While the big three high school sports--football, baseball, and basketball--are probably the only ones that come close to bringing in enough revenue to pay their own way, there are dozens of other organizations and sports left to try to make up budget shortfalls. For swim teams and other “non-profit” sports, the fundraiser is a time-honored American tradition for school kids to raise money for everything from new uniforms to travel expenses. There are many fundraising ideas for swim teams.
On a spring or summer Saturday in America, the car washes hosted by various groups seem to occupy every block on the drive through town. This ubiquitous fundraiser choice never goes out of style and can reliably raise enough cash to make it worth the time spent. The easy way to earn money is to charge a flat rate, say $5, for a car wash. Another approach is to solicit sponsors who pay a certain amount of money for every car washed. The second method takes a little more leg work and bookkeeping, but some swim teams might prefer it to bring in money from people besides those who happen to be driving past that day. The energetic swim team might decide to swing for the fences and incorporate both methods into one event.
The raffle is another fundraising method. To conduct a raffle, you need to have something of value to give away to the winner. Often, local businesses can be called upon to donate the prize, whether it be a larger ticket item like a weekend vacation, or something less extravagant, like dinner for two and a movie. After the prizes are in place, it's time to send the swim team members into action with a roll of raffle tickets. Set a limit on how many you sell so people feel there is a realistic chance they could win. Ticket prices can be set low or high. Charging as little as a dollar or two can still be profitable if you make up the price point with volume. A high-valued prize might support ticket prices closer to the $10 range.
Straight-up product sales are a fundraising strategy that can go on year-round. Obvious choices would be t-shirts for team supporters but don't forget about all the other stuff people love to buy, primarily chocolate bars and cookies. There are companies that specialize in providing fundraising products; however, creative solutions like designing your own shirts or enlisting the help of parents for a bake sale might actually provide for a higher profit margin. Take care that you don't subject the community to fundraising exhaustion. No matter how much they love the swim team, they're not going to buy something from you every week of the year.