Healthy funding ideas for your sporting organisation

It's important to find ways to fund your club that reflect the club’s values and priorities, and support community health needs. Aligning with relevant Council plans, strategies and policies is also important and can help you secure grants. This could include:

Data from the Active Living Census tells us that the Greater Bendigo has:

  • High levels of overweight and obesity
  • Low levels of fruit and vegetable consumption
  • A high intake of sugary drinks and confectionery

Sporting clubs can help improve the health and wellbeing of the community by choosing sponsorship, fundraising and grants that prioritise health and move away from those that don’t.

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Healthy food options for your club canteen or cafe
Bendigo Stadium cafe - Sports healthy eating

Why choose healthy funding?

  • Generate extra income, goods and services while promoting health and wellbeing 
  • Be a positive role model for other sporting clubs 
  • Show that you care about your club members’ health rather than profit alone 
  • Reinforce health messages and behaviours 
  • Open-up opportunities to involve the whole community
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Two kids in sports uniforms with healthy sports rewards vouchers
Healthy sports kids outside Gurri Wanyarra

Ideas and tips

Below are some ideas and tips to help generate extra income through sponsorship, fundraising and community grants, while promoting positive health and wellbeing.
 

Sponsorship support for sporting clubs

Considering sponsors

Sponsorships should be mutually beneficial for both the club and the business, as well as the health and wellbeing of the community. This information aims to help sporting clubs source, approach and secure healthy sponsorships.

When considering sponsorship, it is important that sporting clubs weigh up the risks and benefits to the community. This can be done by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do the values and messages of the sponsor align with your own?
  • Does the sponsor promote unhealthy products or unhealthy behaviours? (e.g. unhealthy food, alcohol, sugary drinks or gambling)
  • Who is the intended target audience the sponsor is trying to reach? (if children, is it appropriate?)
  • What is the main message the sponsor is trying to send?
  • Are there sponsorship options available locally that do not promote unhealthy products or behaviours?

If the risks outweigh the benefits, then it’s important to reconsider your options.

    Where to go for healthy sponsors?

    Sponsorship deals are easier to achieve when sporting organisations reach out to local businesses that club members already have a relationship with, such as those of family members and friends:

    • Health providers and practitioners (e.g. physiotherapy, osteopathy) 
    • Real estate agencies
    • Trades businesses (e.g. builders, electricians) 
    • Hardware stores
    • Car dealerships 
    • Local bank branches 
    • Local water authorities 
    • Other retail outlets (e.g. sports, clothing, catering equipment suppliers etc.)
    • Supermarkets/produce stores, or butchers  
    Presenting your proposal 

    Include a cover letter:

    • Use a cover letter to address the business you are targeting
    • Provide an overview of who your club is and what you are proposing
    • Present what you can do for the sponsor
    • Include the sponsor’s logo on your website, social media, and printed materials
    • Promote the sponsor’s business in communications to your club members
    • Consider placing signage around your facility (please contact the City regarding requirements) 
    • Provide club apparel to wear when they come to game days
    • Invite the sponsor and their family to key club events
    • Offer reduced player registration fees for the sponsor
    • Host events especially for sponsors
    • Send a personalised message from the players thanking sponsors
    • Provide signed apparel or a photo for the sponsor to display in their business

    Include the reach:

    • Include average attendance numbers at games and training sessions, including parents, spectators, volunteers, etc. 
    • What is your social media following like? How many people can a post reach?

    Highlight what you want from the sponsor:

    • Do you want them to make a financial contribution? 
    • Do you want merchandise or catering?

    Offer ongoing sponsorships:

    • Provide tiered sponsorship levels so the business can choose what they want to get out of the sponsorship.
    • Offer sponsorships for one, two or three years.
      For example, if a sponsorship for one year is $10,000, offer a two-year sponsorship for $18,000 and a three-year sponsorship for $26,000. This means that you might be able to secure sponsorship for several years at a time, and you don’t need to repeat the process each year.

    Healthy fundraising and events

    Fundraising ideas

    Fundraising can also be vital in generating extra income for sporting organisations but did you know it is possible to fundraise without the use of chocolate bars!

     

    One-off-donation

    Ask members or parents to donate one specific amount that will help cover the costs of sporting equipment, uniforms, dinners or other expenses for the year. A one-off-donation will not only mean less fundraises to organise for the year but also assist with budgeting.

     

    Physical challenges - fun runs or walk-a-thons

    Fun Runs or Walk-a-Thons are very popular and a great way to encourage physical activity. These events are low cost and a great way to raise funds through entry fees and a great way to attract and obtain new sponsors. You can even set-up a GoFundMe fundraising page to attract help receive further donations from people outside the community.

     

    Custom water bottles

    This is a great way to encourage members and community to drink tap water while supporting your club at the same time.

     

    Fruit fundraisers 

    Buy direct from a local grower or retailer at a wholesale price and sell at a price which makes a profit.

     

    Fundraising with bulbs

    Get your hands dirty and see your fundraising dollars bloom with spring flowering bulbs. 
     

    Fundraising prize suggestions

    A raffle can be as big or small as you want and a great way to raise funds. Try these health promoting ideas for your next club prize.

     

    Healthy Food Hamper:

    • Fresh fruit and vegetables- create a basket full of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables
    • Bakery goods- include wholegrain / wholemeal breads, rolls and fancy bread
    • Meat tray- include lean meats, skinless chicken breast or add something different like kangaroo
    • Dried fruit and nuts- include unsalted nuts and 100% fruit products 

     

    Healthy Cooking Equipment:

    • Quality non-stick pan
    • Baking tray 
    • Egg poacher 
    • Sandwich Press Health grill 

     

    Garden Items:

    • Gloves 
    • Small trowel 
    • Seeds or seedlings 
    • Fertiliser 
    • Gardening book or pocket guide 

     

    Sporting Goods:

    • Tennis balls
    • Goggles, swimming towel and sunscreen 
    • Soccer ball
    • Choose items that will be popular with your target audience

     

    Tips:

    • Offer a discount for bulk purchases or tickets to encourage the purchase of more tickets (e.g. $3 each or 4 for $10)
    • Use contacts with local businesses to get discounts, vouchers or donated prizes


    Legalities 

    Before planning or organising your community fundraiser it is important you are aware of your legal obligations within Victoria.

    More information:

    Fundraising Act 1998

    Fundraising Regulations 2019

    Consumer Affairs Fundraising Registration

    Food business registration

    Fundraising can be fun and healthy. These are just a few ideas to get you started.

    Grants

    Funding grants are another valuable option to assist sporting organisations to raise funds.

    Our Community Grants program is available to not-for-profit groups and registered businesses to develop projects.

    There are also a wide variety of reoccurring external grants available regularly throughout the year. Record relevant grants in a diary to ensure your club is ready and well prepared when grants are released.

     

    Available grants

    The below organisations have grants and funding regularly available to support local community groups and clubs. Sign-up directly to keep up to date with most recent opportunities. 

    City of Greater Bendigo Community Grants

    Sports and Recreation Victoria

    VicHealth Sport Investments

    Grants Victoria  
     

    Raising the profile of your sporting organisation

    How does the community see your club?

    • Do you have an active presence in the community?
    • Does your club have an active social media presence?
    • Is it easy for potential sponsors to find information on your club, including contact information?
    • Consider different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter
    • Consider building a website if your club does not already have one. There are lots of free or low-cost options.
    • Consider developing a Google Business Profile if your club does not already have one, so it will be easier to find your club online.

    To be successful in the above, it is essential your organisation has an accessible presence in the community.