How Fundraising Will Play A Key Role as Cheerleading and Gymnastics Gyms Plan The Season

Fundraising has been a core component of many youth sports programs for years, providing an opportunity for families to help offset some of the costs for their involvement with the sports their kids love so dearly.

We spoke to owners of a number of gymnastics and cheerleading programs this week, who told us fundraising this season will be more important than ever. As families deal with the economic effects from COVID-19, gym owners are looking to provide additional avenues to help families through these times. 

“I think this season, families will be way more interested in being involved in fundraising programs compared to past years,” says Ginger Raines, owner and coach of Intrigue Athletics of Tennessee. “The great thing is that parents love it and support it and always get behind it and make the program fun for all.”

Raines notes that athletes are incredibly happy to have resumed training and she’s been impressed with the progress they’re making. She expects Compulsory teams to travel to and participate in about five competitions this year with Optional teams participating in about seven.

Britten Blackburn of Alabama Cheerleading Center has used fundraising programs for years and is already starting to map out this year’s program. “I one hundred percent believe fundraising will be crucial this year as we plan for our season,” he says, noting the difficulties many have experienced during the pandemic. “Parents love having a program that can help offset some of the tuition fees and it’s something great for our whole program to get behind. Fundraising programs have been a part of what we offer in the past and will absolutely be a part of this season.”

Former U.S. National Champion Kristie Phillips, who owns KPAC Gymnastics and Dance in North Carolina, has utilized the club’s Booster program to help execute their fundraising initiatives in the past. “Anything we can do to help athletes with their season, we are all about,” Phillips shared with us. “Our Booster Club has done an amazing job and they’ve come up with some creative programs in the past. We know the difficulties many families are facing now and again, any programs we can implement to help, we want to do.” Team athletes will likely attend the same number of events this year, though they may compete closer to home to reduce some of the travel expenses Phillips noted.

Some programs told us that many of the season costs are bundled into a tuition fee and fundraising efforts can be applied directly to offsetting tuition. Others may use fundraisers to directly help with specific costs, from competitive apparel to competition fees to travel expenses or to fund new equipment initiatives.

While some clubs are seasoned in executing programs, they’ve utilized different formats to tackle – whether through a Parent’s Program or Booster Club or directly through a club initiative. For others who haven’t relied on fundraising programs in the past, this year may be the first time to experiment when some families are in a time of need. One thing that is clear is that clubs are focused on utilizing all the tools at their disposal to help kids and families make this season a success all around, and fundraising can play a key goal in easing the burden.

Look for more fundraising tips, ideas and resources in upcoming issues of Inside Cheerleading magazine! Click Here and Subscribe Today!