10 Worst Sports Fundraising Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Sports Crowdfunding and Fundraising

10 Worst Sports Fundraising Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

October 25, 2016 Sports Fundraising 0


We’ve all seen those campaigns that fail to raise funds for their sports team. Here are the 10 worst mistakes and how to avoid them.

Less than one-third of fundraising and crowdfunding campaigns reach their target. There is no magic garden of crowdfunding campaigns; you need to put in the work, prepare, and promote your campaign.

Luckily, we’ve seen most of the mistakes before and will share with you below.

Mistake No. 1: A Slow Start

There is nothing that attracts a crowd other than a crowd. Think about the empty restaurant syndrome. When was the last time you walked into an empty restaurant and decided to sit? Social proof is critical for every campaign, and how can you get social proof? With early contributions!

Check out what Andrew Blackman from Tutsplus.com has to say:

“If people check out your listing and see zero backers, they’re less likely to want to make the first move. If they see you already have 10 people signed up, they’ll be more convinced that you’re offering something worthwhile.”

The very first 48 hours of your campaign will be critical. Therefore, create a list of close contacts, friends, family member, teammates, and co-workers that can make a contribution as soon as your campaign goes live. If you manage to hit 25% of your funding goal during the first 2 days, then you are more likely to succeed!

Mistake No. 2: Asking for More Than What You Need

Think about what you want to achieve, build a budget, and break it down by priorities. Focus on one task and be very clear about the ending result. What will happen when you achieve it? Transparency is the key word here. You can always run another campaign and raise more funds. In fact, it will be easier to run a second campaign after you succeed the first time.

Mistake No. 3: Not getting Everyone On Board

Everyone needs to participate, as this is a team effort. Even if you are an individual athlete in Track & Field, for example, talk to your teammates and friends to get them on board with you. More people sharing the campaign link and spreading the word will be beneficial for the project and will help build your social proof we talked before.

Check out what Steve Croth, Co-Founder and CEO at FlipGive has to say about team effort in a fundraising campaign:

“Not getting everyone on the team on board and active with fundraisers. Everyone needs to participate and be held accountable for a certain level of contribution. Parents need to ensure there is buy-in from the other parents on the team, and that everyone has committed to a minimum level of contribution. Also, people need to pick when they will be active. Fundraising requires periods where people “actively push” to raise money.”

Mistake No.4: Not Communicating with Supporters

You got the hard part out of the way: People actually believe in you and on your project, so they made a contribution! Now it is your turn to keep them updated about the campaign. You can ask them to share the link and invite their network of friends to contribute as well. Remember the social proof? Now you have it!

Mistake No.5: Low-Quality Images/Video

Creating a visual connection is very important. Don’t forget to show your team, your facility, and yourself on the project. The supporters need to give a “face” to the project. An image of what you are trying to achieve is also very helpful. Focus on the light on your images and don’t forget about the background noise on your videos.

Mistake No.6: Not Doing Outreach

Your campaign will not go viral if you don’t talk about it. Part of the preparation phase is to create a list of influencers, bloggers, and news outlets that talk about your sport. As soon as you reach the 25% mark, you should send them a message and let them know about this remarkable campaign that you are running. Local news is also a great way to get the word out.

Mistake No.7: Bad Rewards Strategy

Your mom or dad may be inclined to make a contribution no matter what, but everyone else may not be so inclined. At the end of the day, you are asking people to reach out to their wallet and make a contribution. You need to create value for them. How do you do that? With AWESOME rewards! From a simple hand-written “Thank you Letter” to Your favorite Jersey with an autograph. Be creative and keep in mind that you need to create value.

Fundraiserhelp.com has some amazing advice for you:

“Invest the time in designing the right reward program. The increase in sales will be more than paying for a slight additional cost.”

Mistake No.8: Not Asking for a Contribution

On all your communication, both online and offline, you need to make it very clear what action you want the potential supporter to do. Since you want them to make a contribution, then you need to be very clear about it. Ask for the contribution! Focus on one task at a time. After they make the contribution, ask them to spread the word.

Mistake No.9: Doing Everything Online

It might seem that since the campaign is online, you should focus all your efforts online. It is very tempting, but not in this case. You need to talk about your campaign, everywhere! With your friends at school or at work, with your family, every chance you have. For example; by hosting a dinner party. Get out there and show how passionate you are about your project and that you need support.

Mistake No.10: Poor Social Media Presence

Social media is the fuel of your campaign. A strong online presence will make your job a lot easier. Firstly, if you don’t have a public profile on the big four social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn), create one today! Make sure your social media profiles are linking to the campaign as soon as it goes live. Create a Facebook Event and invite all your friends. Post regularly and don’t forget to be specific about the task.

The guys at Krowdster.com are doing a great job promoting campaigns on social media. Check out what they have to say:

“Social media is all about sharing; you build networks by connecting with people who could be interested in your campaign. But rather than just delivering your pitch, you scratch their back for a while by favoriting, retweeting, sharing, and commenting on what they post.”

Now is your turn

What mistake have you seen in a fundraising campaign lately? Which of these 10 mistakes is the worst one in your opinion? Let us know! And avoid these mistakes at all costs! Talk to us before running a fundraising or Crowdfunding campaign!