This policy is in regard to the use of any form of crowdfunding service or website-based platform for the financial benefit or gain of any level of Little League (i.e., local, district, state, provincial).
Crowdfunding can be defined as, the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals or donations to finance a project, business venture, or to fundraise for a specific cause or charity. Through the use of personal networking, social media platforms, and other internet based resources, funds can be raised to support these different campaigns or efforts from a grassroots level, such as a local Little League.
Per the Little League Operating Policies, charitable funding and contributions can be collected through web-based crowdfunding platforms, so long as standard Little League policies are followed when utilizing this means of charitable fundraising. Current policies state that in no manner should there be any solicitation by a third party or individual in the name of or on behalf of a local league; solicitation of funds is to be done by the league or district itself. Therefore, only the Local League Board of Directors may operate a crowdfunding campaign using the name of the league.
In addition, the use of any Little League registered logos and trademarks must be used in connection with the local league name, and should not be misrepresented or altered in any way, without first contacting Little League International. It’s also important to keep in mind as with any league or district fundraiser that any promotion of the effort must be done by the league or district itself and not any outside entity such as local businesses or individual donors. Donations that are collected through this method should not be for any personal or business gain, but strictly to assist youth and to strengthen the community program. Leagues or Districts should provide an explanation to its membership of how the money raised is used.
While this may potentially be a way for a league or district to fundraise, it may not always be the most cost-effective method of generating funding. When looking into different options related to crowdfunding, please be sure to investigate all the potential drawbacks that may impact the league or district’s ability to collect the funds associated with a crowdfunding campaign. Because of the ease of creation of one of these crowdfunding campaigns, local leagues and districts should also closely monitor for individuals fraudulently misrepresenting themselves as a fundraising entity.
Local League or District Online Stores/Fundraising (E-Commerce)
Local Leagues may desire to offer apparel, uniforms and other products to their league membership using an online store to conduct business. This type of activity involves the use of Little League trademarks and must be approved by Little League International.
Such sites are typically not as financially beneficial to leagues as they may appear. Therefore, Little League maintains relationships with technology service providers who may offer this service. Such providers may be found at LittleLeague.org/Technology. Before utilizing a service, Leagues should contact Marketing@LittleLeague.org for more information and guidelines.
NOTE: For more information regarding use of Little League trademarks in relation to local league fundraising and the solicitation of donations, please consult the Little League Policies and Principles section of the Official Playing Rules of Little League and LittleLeague.org for additional guidance.