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Mission Cooperstown: 3 Fundraising Ideas

Attending the annual Cooperstown tournament is the highlight of the season for many youth baseball teams, but paying for registration, travel, accommodations and other expenses can make it cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, there are many ways you can raise money for your team's tournament trip. Here are some of my ideas to help you get started.

1. Set Up a Restaurant Fundraiser

Restaurant fundraisers are easy to organize and can help you raise substantial sums for your tournament trip. Start by identifying local restaurants, then approach each one in turn to find out whether they support this type of fundraiser. If they do, reserve a time and date for your event and agree on a method for generating revenue. Many restaurants will add a discretionary donation to customers' bills or donate a portion of the proceeds from the event's sales, while others will place donation boxes by their cash registers. Once you've set up a restaurant fundraiser, be sure to advertise your event early and often to ensure a good turnout.

2. Run a Raffle

Raffles are a great way to raise funds with minimal cash outlay. You can run a raffle as a stand-alone fundraiser or as part of an event, such as a local street fair or a barbecue party. When planning a raffle, think about who will be buying your raffle tickets and what type of prizes would appeal to them. Once you know your target audience, approach local businesses and ask them to donate prizes. Many businesses will donate products, gift cards or other items that can be used as stand-alone prizes or combined to create prize packages. When creating prize packages, try to select prizes that complement each other, such as cinema tickets and a voucher for a dinner for two.

3. Solicit Pro Team Support

Securing support from professional sports teams can go a long way towards helping you hit your fundraising target. Start by drawing up a list of teams in your area, then contact each one in turn to discuss your fundraising ideas. When contacting teams, be sure to tell them about your team and your ambition to partake in the annual Cooperstown tournament. Many professional baseball and football teams will let you hold a bucket collection or set up a table to sell snacks, refreshments and merchandise on game days. In addition to collecting money from game attendees, you could ask the players to donate money or provide signed memorabilia, such as photographs or jerseys, for auction.

Raising money for the Cooperstown tournament is easier than you might think. With the right know-how and a little effort, you can reach your fundraising goals!

Melissa Pranzo is the Founder of SwingFitt™ and Swing4All.org. She is a licensed RMT trainer, a life-long elite athlete, and lover of life and sports. Melissa and her son, Cooper, live in Tampa where SwingFitt™ and Swing4All.org are based.

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