Any parent with a daughter on a cheerleading squad knows that it can get expensive. Fundraising is a great way for the girls, their family and supporters to offset a portion of the costs. Don't forget that a successful cheerleading fundraiser is not just to make money, but also a great way to build team spirit and unite the team and families in their dedication to the success of the team.
The start of any great fundraising event is coming up with a fundraiser that fits with the cheerleading squad. Every team's situation is different, so stay away from cookie-cutter programs. The best way to get great results is to let everyone contribute ideas on the best possible event. Sometimes it helps to get some fundraising ideas from the experts, so here are a couple good ones to start with.
Car Wash. Car wash fundraisers are perfect for cheerleading squads because the girls are usually good at generating attention from their friends, boys and parents. The key to a great car wash fundraiser is to schedule it on a day that will be hot, dry and in a location that gets plenty of drive-by traffic. But most of the selling for the fundraiser should happen before the car wash. The team and its supporters can usually sell plenty of car wash tickets to neighbors, co-workers and friends, whom might not even show up to claim their car wash. In order to get drive-by traffic, make large, colorful signs to announce the car wash and direct traffic. Just be sure to keep it clean and don't get carried away with using the girls in any way that tarnishes the reputation of the squad.
Dance Clinic. It is always a great idea to leverage the talent of the members for a fundraising event, and what better match for cheerleaders than a dance clinic competition For many teams this is the most lucrative fundraiser. Make sure to pre-sell tickets to the clinic or competition. Classes can be split into younger students and older students, or families can come together for a fun family activity. Be sure to practice the clinic ahead of time so that it is well-organized and there are clear areas of responsibility for each member of the cheerleading team. You can teach younger dancers short dances in a variety of styles, such as hip hop, jazz, and theatrical, to keep them interested. Older students will appreciate more of a focus on particular dance styles and will learn a bit slower, so give them more time on each dance style. Give the dancers advice and praise as they practice, everyone loves to get a bit of positive reinforcement.
Invitational. You can also hold an invitational for local dance teams and bring in judges to score and evaluate the teams. This works well with strong college dance teams, which can invite local high school teams and less competitive college dance teams or clubs.
Getting Started. Rally your squad with a meeting to get them fired up and to start the planning for the fundraiser. It is always important to get everyone on-board with the direction of the fundraiser, so they will feel responsible for the results. You can also get everyone united with matching custom cheerleading tees, or just coordinated shirt colors. Throughout the process, remember that the skills that the team members develop in fundraising will be important life lessons that can build abilities they may use in later pursuits in life.