Fundraising is an important part of having a successful cheerleading season! Cheerleading is one of the most, if not the most, expensive sports out there. Uniforms, bows, makeup, hair products, travel, camp, competitions, and banquet celebrations end up costing a pretty penny. However, fundraising can really help with those expenses and even bring your team closer together. During the summer, you have to think of some out-of-the-box ideas since school is out! Here are some new, fun ways to get your community excited to help your team fundraise this summer: Community BBQ Contest Nothing gets better than a summer BBQ that everyone loves. Hold a community BBQ contest at a beach or park! Those wishing to participate in the contest pay a small entry fee and those wishing to eat/judge pay a separate fee as well. Be sure to check if your local park or beach offers BBQs or grills to use. If not, have participants bring their own. Be sure to have different category options for each contestant that enters in the contest: entrees, sides, and desserts. Contestants can enter in multiple categories, of course! People who only pay to eat/judge can be given “tickets” to be placed in a jar for the different foods they found to be the best in each category. As for drinks, have the team bring a large cooler for canned soda and bottled water. Don't forget to provide napkins, plates, cutlery, and condiments! If you want to hold a BBQ where there's more traffic, consider hosting the BBQ as a tailgate before the big game at your school! Yard Sale Neighborhoods often have yearly yard sales. Find out when one of your teammates’ neighborhood is having one and ask the whole team to donate some items to sell. Old toys, books, clothes, movies, CDs, and furniture are great places to start. To add a unique aspect to your yard sale, have a beverage stand! You can be as simple as canned soda and bottled water. After all, people going house to house get thirsty and would love to a cold beverage when they see them! Community Trivia/Game Tournaments I had a friend of mine do a Cards Against Humanity Tournament at a local venue downtown to raise money for his philanthropy - this was probably one of the most fun things I have ever done to raise money for something! The best part is you can do this with trivia games, cards against humanity, scattergories, Jeopardy!, and a multitude of other fun games! Everyone paid a fee to enter the tournament, received the materials they needed from the host (ex. 6 cards), and was placed at a table for 30 minute rounds. At the end of the 30 minute round, the top 3 winners would move on to the next round. This went on for 4 rounds. Prizes were donated from the local venue where the event was hosted - which was great because it helped them with advertising! The top 3 winners at the end of the entire tournament received gift cards that were donated from other local restaurants and shops. These types of fundraisers are great because it gets the entire community involved and informed about your team! Not only that, but it’s really fun for everyone too. Open the event to the community by creating a Facebook event, sending out flyers, etc. You would be surprised how quickly people in the community are fired up about a simple trivia/card game tournament! Other Tips: Don't accept checks. Checks can be problematic and what happens if one bounces? Many companies now offer easy ways to charge cards on smartphones. Stick to whole dollar amounts. Don't charge $2.50 or $4.25 for something. Most people don't carry exact change.