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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Start/Find a League > 2014 Chartering and Marketing Toolkit > Sponsorship & Fundraising

Sponsorship & Fundraising

Sponsorship Best Practices

Each local Little League program should consider implementing a variety of tools in the areas of sponsorship and fundraising. Determine your sponsorship donation levels and goals. It also maybe beneficial to evaluate any offers for sponsorships you may receive that may not exactly match the levels you have established. Below are some sample fundraising and sponsorship systems that are used by numerous Little League Programs. Important: Remember only to solicit within league boundaries. The systems listed below can be easily modified to meet your league’s individual needs.

Note: Little League International reserves the right to prohibit a local Little League from accepting any sponsorship, fundraising opportunity or donation if it deems that the sponsor, fundraiser or donor violates the provisions of the following statement. “Little League does not limit participation in its activities on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual preference or religious preference.

Sponsorship

The “Cycle” Sponsorship System - A simple way to engage potential sponsors in baseball/softball terms. This system offers four sponsorship options that can be purchased by organizations or individuals. By keeping the “single” option priced very affordably, everyone has an opportunity to get involved.

Be sure that you are familiar with our Sponsorship Policy

Sponsorship Levels

The Single $250

  • Internet sponsorship banner on the league’s website with company name, phone number and website information
  • Recognition at Opening Day Parade/Ceremony
  • Internet sponsorship banner on the league’s website with company name, phone number and website information

The Double $500

  • Team sponsorship (name of business on jersey)
  • Outfield banner
  • Plaque with team picture given to the sponsor at the end of the season
    • Recognition at Opening Day Parade/Ceremony
    • Website sponsorship banner on the league’s site with company name, phone number and website information

The Triple

  • Option for sponsorship of 2 years at discounted rate
  • Website banner
  • Outfield banner
  • Plaque with team picture given to the sponsor at the end of the season
  • Recognition at Opening Day Parade/Ceremony

The Home Run

  • Option for sponsorship of 3 years at discounted rate
  • Home page recognition and website banner
  • Outfield banner
  • 2 plaques with team picture given to the sponsor at the end of the season
  • Recognition at Opening Day Parade/Ceremony

À la carte

  • Team sponsorship
  • Outfield banner
  • Recognition on the league’s website
  • Recognition in the league’s program
  • Recognition at Opening Day Ceremonies
  • Plaque with team picture given to sponsor
  • In kind donations (i.e. lawn equipment, concession stand supplies, field materials, athletic equipment, etc.)
  • Opportunity to set up a booth/stand at opening ceremonies

Items from the above list can be used to put together several different sponsorship packages that have a fixed price. Leagues may also choose to allow potential sponsors to put together their own "à la carte" package by pricing each item on the list and allowing sponsors to pick and choose the items that they would like. Note: Pricing will vary by community and by the ability of organizations in that community to pay for sponsorships.

Individual Donations

In addition to businesses, leagues should also consider giving individuals an opportunity to support the league through donations. This gives hundreds of families and supporters of the local Little League program an opportunity to get involved and opens up new avenues of funding. Recognition for their donation can include:

  • Name mention in the "Thank You" section in the league’s program
  • Name mention in the "Thank You" section on the league’s website
  • Recognition or mention of donor at Opening Dayor Closing Ceremonies

Resources

Below are sample sponsor registration and agreement forms. They are meant to be used as a guide and can be fully customized to suit your needs.

Note: These are .doc files, so you will need Microsoft® Word or comparable software such as the FREE OpenOffice™ Suite to open and edit these files.

Fundraising Best Practices

In addition to sponsorships, leagues should consider holding several fundraisers throughout the year. The key to successfully fundraising is to consult with other league officials and specific fundraising activities for the year. Within these meetings, duties should be assigned and a monetary goal should be made. Planning these endeavors helps eliminate competing efforts and unnecessary demands on volunteers and the community. It is important to check within your community any laws surrounding fundraiser exempt activities. Fundraisers can be broken into several categories including preseason, in season and postseason. Below are some fundraisers that are used by numerous Little League programs.

Be sure to read our Fundraising Policy

Preseason Fundraisers

These should occur during registration or during the Opening Day Ceremonies of the league. Large crowds at the events and other members of the community should be targeted for these types of fundraisers to drive interest and successful turnout. These examples include:

  • Candy sales/ Bake sales
  • Raffles
  • Silent Auction
  • Magazine sales
  • Trading pin sales
  • Discount cards
  • Baseball cutouts along the fence or park
  • Yard sale/Craft fair
  • Online donation on league site
  • Brick purchase to line the walkway at the park

In Season Fundraisers

These events should occur as secondary events, and not take away from the baseball/softball product on the field. The event should be about a making contribution to the community and not exploit the help of volunteers or players. Some examples include:

  • Hit-a-thon – For every 5 dollars raised by a player, they get one hit in a hitting contest
  • 50/50 drawings at games
  • Pass the hat at games

Postseason Fundraisers

These events should occur at the conclusion of the season play. These events can still be baseball/softball related, but also can give your league a chance to offer other activities for the community. Some examples include:

  • Car Wash
  • Major League Baseball/Minor League Baseball Ticket Sale Fundraiser (Most professional teams have fundraising options available for local leagues)
  • Pancake Breakfast
  • Spaghetti Dinner
  • Social functions such as picnics, barn dance or awards banquet
  • Talent based events including talent shows, plays, or concerts

Local leagues are encouraged to contact their District Administrator as a resource for other fundraising ideas. DAs are encouraged to pass along experience and opportunities to inquiring leagues. Furthermore, contact your DA before entering into any agreement that may involve neighboring leagues or regions to prevent confusion.

A successful fundraising campaign will include fundraisers during all three time periods, however, leaning on the preseason and postseason events may allow for increased participation.

For more fundraising ideas go to: Fundraising Opportunities

Helpful Hints

  • Planning is crucial. Failure to plan is planning to fail.
  • Market your events. Use local newspapers, school bulletins, radio or television or word of mouth. People don’t come to events, they don’t know about. See Marketing your League
  • Use your league website. Eteamz.com provides a calendar tool that can be very useful in the notification of events.
  • Display the benefits of helping your league by making it personal. Personalized appeals and campaigns that center around the kids always help.
  • Keep costs low. Simple accounting: lower cost equals higher profit.
  • A good mix of fundraisers goes a long way. Not everyone wants to buy candy or baked goods.
  • Be creative! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
  • Ride the success train and get off when it derails. If a specific fundraiser works, stick with it, but don’t keep doing the same thing expecting different results.