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Competing on a Budget: Unique Fundraising Ideas for Cheerleading Squads

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

It’s competition time again!  The season cheerleaders and cheer coaches wait and work for all year long. 

Having been a cheerleading coach in the past, I know just how time consuming fundraising for these events can be.   And it seems that with each year, the fundraising tasks become more tedious.  Parents, coaches and squad members alike get tired of selling the same items, having the same car washes, soliciting the same businesses for donations; the list can go on and on.

When I was coaching, I was always looking for unique ideas; fundraisers that appealed to parents and members alike.   During my never ending search, I developed several fundraising ideas that I’m sure can help some weary group of parents out there.

Since my competing squad (I was also coaching two little league and a middle school squad) was a group of all stars from various local school squads, these ideas were geared toward the individual costs of getting to competition.  However, these ideas can be easily adjusted to fit a group that fundraises as a whole.

Hotel Accommodations:  I found that our hotel accommodations for one or two days where we were competing was our largest expense.   Often, even with discounted package deals from the event hosts, the cost could easily run $250 to $300 for two days.

In an effort to cut these costs, I encouraged my squad members’ parents to work year long toward “saving” for this particular expense.  I began by providing information to them on how to open a HHonors account.   In addition, I also provided information on how to earn HHonors points by registering with and participating in programs such as MyPoints and eRewards.  These sites are free to register and you can actually earn points to redeem toward Hilton Honors pointswithout spending a dime!  (If you decide to register, please use my email address, kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com, as your referral.  Thank you!)

Parents and squad members alike can participate in these programs and save their points to apply toward their hotel accommodations.  Now, bear in mind, that using this method will require each squad member and their parent to be responsible for making their own reservations.  In addition, it is likely that not everyone will be in adjacent rooms; or even the same hallway.  But, those few minor inconveniences aside, it’s a great way for saving the costs of overnight stays.

Another way to this to establish an account for the squad.  Since HHonorsallows participants to transfer points, fundraising organizers can set a date for all members to transfer their points to the squad account.  Then it is possible for one person to book the hotel accommodations, rather than relying on parents to do this.

Many other Hotel chains such as Best Western and Days Inn offer programs similar to the Hilton Honors points program.  You may wish to check with their programs (be sure to read the fine print to ensure that everyone can qualify).

You may wish to include a list of other ways to earn these points which can be found by reading The Definitive “How To Earn Hilton HHonors Points” threadat Flyertalk forums.

Food:  After the entry fees are paid and the hotel accommodations are booked, the next biggest expense one will find is that associated with food. 

A great way to earn fast food (and even casual dining) gift cards is to participate in RewardTV.  After all, who doesn’t watch television, right?  Simply register then take quizzes on the television shows you watch the previous evening and earn points (hint:  watch the commercials to accumulate more points).  For as little as 150,000 points (most games can earn you at least 1000 points), you can purchase $5.00 gift cards for places such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and more.   Five bucks may not sound like much at face value, but add them together and you can easily eat for free the whole weekend!

And here is an interesting side note that’s worth remembering.  If you didn’t have time to watch television the night before, just visit the Rewards & Points Programs section of BigBigForums.com.  Many members share the correct answers to quizzes they’ve already taken! 

An additional way to save money on food expenses, while not a “do it for free” method, is to search for gift cards at places such as Certificate Swap or Gift Card Buy Back.   These places offer gift cards at a fraction of the face value of the card.  For example, a $10.00 McDonald’s Arch card may only cost you $6.00; meaning you basically get $4.00 worth of free food.  

Gas Expense:  If your squad will be traveling by car, you can use the methods listed for acquiring food cards to obtain gas cards as well.   

These ideas may seem a little “off the wall” to use as a means of fundraising, but they can and do work; thus, making them truly unique.    There’s so many ways to earn money online for your squad if you just put it to work for you.  In addition to trying the methods mention here, keep in mind other ways such as using a squad blog as an avenue to advertise and ask for donations (make sure your content is worthy of donations) or using your squad’s website as a means to earn money by way of Affiliate Marketing (visit Self Starters Weekly Tips for AWESOME information on affiliate marketing).

Once you try these methods, you’ll be spoiled!  And back-breaking car washes and bake sales will be a thing of the past!

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One Response to “Competing on a Budget: Unique Fundraising Ideas for Cheerleading Squads”

  1. awillowhawk said

    Thank you for this great article. I would also like to add that fundraising can be tiresome and frustrating. I have found that the people at http://www.artpromos.com have been timely, inexpensive, and correct with all of my fundraising needs.

    Great post and Good Luck with the new blog!!

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