In a world where we strive to see our children learn and grow, many parents, coaches and organizations face the burden of dealing with the costs of any given sports. Minor hockey teams across Canada must figure out new and effective ways to raise money, without creating the feeling of concern for all the parties involved.

Fundraising is a vital tool for parents and families, as it helps ease their mind on their budget, and focus more on the experience of watching their child perform and play.

The most difficult part of fundraising revolves around a few basic questions. How to get started? How do you get people involved? Which fundraising method is the most successful? How can we break the barrier for people to donate to our cause?

Let's start by developing common themes and procedures to pursuing the right hockey fundraising idea.

Step 1: Start early

Gary Stewart, treasurer of the Halifax Hawks Minor Hockey Association, says one of the reasons some hockey fundraising ideas fail is that they are thrown together too quickly, at the last minute.

"People underestimate. When it's the end of November, people say, 'Oh, we should have a raffle before Christmas,' and they toss together a few prizes. Then they're disappointed when they only raise a thousand dollars."

It is best to start gathering hockey fundraising ideas and follow through with them as soon as the team has been finalized and the season begun.

Focus on a few hockey fundraisers that can begin immediately, and continue to encourage parents and children on the importance of engaging in these hockey fundraisers.

Step 2: Ask for help

Don't expect to get all the work done on your own. Ask for help. When it comes to organizing hockey fundraisers, try to find parents or volunteers that are willing to put in the extra work.

It may also be easier to find someone with experience in organizing hockey fundraisers. These individuals can simplify and delegate responsibilities accordingly.

It is easier to get the help of 15 parents to perform small tasks, and assure that the stress is not hanging over one individual to get the work done.

Step 3: Prove your case

Make your case. Parents need to backup your goals and aspirations that you have for the team.

Make sure that the parents and volunteers are willing to dedicate time and energy to the fundraising idea of your choosing, but most importantly, for the cause of the hockey fundraiser.

Explain the events that you would like to enroll in, talks about costs for certain activities, ensure the parents and volunteers that the hockey fundraiser will help ease their financial worries and make it easier for the children to enjoy a more exciting season.

Try to make the parents and volunteers understand that with a little fundraising, the team can possibly participate in a tournament of their choosing, rather than stay locally. Or, they can enjoy time together going for a team dinner. Fundraisers can ease the isolation of the team, and bring them closer together.

Step 4: Follow the rules

Be sure to read the rules and regulations of all types of hockey fundraising ideas.

Different fundraisers require specific licenses, permits and must follow strict guidelines. Lotteries require a lottery license, events require permits and certain approvals must be administered by municipal government departments.

Also, in terms of sponsorship, ask people that have experience dealing with fundraisers and sponsorship. In other words, do your homework, inform yourself of the best options and capitalize early.

Step 5: Audience

If you are selling something, know the demands of your customers. If you are auctioning items, know the demands of your buyers. If you are providing a service, have a clientele.

Make sure that your fundraising idea is providing a sense of excitement for the people organizing and participating in raising funds. Try to make hockey fundraising ideas cater to adults as well as children. Organize an adult comedy night that allows adults to engage and feel a sense of appreciation from the hockey fundraiser.

When establishing a hockey fundraiser, try to target adults, this will enable them purchase tickets, donate money, and come together in achieving the team’s goals.

Step 6: Modernize

In world where selling chocolates and muffins has become repetitive, people aspire for something new, something more thrilling. We’re not saying to try and find the most exciting hockey fundraising event, but try to think of something original, something that will make people want to participate and join.

Old or new, just think of ways to truly encourage participation, instead of making people feel guilty of not being apart of a cause.

Creativity and novelty must be combined with proven methods, says Betty Pantazis, a hockey fundraiser from the Vancouver Thunderbirds Minor Hockey Association.

If the league has regular customers, for traditional hockey fundraisers, then so be it, continue the process. However, if a league notices that the some old traditional fundraising idea isn’t working. Try to modernize it or start something completely new.

In order to earn more, you must put more work into a hockey fundraiser, don’t expect it to generate money easily.

Step 7: Adapt

Try to figure out what your community’s interests are. Adapt your hockey fundraising idea based on the community you live in.

Think of seasonal services you can offer for a small fee such as shoveling the snow.

Try to come up with hockey fundraisers that can bring about bigger crowds, think of a board game night, where you charge an entry fee and friends and families can enjoy a variety of games without creating too many costs to organize.

The goal is to figure out ways to find new supporters, and this can easily be achieved by adapting to the people surrounding you and your fundraising idea.

Step 8: Simplicity is key

Try to create a small amount of large fundraisers that have the ability to be very successful, rather than pursuing many small fundraisers that become tedious and a little annoying. Avoid creating obstacles and focus on a few key events that will generate enough money to meet your goals.

Think about the amount of times you will ask family and friends to help out, it’s hard enough to try and make them participate in more than one event. Therefore, avoid continuous imploring, and focus on gathering as many supporters for one or two large events.

Never overlook the power of simplicity.

Step 9: Be realistic

It is important to understand that ideas and aspirations may not become fully realized. Expect a lack of commitment or a smaller turnout than predicted.

Try to create an incentive based fundraising idea, or emphasize on the importance of a small fundraising fee to attract supporters, which will grant them access to a lottery or prize pool that will allow them to earn back that fee they invested.

Focus on attracting and targeting the right audience rather than requesting funds from too many people.

Be creative, practical, simple and realistic.

The funds won’t come easy, but if the focus is shifted on the development and planning of a hockey fundraiser, the fund will be follow.

Step 10: Game day

The day of the hockey fundraiser, all volunteers, organizers and athletes must commit 110% to the fundraising idea.

Emphasize on enthusiasm, teamwork and action. Accommodate the participants, assure that everyone is enjoying themselves and keep things rolling.

By following these 10 simple steps, it will allow any hockey fundraising organizer the chance to realize the importance and potential of any fundraising idea, so long as they plan correctly and follow through with their objectives and ambitions.

Below are a list of hockey fundraising ideas that may be suitable for your cause.

For any questions feel free to contact us.

More fundraising tips:

Club Hockey Canada: Shop in the Club Hockey Canada online store for everyday items and hockey products, and earn up to 20% back in PUCK BUCKS. PUCK BUCKS can be used towards lowering hockey expenses, such as registration fees, tournament fees, ice time and more. 1 PUCK BUCK is worth $1.

Raffle Tickets: Team up with local businesses to offer prizes, in return, the business gains exposure, and money is raised with a prize incentive.

Community Barbecue: Do you want to raise the profile of your association and make some cash? Consider a community barbecue! Some grocery stores will donate food for the event, other stores might offer to “match your sales” if you park out front and bring bodies into their store. Or, have a “booth” at your local fair and offer an alternative to candy floss and candy apples. If you have the manpower to help out, community barbecues can bring in some good income and make you visible in your community, too!

Poker Night: Make sure you check regarding local regulations, but poker nights can be lucrative fundraisers. Charge each person entering $50 to $100 to enter, then have Texas Holdem elimination tournaments until the winner and a couple others take home some cash. Beware! If you have a lot of players, this can go on for a while!

Golf Tournament: Anyone who has played in an association golf tournament knows that these can be a lot of fun! They are also great ways to make money for your teams. Registration fees are paid by “foursomes” who typically, with registration, will receive a cart, 18 holes of “best ball” golf, and dinner. Canvass local businesses, restaurants, liquor suppliers for items for “goody bags” to hand out to each player. Have signs made up and ask local businesses to “sponsor a hole” at your tournament. Their business name then is placed on a sign stuck in the ground for all golfers to see (there is an initial cost to this, but if you are planning your tournament as an annual event, you can re-use these…or ask another association that holds golf tournaments if you can borrow their signs). Have prizes for longest drive and closest to the pin (one for men, one for women). After golf is finished, have prizes for winning teams (best score men, best score ladies, best score mixed, most honest score). This is when the real money making takes place, because you can have a silent auction, and a live auction for donated items. Golf tournaments are a lot of work, but can bring in a lot of money, while giving adults an opportunity to “play”.

Ball Tournament: Do you miss your Hockey Parents during the summer? Organize a mixed team slow pitch tournament. Charge teams a fee for entry, then sell 50-50 tickets, and have a “homerun” contest (for men and women, $5.00 for 5 balls). You might even be able to make money off a barbecue, depending on your local facilities.

Grey Cup Pool/Hockey Pool: Do you know someone willing to look after a hockey pool, or a Grey Cup pool? Hockey pools are fun ways to be “competitive” with your friends, and there are websites now that, once you pick your team, keep things automatically updated with the latest stats. Just collect your entry fees from participants, get teams picked, and off you go!

Thank you for taking the time to read our football fundraisers blog. If you want more fundraising ideas for sports I suggest checking out our blog post. 

Every sport is different. Every sport has their own fundraisers and tricks that work within that sport. Here are a few of our other fundraising ideas.

- Football Fundraising Ideas

- Basketball Fundraising Ideas

- Volleyball Fundraising Ideas

- Baseball Fundraising Ideas