It is the responsibility of each local Little League to develop an annual plan for fundraising. Such fundraising efforts should consider the necessary operating budget of the local league, income sources and ongoing support from community and city groups.

There are a variety of sources for raising funds. Community or city donations of fields or maintenance, sponsorships and donations from local businesses and individuals, concession stand sales, fundraising campaigns and events, and registration fees all contribute to the league’s operating budget. Leagues are cautioned to place an effort on keeping registration fees to participating families as economical as possible. It is the policy of Little League Baseball and Softball that no player should be turned away from participation if they are unable to pay.

Local leagues are encouraged to establish their annual operating budget early in the fall planning timeline and then develop a fundraising support plan to implement prior to the season.

STEP 1: ESTABLISH FUNDRAISING GOAL

Determine your fundraising goal based on the league’s annual operating budget. The goal should serve as one of the primary drivers of your fundraising plan and required efforts to attain.

STEP 2: ESTABLISH A FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE AND DRAFT AN ANNUAL FUNDRAISING PLAN

Typically, led by the Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator within the local league, a committee should be recruited to assist with outreach and procurement of donations and sponsorship's.

The committee should establish its Fundraising Plan that includes outreach to local businesses, civic groups and individuals as well as establishes the fundraisers for the league for the season that require team and parent participation.

THE FUNDRAISING PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE:

  • Types of sponsorship's/donation requirements such as pricing for Registration Sponsor, Team Uniform Sponsor, Fence Sign Sponsor, Website Advertisement, or Opening Day Sponsor
  • List of Donations, including non-monetary, that could be helpful to league operations (e.g. bottled water, concession stand items)
  • Type of League Fundraisers to implement with parents/player support
  • Business/organization list for outreach efforts
  • Timeline of outreach efforts
  • Documentation for fundraising donations
  • Identify donation recognition efforts to be conducted
  • The plan should also include the coordination with other league officials once sponsors/donors have been secured such as banner field signage or uniforms
STEP 3: ESTABLISH OUTREACH TOOLS

  • Create a list of local businesses that fall within your league’s boundaries. Identify the local business owner or manager and appropriate contact information. Keep this list on file each year
  • Create a donation letter along with information about your league and how the donations will help with your league operations. Include pictures and logos to excite the reader and information about player/family participation in the league. Include donation ideas when relevant to the business you are targeting
  • Type of League Fundraisers to implement with parents/player support
  • Position the league as a good marketing opportunity for local businesses to reach customers. Encourage not only a donation, but also support to help promote league activities and volunteerism, if applicable
STEP 4: CONDUCT OUTREACH FOR SPONSORSHIPS / DONATIONS AND SECURE FUNDING

  • Mail or email information to identified organizations on your outreach list
  • Divide outreach among the committee members and document efforts
  • Track sponsorship donations and support in a simple spreadsheet to simplify the fundraising process each year. Evaluate the success with each sponsor at the end of the season.
  • When possible, visit local businesses in person to drop off information and discuss the opportunity with the manager or owner. Encourage a response by a specific deadline.

The Fundraising Committee should also organize the annual league fundraisers that rely on team and parent support to implement.

  • During the fall/winter planning timeline, research league fundraisers that resonate with parents such as a pancake breakfast at local restaurant, pass the can donations at local grocery store, league car wash, and traditional catalog fundraising such as candles, wrapping paper, and candy.
  • Once fundraisers are determined, communicate with teams and parents. Secure participation and volunteerism
  • Monitor and track participation of fundraiser
  • When possible, visit local businesses in person to drop off information and discuss the opportunity with the manager or owner.
  • Evaluate efforts based on return

NOTE: it is important to note that sponsorship or donation by any business of a local league or team does not give that sponsor any rights in the operations of the league or any use of the Little League marks (see Regulation XIII).


Charitable / Non-Profit Solicitation Laws / Requirements

Leagues and Districts should keep in mind that many states maintain specific requirements for charitable solicitations among non-profits. Additional steps may be required of leagues or districts before you are permitted to solicit funds in the name of the league in your local community. Such guidelines also may pertain to games of chance, raffles, crowdfunding and other contest that are used as fundraisers.

Be sure to check your individual state laws or other requirements regarding fundraising and be sure that you adhering to these guidelines with all activities. A helpful resource can be found here: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/charitable-solicitation-registration

Source credit: National Council of Nonprofits; www.councilofnonprofits.org


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