Need Fund Raising Ideas?


Fund raising can be a repetitive task for rowing clubs across the globe.  If you’re fresh out of ideas of how to bring in the funds for this year, we have some inspiration for you.  Our friends at Space Saver Rowing Systems just put out a great blog post on inspiring fund raising events for every budget.


Image by Bashed via Flickr

Is your rowing club in need of new oar brackets?  Perhaps a few new boat covers?  Or a sliding boat arm?  You know it’s time to fund raise, and we’re ready to share some great ideas of how to add crisp bills to your club penny jar.

Helicopters, TV stars and $40K, Oh my

You have connections and it’s time to use them.  Haul in your celebrity contacts and their really, really expensive toys for the ‘penthouse’ of rowing club fund raisers.

Take the Palmetto rowing club fund raiser as example.  Television star of ‘Glee’, Jane Lynch happens to support your rowing club and is willing to have her name thrown in with your club fundraiser.  She also happens to have a helicopter handy, and you know you can score at least a few hundred tickets from people who want to hang out with the actress and catch the excitement.  Well, how about finishing the ‘lunching with Glee’ event with a ‘chopper dropper’?

Just like it sounds, a helicopter circles a hole on the golf course and drops numbered golf balls at random at the hole – the lucky number to land in the hole wins its raffle counterpart a whopping $25,000 – who wouldn’t buy a raffle ticket for that??  Learn from this example however and be realistic as to the amount of money you think you’ll draw in.  Probably the $25K prize could have been $10K and guests would have been just as happy.

P.S. This was a real rowing fund raiser – it actually happened, and they raised $40K – imagine what your club could do with that. Read the details here.

Theme parties – who doesn’t love dressing up?

Your celebrity contacts are away on holiday (or it’s time to admit you don’t have any), but your club still has some money to spend and you expect a big turn out, so you need to go ‘all out’ (within your budget).

TheSaline Crew threw a Great Gatsby style regatta, for a roaring twenties good time.  Guests dressed in period attire and won prizes for best costume.  They also had a swing jazz band set up, a whiskey and cigar bar, blackjack, a few gorgeous vintage cars on display, and some ‘celebrity look-a-likes’ from the era to have a drink with.

Or take a tip from New Zealand’s Wellington Rowing Club who threw a Casino Royale event – a night of James Bond-esque gambling in costume.  A band, nibbles and drinks (shaken, not stirred) came with the ticket and attendees got a stack of fake money to gamble the night away without actually having to lose anything.  Of course there were prizes for the biggest winners as well.

Cheap labour from strong rowers

Show us what else you can do with those muscles!

So you don’t have a big budget.  You can still raise money by holding an event with what you do have – rowing brawn.  We have done office moves, house shifts, bagging sheep manure, distributing Christmas Turkeys and hams – all for a donation to the club.  Sure, it won’t bring in the big bucks, but it can help pay for each rower to attend an ‘in-country’ regatta.  Because let’s face it, not everybody has a Glee actress to draw on.

Hold a 24 hour erg-a-thon.  Athletes can raise funds individually to erg.  Like the bike-a-thons or walk-a-thons you did in elementary school.  Or hold a luncheon/auction, where the rowing team gets auctioned off for yard labour.  What Mother wouldn’t love to hire 4 rowers to layer her garden with heavy mulch, and pull out those invasive, thorny weeds?  You’ll have to work for it, but it’s money worth having to keep your rowing club alive.

Get more in-depth ideas of how to fund raise with oure-book.

Read the article on Space Saver Rowing Systems


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