Fundraising for sports teams

Back in the day, before the Internet was a thing that we all spent all of our time on, the door-to-door fundraiser for sports teams were a necessity. If your squad needed some new jerseys, some new equipment, or to cover travel expenses to an out-of-state tournament, you went around your community and asked your neighbors to help out. Well, with the Internet in general, and crowdfunding in particular, your neighbors are not just down your street, they’re all across the state, the country and the globe. And by using crowdfunding you can really make it fun and competitive, as each member of the team can have their own fundraising page and individual goal.

Read on to see some great examples of students and coaches leveraging technology to get them the right tools they need to succeed – on the field and off.

Row row row your boat

In March 2016, over 100 members of the Loyola Academy Rowing Association combined to raise nearly $80,000 in their first ever Ergathon. The fundraiser consisted of teams of Loyola rowers competing against each other on rowing machines (known as “Ergs”, hence the fundraiser’s name) to raise money for the club. A portion of the donations were used to maintain and purchase racing boats, oars, boat trailers and more Ergs. The rest of the donations will be used to award scholarships so that every Loyola Academy student has the opportunity to row. And to promote the Ergathon, the Association also made this awesome video. Doing sports teams everywhere proud.

Bump, set, spike your goals

Matt Sandora has been the coach of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team at Andrew Hill High School in San Jose, CA. for thirteen years now. As he says, “Most of my kids will be the first in their families to graduate high school, let alone go to college. I try to use volleyball to expand their horizons and teach them life skills. The girls had a dream to take a trip to play volleyball in Hawaii and I am doing my best to make it come true this fall.”

To make the trip a reality, he is crowdfunding to help enrich the lives of his student-athletes through both sports and culture. The funds he raises will be used for air travel, car rental, lodging, and admission to cultural experiences for the girls in Honolulu. They’re currently at about 20% of their $14,000 goal – and you can help get them to Hawaii.

High school volleyball sports teams

Knocking it out of the park

Grady High School is the only traditional high school within Atlanta Public Schools without an on-site or adjacent baseball or softball field or practice facility. For decades, Grady had access to a city park across the street, but in the 1990s, the school’s teams were no longer allowed to play or practice in the park. Despite years of parent and player advocacy, the teams are still excluded from the park and still don’t have a nearby place to play or practice. Instead, the players are bused to a shared field across town for practice and games – which is 16 miles roundtrip and takes precious time out of the students’ days. To combat this, the newly revitalized Grady Dugout Club is crowdfunding an on-site, indoor batting cage and bullpen. Costs are estimated at $80,000, but how it will help the baseball and softball players grow and develop individually is priceless.

How can sports teams get going?

It’s easy for your team or school group (music, theater, business, etc) to get started fundraising for any of your needs immediately. You can get set up in under a minute.

Some prompts before you get started

  • Do your team members with particular skills that can be leveraged to create a unique fundraiser experience?
  • What are some season specific fundraisers – for instance water-related things for summer, snow-related fundraisers for winter, etc?
  • Are there any mini competitions or events the team can put on that people can participate in or watch?

5/16 – Tough way to start the day but it had to be said …



Apparently, several CrowdRise Gatherings have flipped and are now referring to themselves CrowdRise Clubs. We feel a little bad about it but that cannot be allowed and this rule extends all the way back to the first CrowdRise Gathering in 1903. Clubs are meant to be productive and purposeful. Gatherings are not. Clubs are meant to be fun and interesting and something everyone looks forward to. That is not what CrowdRise Gatherings are about at all. Alliteration. CrowdRise Gatherings are meant to be mindless, insignificant and shallow. So, if you’re in San Francisco, Ft. Collins, Columbus, Portland (Maine, not Oregon), Charlotte or any other town that, unbeknownst to us, has changed their name, please change it back. Tough way to start the day but it had to be said. We expect some mutiny. Okay. That’s all.

Why Online Fundraising is Better than a Gala

4) No one likes to get all dressed up to attend those things. If you asked everyone at a fancy gala what they liked the most, it’s very unlikely people would say “dressing up and hobnobbing.” They come to support the cause and just deal with the fancy stuff to be nice. If your organization is entrenched in the old school and you just gotta do a fancy gala, take a look at this #ThrowbackCrowdRiseContent and see how you can make them more fun and cost-effective.

3) More of your donors’ money will go towards the cause, not a fancy plated dinner and an open bar. Take for example the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color’s (COSEBOC) fundraiser, amazingly titled the Not-So-Gala Gala. As they say on their CrowdRise page, “in celebration of COSEBOC’s 10th anniversary, instead of a gala, consider investing those funds in special experiences for boys and young men of color, and for the people who educate them.” It just makes sense.

2) None of your friends will be there and your palms sweat when you’re forced to meet new people. Remember the last time you were at a party. You just sat on the periphery and stared at everyone else and prayed that no one came over to introduce themselves. It’s like anti-fun. No one wants to do that while you can give just as much money (or more!) from the comfort of the glow of your laptop while also watching ​The Wire​ for the third time. It’s what economists call a classic win-win.

It’s proven to work. As Kendall Almerico, a crowdfunding and online fundraising attorney, says in this Entrepreneur piece, crowdfunding does work, but it takes a lot of work. We highly recommend reading through the whole article to pick up some tips to success. And remember, with galas you’re limited to the people in the room, with online fundraising you’re limited by nothing.

16 Amazing Fundraisers of 2015

2015 was a big year for CrowdRise specifically, crowdfunding generally and Donald Trump politically. And so why don’t we run down the 16 most popular fundraisers on CrowdRise – as chosen by you, the people. Let’s go!

A new life for a Syrian family torn apart by war​

Humans of New York and Edward Norton teamed up to raise over $460,000 on CrowdRise in just a few days for a Syrian refugee and his family as they relocate to Detroit. Such a powerful and amazing online fundraiser.

Crazy virtual reality captures the impact on #GivingTuesday

On #GivingTuesday, over 1,200 charities rallied to raise more than $5.8 million and make the CrowdRise Giving Tower the tallest building in the world. The CrowdRise Giving Tower was the best way for charities to raise money on #GivingTuesday and we’re bringing it all back for 2016.

TCS NYC Marathon rallies to raise over $19 million for good

Thousands of TCS New York City Marathon runners launched their own fundraising pages and rallied to raise over $19 million for hundreds of amazing causes. Just one awesome example of so, so many of endurance fundraisers on CrowdRise.

Funding new legs for elephants injured by landmines

The Asian Elephant hospital in Thailand needs help to build a factory that willprovide prosthetic legs to elephants and give them a chance to walk again. This is one of those unique online fundraisers that you just can’t get out of your head.

Eddie Vedder CrowdRises to cure debilitating skin disease

EB is a devastating genetic skin disorder that causes skin to tear apart and blister from the slightest touch. Eddie co-founded a research group to help find a cure and it has raised nearly $100,000. This is a great example of celebrities using their influence for good.

Following in Forrest Gump’s footsteps to fight poverty

Barclay ran across the USA, Forrest Gump-style, and raised over $11,000 for the Hall Steps Foundation, founded to fight poverty around the world by improving health. This is a great example of leveraging the power of crowdfunding to make a real difference.

Forever changing the lives of 3 kids in Honduras in 24 hours

Nicole went to Honduras and met Laura. In just 24 hours she raised enough money to help Laura, as well as two other teens, get surgery to change their lives forever. Now that is an amazing use of online fundraisers.

Justice for Cecil the Lion means fighting to end future poaching

Cecil, a beloved 13-year-old lion, was killed for sport in July. The world responded by raising over $70,000 to help protect other animals and end poaching for good. These sorts of mass mobilizations are what we had in mind when we started CrowdRise.

Allstate Purple Purse Challenge raises $3.1 million

Domestic violence charities rallied their communities in the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge and raised nearly $3.1 million collectively for the cause. And yeah, that’s Olivia Pope AKA Kerry Washington. She’s a big fan of crowdfunding.

Helping Army vet Chris Mintz, who tried to protect fellow students during Oregon shooting

Chris Mintz, an Army veteran, was shot while trying to warn students at a Southern Oregon college under attack by a gunman. Donations help with his recovery medical costs. This guy is a hero, and we were beyond proud to help raise over $30,000 for him.

The 2015 Boston Marathon raises over $1 million for every mile in the race

The John Hancock Boston Marathon community raised over $26 million for charityin 2015. That‘s more than a million dollars for every mile on the historic course. Such an amazing example of online fundraising in action.

Helping a displaced family in Haiti get their own home, all in 24 hours

Mallory went to Haiti and found a family, displaced by the earthquake, living in need. In 24 hours she was able to raise enough money to get them into their own home. Online fundraisers – it’s built for speed.

Melody used her bat mitzvah to CrowdRise and help orphaned elephants in Kenya

Melody and her family traveled to Nairobi to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphan Project. She was so moved, she asked friends and family to support their efforts in lieu of any bat mitzvah gifts. And she raised nearly $22,000! Mazel tov!

Revlon ‘Love is On’ raises $4.1 million for women’s health

Revlon used a $1 million dollar grand prize to help women’s health organizations spread the love and raise over $4.1 million for their causes. This was a great example of corporate philanthropy leveraging the latest technologies.

100% pro bono lawyer project helps those who can‘t afford legal help

Melanie quit her job as a lawyer and set out on a cross country tour giving pro bono legal help to those in need. Currently she’s working with migrant farmworkers who aren’t receiving full due process rights in rural California – and raised over $16,500 in the process. And they said lawyers are bad?

Saving the Gray girls from a rare brain disease

The Grays were devastated when they found out both Charlotte and Gwenyth have a neurodegenerative brain disease called Batten CNL6. They are fundraising on CrowdRise to fund the urgent medical research needed to save the lives of the Gray girls – So far their online fundraiser has raised over $108,000. These are the sorts of online fundraisers that CrowdRise was built for.


Not a bad 2015, amirite? Well here’s to a bigger, better and more helpful 2016.

The CrowdRise Story: September 2015

  • Stephen Siller ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel with 60 lbs of gear on his back in order to help on September 11, 2001. He lost his life that day and now the Tunnels to Towers Foundation hosts a 5K run/walk each year in his honor.
  • The Arts for All ArtPrize Challenge supported arts and cultural organizations in Grand Rapids, Michigan around the time of their annual ArtPrize art installation. Super cool.
  • Tonight, everyone please take your sherbet and put it in the fridge instead of the freezer. You’ll see that when you wake up tomorrow morning it’ll be messy but probably not as messy as you’d think. Then, take a giant scoop of the sherbet, mix it with granola and ask any neighbor if you can leave the bowl on top of their washing machine for ninety minutes. Here’s the most important part though … you can never go back to get the bowl. According to the Council on Philanthropy, at least ninety percent of neighbors will eat the sherbet/granola concoction within two weeks and half of those people will raise money for a new cause within the following two weeks. Could be a game changer.