Athlete Fundraising Top Tips

We know that starting a fundraising campaign can feel overwhelming – particularly when you’re already busy trying to balance work or school, training and a social life.

That’s why we’ve put together these dedicated tips, specifically designed for an athlete fundraising campaign. We promise that if you take a moment to read them and look at the advice in our fundraising toolkit, your fundraising campaign will get off to a flying start!


1. Make a list of all your existing networks and potential donors

Module 1 of our toolkit has an in-depth section on how to select and define your target audience (it’s well worth a read for further inspiration) but here are a few key examples to get you thinking:

It’s natural for players, coaches and other members of your club to take pride in the elite achievements of current or past members and they are often willing to help you succeed.

Ask your club to:

  • Put your story in their newsletter, on their website and on Facebook (or other social media feeds they might have) with a link to your donation page
  • Talk about your fundraising at an upcoming event such as registration day, junior sausage sizzle or presentation night
  • Do you coach a junior team? Ask parents if they can support you or talk about your campaign and aspirations at kids and parents training night

2. Ask for help!

We know that as an athlete you need to prioritise training and preparation – so we get that your time is already pretty stretched!

Our toolkits and ideas are designed to help make things as easy as possible for you, but the reality is that it will take a degree of time and commitment to reach your fundraising goals.

That’s why it is really important to ask for help from friends and families. Some of our most successful fundraising athletes rely on help to achieve their goals – and in our experience, friends and families really enjoy being useful and involved.

3. Share your fundraising page and tell your story – again, again and again!

One of the easiest ways to promote your fundraising page is via social media channels.

  • Most people already have social media pages set up – so it’s a ready-made way to share your story to and ask for donations
  • The people in your social media network already know who you are which should make them more willing to support you
  • Your social media accounts are personal to you – this means that supporters or donors connect with you as an individual, rather than as a club.
  • If you have private settings on your social media channels, consider changing the status of your fundraising posts to ‘public’ and encourage family and friends to share far and wide
  • Photos and videos are always a great idea to include in posts

Sharing your fundraising story multiple times helps potential donors to:

  • Understand what you’re fundraising for – and what your ultimate goal is
  • See, first hand, all the hard work you’re putting in to achieving your goals

Potential social media posts could include:

  • Updates on how your training and competitions are going

Today I got a new PB! That extra training session a week is starting to pay off! Help me get a better PB by supporting me on my way to nationals by making a tax-deductible donation to my fundraising page <link>”

  • A countdown to an event to create a sense of urgency

“Only three days to go until the championship, I’d love your help to make sure <insert aim of fundraising> etc.”

  • Requests to friends to make a tax-deductible donation to your project instead of giving birthday or Christmas gifts
  • An announcement about a fun challenge when you reach a fundraising milestone

If I reach my $1,000 you’ll see me wear rainbow coloured tights next time I compete. Donate today if you’d like to see a photo of that!”

4. More than a thank you!

Thanking your donors is extremely important – but fortunately also very easy. All of your donors’ details are stored in our online portal which means you can access and contact them anytime you like! For more inspiration on writing a great thank you note, check out module 4 of our toolkit.

Thanking your donors is the first step to establishing a long-lasting relationship and it’s key to securing future donations.  You should be keeping your donors in the loop throughout your athletic journey, no matter how big or small the donation was. This lets donors know that their donation has been valuable and has made a real difference to you – if they feel part of your journey then they will be more inclined to donate again and again.

Here are a few ideas to help make your donors feel involved and appreciated:

This is a quick and easy way to make sure all your donors are kept up to up to date with your training, activities and how you performed in your recent competition. Always include images or a short video when possible.

5. Recognise Donors

As we noted above, module 4 of our toolkit has some great ideas about how to thank donors, but we’ve set out some athlete specific ideas for major donors below:

  • A signed photo with a personal thank you message
  • Donor recognition on your website, newsletter or social media
  • A plaque or “honour board” naming donors on your clubhouse wall
  • Donor recognition on equipment, on the side of a boat, on the back of sporting uniform etc.
  • Thanking a donor during a speech at an event
  • Thanking a donor through an experience, such as an invitation to a training session

Donors can also be recognised through a level recognition system, for example:

  • Bronze donors – donations $200 or higher. These donors receive recognition in the monthly newsletter
  • Silver donors – donations $500 or higher. These donors also receive recognition on the athlete’s website
  • Gold donors – donations $1,000 or higher. These donors also receive recognition on athlete equipment

Remember, the Sports Foundation team is here to help! Contact us today so we can lend a hand!

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