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Why Are Coaches Abandoning Traditional Fundraisers?

Why Are High School Coaches Abandoning Traditional Fundraising?

May 3, 2015, TeamBuildr in Tips 

Thousands of high schools all over the country are faced with shrinking budgets. In 2014, 35 states provided less funding to their schools than they did in 2013. Fourteen of these states even had to cut their funding by more than 10%.


Worried that their beloved schools will fall from financial stress, school boards are cutting programs at an alarming rate, specifically reducing funds to high school interscholastic sports.

This is problematic since high school interscholastic sports are an integral part of high school education. Researchers have found that the quality of high school education in our country would diminish without interscholastic sports.


The valuable lessons taught on the field by coaches result in more disciplined students, higher academic scores, greater accountability and increased community involvement.

As a result, coaches are increasingly being asked to lead fundraising efforts at their schools – on top of already being expected to be a legendary coach, great role model, and strong mentor.

So why are high school coaches abandoning traditional fundraising when budgets are being slashed? Shouldn’t coaches be utilizing these traditional methods more than ever?

Traditional fundraising has been used by high schools for decades. For some high schools it’s the main funding source for school programs, especially sports. Some of the most common fundraising activities include selling cookie dough, candy, magazine subscription, candle, flower bulb, and even door-to-door mattress fundraisers.


On average, these fundraisers only pay back 50% of the total sales to the school. These high fees drain fundraising efforts and require the coach to continue spending more time on fundraising, and less on coaching.


Amanda Morin, education expert, writes that, “It used to be that fundraising was an attempt to raise funds for a specific cause, one in which kids were invested, but lately it seems as though my kids don’t even know where the money goes.”

Since coaches are now responsible for fundraising in order to keep programs running, they need a solution that allows them to coach more – not constantly fundraise. Coaches and players now need to find time to do fundraising outside of school, after school activities, games and practice. Coach O’Connor, head coach of DeMatha High School baseball, states, “Quite frankly, coaches, parents and students are tired of selling overpriced items nobody really needs.”