Thousands of high schools all over the country are faced with shrinking budgets. In 2014, 35 states provided less funding to their schools than they did in 2013. Fourteen of these states even had to cut their funding by more than 10%.
Worried that their beloved schools will fall from financial stress, school boards are cutting programs at an alarming rate, specifically reducing funds to high school interscholastic sports.
This is problematic since high school interscholastic sports are an integral part of high school education. Researchers have found that the quality of high school education in our country would diminish without interscholastic sports.
The valuable lessons taught on the field by coaches result in more disciplined students, higher academic scores, greater accountability and increased community involvement.
As a result, coaches are increasingly being asked to lead fundraising efforts at their schools – on top of already being expected to be a legendary coach, great role model, and strong mentor.
So why are high school coaches abandoning traditional fundraising when budgets are being slashed? Shouldn’t coaches be utilizing these traditional methods more than ever?
Traditional fundraising has been used by high schools for decades. For some high schools it’s the main funding source for school programs, especially sports. Some of the most common fundraising activities include selling cookie dough, candy, magazine subscription, candle, flower bulb, and even door-to-door mattress fundraisers.
On average, these fundraisers only pay back 50% of the total sales to the school. These high fees drain fundraising efforts and require the coach to continue spending more time on fundraising, and less on coaching.
Amanda Morin, education expert, writes that, “It used to be that fundraising was an attempt to raise funds for a specific cause, one in which kids were invested, but lately it seems as though my kids don’t even know where the money goes.”
Since coaches are now responsible for fundraising in order to keep programs running, they need a solution that allows them to coach more – not constantly fundraise. Coaches and players now need to find time to do fundraising outside of school, after school activities, games and practice. Coach O’Connor, head coach of DeMatha High School baseball, states, “Quite frankly, coaches, parents and students are tired of selling overpriced items nobody really needs.”
What alternatives are coaches using to fundraise?
One company, PLDGIT.com, is providing an alternative fundraising solution for coaches through performance based fundraising campaigns. Started by nerds and jocks, their goal is to have coaches and players spend less time fundraising and more time doing what they love.
On PLDGIT.com, teams set up campaigns based on their performance, and then supporters can pledge any dollar amount for every touchdown, goal, or point scored. After a game ends, teams finalize their results and then pledges turn into donations that directly benefit the fundraising cause. Every campaign is personalized and fully integrated with social media.
High schools across the nation are using this innovative fundraising website to raise money for new equipment and uniforms, travel expenses, facility improvements, and more. Teams can run single game, season long, or rivalry campaigns.
From a coach's perspective it’s the solution they wish existed decades ago. Coach O’Connor says, “PLDGIT.com was the best fundraising platform that we have ever used. It allowed us to keep or fans & alumni involved in the season and go towards.”
For parents, it enables them to invest into their children’s success on the field and eliminates safety concerns of door-to-door fundraising. James and Nancy Dean said, “It is such an awesome experience! It was a fun way to give back, and even motivated the guys to give every game their all! It was super easy to use, and we loved having the ability to adjust our donations for each game!”
Like TeamBuildr, PLDGIT.com can be used by anyone, for any sport, and at any level. Professional athletes down to colleges and youth teams have used PLDIT.com to raise money for their fundraising cause.
Oh, and the best part is that coaches and teams keep 85% of the money they raise.
Performance-based fundraising is an excellent alternative to traditional fundraising that everyone from school board members to coaches, players, and parents should use to fundraise. Have you applied an innovative fundraising method to your school or program? If so, please share it with us in the comment section!