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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:13 pm
by tcld
Looking for some ideas to fund our program. As I am trying to get our program to play more weekends, I am wondering about how some teams are able to afford the pace of playing practically every weekend and afford a trip (or 2) to nationals every year.

I know that hosting a tournament is one way but I don't feel comfortable enough to run a tournament by myself (at least run it well).

I also have to add that we already have so many fundraisers at our school that coming up with something unique and worth the effort to make some decent money is tough. Our band has something going at least once a month (this month was comedy and dinner night). NHS, Athletic Boosters, Key Club...the list is numerous that we will have to compete with.

I am in the process of asking for a donation from the alumni to keep us afloat for the next year or so but as we pick up our weekend commitments, it won't last long.

Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed.

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:32 am
by rmaupin
At Little Miami, we have instituted a pay to play system that has been around since the Recession. Money raised helps cover our transportation, food, tournament fees and a hoodie we get for each team member. I know most teams would struggle with this, but we have had no problems with it (in fact we still have to have tryouts every year to make the team).

We also have worked with Walmart, Papa John's Pizza and Marco's Pizza to serve as team sponsors. For example, when Walmart was our chief sponsor, in exchange for a $1000 donation, we agreed to have the Walmart logo featured on our team hoodies. This year, with Marco's we have agreed to have a huge banner prominently displayed in the media center (where we hold our matches) when we have matches.

We also host an annual tournament which brings in a good chunk of money (tournament fees, pizza for lunch sales, and breakfast and snack concessions). We also sell sponsorship of rooms for our tournament, which brings in good money.

It is possible to be a well funded program, but it requires hard work and creativity on the coach's end and it absolutely requires a helpful group of parents to get this done (there is no way I could do this myself). I also have an assistant coach that is fantastic at working hard to get this done.

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:56 am
by tcld
Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate them. We already have "pay to participate" in the system for all extra/co-curricular activities and that money goes directly to the district with no kick back to the program.

We have our league fees paid for by our high school building funds (principal account) and bussing was taken over by the district last year instead of coming from the principal account. This has allowed us to start going on the weekend circuit.

I do like the sponsorship idea and will be looking to that. I am hoping that is something we can make work.

I am attempting to grow a program where Quiz Bowl was a "Isn't that nice" program into a serious endeavor. It is a slow but steady progression. The more we grow the more I hope we will be able to get parental involvement.

Thanks again and I would love to hear more input/ideas.

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm
by Get Lynned
Thank you for starting this topic. Because quiz bowl, the activity, is largely treated as a “isn’t that nice” activity across most schools, it doesn’t have the same footing nor community support to raise funds in the way that the football team, band or even performing arts can - let alone at the same volume.

This is where it requires some ingenuity of sorts. It’s imperative to be able to raise funds out of groups or individuals that might not otherwise be interested in your program (n)or willing to make a personal donation to the cause.

For your program specifically, one idea to consider is to see if the powers-that-be at the Seneca County Fairgrounds would be interested in entering into an agreement where Columbian quiz bowl parents (or even students) could volunteer as ticket-takers, with x percent of revenue being returned to the quiz bowl program in exchange for the volunteerism. Also, with Tiffin being the location of two colleges, perhaps your program can do concessions for a basketball game or two (at one or both schools) with a commission returned to the program. Or, perhaps, a “professors versus students” intramural/intermural could be arranged. You could find a low-cost question set, like a housewrite, and advertise a tournament across the two universities’ faculties (and even their student bodies) for a trivia tournament of sorts. Maybe you could even get the general public involved. Charge a reasonable amount, like $20-$32 per team, and a tourney can be put on. Do you think there could be interest in an event featuring matchups such as “University of Tiffin, History Department versus Columbian A”, “Heidelberg University, English Department versus Tiffin University, Phi Delta Theta” or even “Rotary/Lions Club versus ‘Local BW3 Trivia Buffs’” ?

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:32 pm
by Get Lynned
I am posting consecutively so as to not necessitate a "tl;dr". In the above post, I mentioned some ideas that are probably the most lucrative avenues to pursue. In this post, I'll mention some ideas for supplemental fundraisers (to round out the budget), provide some anecdotes and some general commentary. This one is going to be a little bit longer, but my hope is you (or anyone reading this months unto years later) can find this information to be comprehensive and informative.

If you are interested in your program putting on a secondary fundraiser or two that is simpler, but probably will not make more than $100 on its own, you could consider printing t-shirts, restaurant fundraisers or bake-sales. These are bare-bones ways to raise money quickly that are not too labor-intensive. At the same time, you shouldn't have the expectation that they're going to be huge money-makers to the extent that commission-based agreements or tournaments are. Instead, they're essentially marginal gain ventures whose "success" is contingent on the volume to which they are effected.

Printing T-Shirts
You could reach out to a local t-shirt printing company, such as whoever Columbian HS does business with for their spirit wear, and approach them with two designs for a "Tiffin Columbian Quiz Bowl" t-shirt. One design could specifically be for the students involved in your program; the other design could be for parents, peers of students and the general public that would effectively be a "Friend of T[iffin] C[olumbian] Q[uiz] B[owl]" (bracketing to account for the differences in which you can choose to brand your program.) You can sell the t-shirts and direct the profits toward your program's budget. I should add, however, that you may not want to stress the purchase of such a t-shirt as being compulsory to your students; if they want one, they'll pay the $15. As an educator, you may have observed that your students who are athletes often will wear their basketball or soccer t-shirts. Branding exists even in high school culture, and I'm sure you might have students that want to represent their club on their chest the same way that the athletes do. If the net profit per shirt is $3, and if you sell twenty shirts between your quiz bowl students and others, that's $60.

Restaurant Fundraisers
This is something that we did at FC when I was there to help mitigate some of the costs tethered towards nationals attendances, like gasoline to drive to Washington, that would otherwise get passed down to us, the players and our parents. However, I am not entirely sure to what extent these possibilities exist for other programs in other communities, as we ran ours through the Buffalo Wild Wings in Lancaster (which happens to be one of the few BW3s' in the continental United States that is a franchise and not a corporate location; this may be relevant because I'm not sure if a corporate BW3 would have the provision to sponsor such a fundraiser). If you consider the restaurant fundraiser route, the best idea may be to arrange one with the Buffalo Wild Wings in Tiffin and organize it around a night when the BuzzTime Trivia game "SIX" is played, which is always Wednesday and Thursday nights. SIX is the hour-long game with a four-quarter format that is entirely multidisciplinary with a category for popular culture; it is a different game from "Countdown" which is a thirty-minute game played across fifteen questions. You could approach the management at the local Bw3 and ask if they'd be willing to run a "TCQB Night" where 10% of the profits from sales of food - before tax - can go to your quiz bowl program. And, if you can get bring in ten paying customers on the accord of supporting your program, there could be a $5 gift certificate(s) awarded to the winner(s) of SIX. If you can't get one worked out with Bw3, I am aware that some Chipotle locations across Ohio are willing to sponsor the local high schools' club.

There are some drawbacks to this idea, however. In order for the fundraiser to work, the management will most likely require that any profits to be diverted to your program come on the receipt tickets for customers that present a special flyer for the fundraiser. They are also, likely, going to stipulate that said flyers are to be distributed to your programs' supportive customers outside the premises of the restaurant. Another thing to consider is, although it might not be explicitly stated when the agreement is reached, you'll want to ensure that the customers employing your fundraiser flyer are tipping at the standard tipping rate (15-20 percent.) You may want to emphasize to your program and any possible customer-sponsors that if the tips aren't coming in at the rate they should be, then the restaurant has to pay that difference to the servers which could be of consequence to the profits earned toward your program. Lastly, it is important to remember that any profits your program were to make have to come directly off of the sales of food; no alcohol. I remember one year when we did the fundraiser, I came across the father of one of my friends (whose son was not in the quiz bowl program) but who came anyways to support the program and support me. He excitedly pointed out that he spent $35 on the night, and when I responded with the enthusiastic inquiry of "wow, that's a lot of food; what all did you get?" he mentioned that he got a burger and "I bought a round of Budweiser's for the whole bar counter. That works, right?" "Mhmmm, it sure does." :mrgreen:

I also do want to note that you can probably expect to make $50 or so out of this on a good night. We only did the fundraiser twice, I think, and we kept running into the same issues that we, individually, couldn't control: people, sponsoring customers and non-sponsoring customers alike, would stay at their booths for two and a half hours (when it would run from 7pm to 10pm) and there would be parties of two-or-three students spread out across six tables instead of four-or-five students spread out across three tables. (N.B. - my accounts of our fundraising experience are solely my observations and conclusions, and aren't in any way indicative nor representative of my coaches' own accounts. I have no idea what they personally thought of the restaurant fundraisers.)

Bake Sales
This is self-explanatory. For any school that has a dress code, or more aptly a specific uniform policy, one thing that can be utilized is a "jeans day" or "grub day". One year, our administration was willing to promote a "no-uniform" week for students provided that they pay five dollars, which would be then directed toward our program's budget for Washington nationals (was it for NHBB or PACE? They all blur together four years after the fact.) Does Columbian stipulate that students have to wear closed-toe shoes? Perhaps instead of a "jeans week" or a "no-uniform week", there could be a "flip-flops week" or a "frontal jewelry week" (like how some male students may wear chains or necklaces).

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I like Coach Maupin's methods of getting the private sector, e.g. local businesses, involved in sponsorship. In high school sports culture, specifically football, and particularly in the rural areas, there is an ingrained sense of community pride behind "our town, our team." If Columbian football has some semblance of this within the community of Tiffin, then I'm sure it's not too much of a stretch to possibly get that same sense of community-to-school intertwining as it relates to your quiz bowl program. If a local hardware store is willing to support "our football kids", then maybe you can get support from local businesses for "our quiz kids."

I know that Heath High School's quiz bowl program has sponsorship, to which extent I am uncertain, from their community's chapter of the Lions Club. Their polo t-shirts don the chapter's insignia and members from the chapter will read the league matches that are hosted at Heath.

Bob Kilner coaches travel baseball, which is an activity whose budget is far greater than that of quiz bowl. Maybe he can share some insight as to what has worked for him in fundraising.

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:14 am
by tcld
Thanks for all the ideas. It is appreciated. Lot of good stuff in there!

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:03 pm
by BobKilner
When I was at GHHS, we tried a bunch of different things on top of hosting tournaments. The one thing we did for a bit was a "Buzzerthon", just like a lift-a-thon in football where the kids went to their family, friends, teachers, whatever and either got flat donations or "x cents per buzz". We kept track at practice for the week of how many correct answers they provided, they collected the money after the fact and it was easy cash for the program. Our captain my last two years there (with the principal's permission) would go buy candy in bulk from Sam's Club or Costco or wherever and sell it during his lunch periods. That's a weird one though because some schools probably wouldn't allow it. The sponsorship thing is an interesting idea and seems to be becoming more prevalent. We only did it one time, and that was the year that in addition to hosting our high school tournament, we invited community members to put teams together to play as well. Since we did that, we made a program with the advertisements. I like the idea of getting sponsorships for rooms or overall sponsorships as well. If that's a possibility, I saw definitely explore it. Maybe talk to the parents and try to get each of them to go into the community and get one sponsor, once you've put some kind of package together. Maybe put all of their logos on the back of team shirts or something.

Re: Fundraising

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:48 pm
by tcld
Thanks for the ideas one and all. Spoke to my super today and he likes the idea of sponsors. He will get back to me on a definite answer but I was encouraged when he suggested he would possibly take me to some potential businesses. Let's face it, sports programs do it all the time, just look around your gyms and stadiums. Many businesses willing to support academics and the arts, just need to be asked. (I may retract that last statement after I have hit the pavement!)