How to Get Funding as a Sports Team
There’s no denying that there are plenty of ways to fund your sports team. You can start a crowdfunding campaign, host a fundraising event, or even create and sell team merchandise to your biggest fans.
But have you ever thought about applying for a grant to aid your fundraising efforts?
If you need a more creative way to raise money for your new sports team, or have utilized all the other ways to raise money for your team and need a fresh new approach, keep reading. Today we’re going to take a look at what a grant is and how to apply for one to help fund your sports team.
So, let’s get started.
What is a Grant?
There are two types of grants you can use to fund your sports team: public and private grants. Each have their own set of pros and cons. Deciding which one is best for you will depend on many factors.
Public grants are funded through the public using tax dollars and involve federal, state, or other publicly funded agencies. They are approved for those in education industries, those in need of secure housing, and sometimes for those that are looking to start a small business.
In other words, funding your sports team using a public grant is not likely unless it has the potential to have a major impact on the community at large.
That said, if you can secure a public grant, you stand to benefit in the following ways:
- Access to more money because public grants have bigger coffers
- The approval amount will likely cover your entire project
- Chances of a grant renewal and more money are high is the agency likes what you’ve accomplished
Public grants come with complex application processes, strict deadlines, and limitations. But if you can get one, you’ll have no trouble starting a sports team.
Private grants are funded by private entities such as corporations, foundations, or other non-governmental agencies. The money in a private grant can come from any private organization, making your chances of securing one much higher than with a public grant.
In addition, the terms are more flexible, the deadlines are looser, and the people handing over their hard earned cash are more likely to want to experiment with new ideas as opposed to traditional government agencies.
However, here are some things to think about with private grants before you apply for one:
- There’s less money to tap into depending on the corporation
- You may not receive word on why you were denied, which makes applying elsewhere more difficult
- There is less one-on-one attention throughout the application process
All that said, if you want to fund your sports team with grant money, you should consider a private grant first.
How to Apply for a Grant to Fund Your Sports Team
Applying for a grant to fund your sports team is not an easy process. In fact, it has the potential to become long and cumbersome if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. That’s why we’ve outlined the basic steps for applying for a grant to help get your started.
Step 1: Understand the Type of Sports Grant You Need
There are several types of sports grants available. Knowing which one will best meet your needs increases your chances of approval from the start.
- General Grant: generic and broadly focused to fund any need a sports team has.
- Sports Facilities Grant: grants that fund the building or renovation of a sports facility.
- Sports Equipment Grant: funds cover the costs of sports equipment.
- Emergency Grant: funds that help established sports teams recover from unexpected tragedies like natural disasters or significant financial loss.
- Special Populations Grant: grants for organizations that serve certain populations (e.g., special needs, economically disadvantaged, etc.).
- Regional or Local Grant: funds that are used to help develop youth sports programs in specific geographic locations.
Remember, if you apply for the wrong type of grant, you’ll be denied and have to start over elsewhere. So, take the time to think about what the money will be used for before applying for a sports grant.
Step 2: Research Available Grants
Many reputable companies such as Nike, Walmart, Home Depot, and Bass Pro Shops have grant programs that you can apply to. You may even find that some professional sports teams and non-profit organizations have grant programs too.
That said, unless you just happen to come across a grant program you want to apply to, it can be tough to find the ones that are available. That’s why we suggest those looking to fund a sports team with a grant check out this comprehensive list of Sports Grants.
Step 3: Prepare Your Application
Every grant program is going to have their own unique application process. For example, some will require a simple paper or online form. Others, however, might require detailed documentation about your team’s demographics, current league financials, and reasons why your organization is worthy of funding.
If you need to submit more than just a simple form, here are some things to consider including with your application:
- Success stories and team accomplishments
- Letters of recommendation
- Essays outlining why you deserve funding (you usually need 3)
- Case studies highlighting barriers facing those that want to play sports
- Testimonials from community members seeking a community sports team
Lastly, you’ll want to consider offering your donor a benefit of some sort for funding your sports team. For instance, many donors like to have their company name on a banner or ad that displays at games, on t-shirts or uniforms, or even in sports programs.
Another great place to showcase your donor’s organization is on your sports team website. Luckily, starting a website that highlights your team’s players, events, gamedays, venue information, statistics, and of course donors, is easy when you use the WordPress CMS and a free plugin like SportsPress.
Step 4: Submit Your Application
The last thing you’ll need to do to get your sports team funded by a grant is submit your final grant application. Gather all the information you’ve collected and proofread it to make sure it’s perfect. In the end, the goal is to appear intelligent, responsible, and well-managed.
And whatever you do, make sure to submit your grant application on time.
If you’re trying to launch a sports team, or just keep your existing team afloat, we highly recommend you consider applying for a grant. On top of that, you should look into starting a website that showcases your team, their accomplishments, and any other information you’d like to share with the community about your sports team.
With our SportsPress plugin, you don’t need a grant to start a website. SportsPress has all the features you need to show your community, future team players, and even organizations with sports grant programs why you’re the best – free of charge. So, get it today and start succeeding, both financially and on the field. And be sure to download our bonus guide to further educate yourself on the difference between public and private grants.