How to get donations when it’s your off season

We hear all too often from clubs, “Asking for donations during the off-season is hard, our supporters are just less engaged”  

This particularly disadvantages Summer Sports as the biggest giving time of the year is during the middle of winter, Tax Time. So how does a summer sports club engage it’s donors to take advantage of the biggest giving time of the year?” 

First tip is to get prepared:

It’s easier to slowly lead your donors towards a donation, rather than desperately pushing them in to it come June 30. As the end of the financial year creeps closer now really is the time to start getting prepared and planning your donation push. If you’re going to receive donations this season your best shot is likely to be in June but that doesn’t mean all your communications should come in June, especially if you’re campaigning in the off-season.  

It may seem like a long while away but getting started now will mean your donors are thinking of you and your club when all the other charities come knocking June 30!  

 

Second tip: Tailor your message  

When you go out to your community to ask for donations, make it clear why they should help now and remember that “because it’s tax time”, while an important point, is not going to work for everyone.  

Summer Sports 

Even though your season of sport has wrapped up, sell your fundraising project as something that will benefit the club for the coming season: 

  1. “We are asking for your help to prepare us for the 2019 cricket season, by raising the funds now we can get to work on our changeroom development project and ensure we are ready when season the season starts” 
  1. “By donating to our development fund now, you can claim on your tax refund in the next few months and help us prepare for the 2019 season” 

 

Winter Sports  

May and June are the most popular months for tax-deductible donations by a huge margin and they fall right in the middle of winter sports season so it’s the perfect time to push your message and maximize on donations.  

Make sure your supporters know that their donation is going to make an important difference and let them know of the timing impact – if they donate this financial year when will the funds be spent by the club?  

  1. “Tax-time is getting closer and before the financial year ends, we are asking for your support to rebuild the changerooms. By donating now not only will you be able to claim your donation this June but it will enable us to start on our changeroom project as soon as the footy season finishes” 
  1. “We’re now in the middle of the rugby league season and are hoping that with your support we can reach our goal of raising XXX and ensure the oval lights are replaced in time for finals. A donation now means you can claim it as a tax-deduction very soon!”  

 

Third tip: use events 

Regardless of what season your sport is played, events are always a great opportunity to ask for support through a donation. If they’re attending your event, then they are obviously already connected to your organisation and know what you’re about, so don’t focus on selling that element to them. We talk more about events in another article that you can read here (LINK) but for now, think about the opportunities you have coming up where you could ask for donations:  

  • Games and Matches, work the crowd, hand out donation forms or direct them to your project page online. If you have audio system at your ground, make sure the announcer talks about your project and how people can donate  
  • End of season presentation: if your season has wrapped up use this event to ask for a donation or consider adding an optional donation amount in the ticket purchase  
  • Registration days: does your club have a dedicated day where parents and players attend to sign up for the next season? Think about putting a membership add-on tick box on the donation form “Would you like to add $30 to your payment to support our changeroom upgrade program? This is a tax-deductible donation through the Australian Sports Foundation” 
    If you have 100 members sign up on this day, then that’s $3,000 for your program! 

 

Every club is different, some members are super engaged and willing to donate and some know the value of tax-deductions and will be eager to take advantage of the opportunity.  On the other hand, some members will be tougher to win over and will require more attention and you’ll have to spend a bit more time communicating with them. Even if it is your off season, end-of-financial year is peak time for donations and one not to miss out on.  

 

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