donate!
Fundraising activities are a good way to not only raise money, but also raise chapter publicity and awareness throughout the community. Get the entire chapter involved, including your RallyPlayers. The key to a successful fundraiser is to be organized. Plan the event in advance and make sure that everyone in your chapter feels a sense of responsibility for the outcome of the fundraiser. In this section, you will find tools to plan and execute a successful fundraising activity on your campus. After reading this inspiring section you will be equipped to get out there and raise money and awareness for your chapter. Don't forget to have fun!
Step 1: Set your goals: Believe it or not, the objective of fundraising is not to become amazingly rich. You simply want to have enough money to accomplish your goals and the mission of RallyCap Sports!
- What do you want to use the funds for?
- How much money do you need to fundraise in order to achieve those goals?
- When do you need funds?
- What role do you want the chapter members to play?
Step 2: Evaluate your resources: Know what resources are available to you before you start planning.
- How many chapter members can and will participate?
- How much money can be spent on up-front expenses?
- What materials can you get donated?
- What locations are available? Can you get permission to hold it at the school?
- What about off-campus locations?
- What transportation is available?
Step 3: Brainstorm possible fundraisers and check ideas against resources: Just like planning an activity, you will need to brainstorm a list of ideas. Then ask yourself…
- With our resources, can we do the fundraiser we would like to do?
- Is this fundraiser going to be the most profitable?
- Will everyone (RallyTeam members, RallyPlayers, and others) be able to participate?
- Is everyone excited about the idea?
Step 4: Delegate responsibilities and set deadlines: Take the same steps in delegating tasks to your RallyCore as you would for any event or activity.
- Is every task covered? Have you put specific deadlines in writing for each task?
- Does everyone know what is expected of them?
- Have you set dates and times to reconvene before the fundraiser and check on progress?
- Have you utilized the full manpower of your chapter members? Does everyone feel included and informed?
Step 5: Follow up: Follow up with deadlines during the planning process, and again after the fundraiser is complete.
- Has everyone met their deadlines?
- Have you sent thank you letters for donated items and participation?
- Have you informed all the participants and donors of the results?