Physical education and athletic programs are an important part of a child’s development. Such programs not only provide much-needed exercise, but also build foundations for lifelong confidence, teamwork, and goal setting skills. However, many schools have faced increasing budget cuts over recent years, and one of the first programs to suffer is Athletics. School gym equipment is sometimes expensive, but it is critical that all school sports equipment is updated often to provide safe learning for children.
Luckily for schools looking to purchase school PE supplies such as basketball posts, soccer nets, or balls still have many funding options outside of traditional taxpayer funding. If your school requires new school gym equipment, consider these alternative funding sources to get the supplies your students need.
Old-Fashioned Fundraising Campaigns
All-time school favorites and time-honored traditions for parents everywhere, the old-fashioned school fundraiser is an excellent way to raise small amounts of money for school PE supplies while also raising awareness and having fun. Be creative with fundraising efforts to keep students, parents, and community stakeholders interested. Bake sales are great, but ideas such as dances, fun fairs with contests and prizes, popcorn sales, and dunk-a-teacher tanks are sure-fire ways to earn money to support school sports equipment purchases over the long run.
Does your school have a high-cost need such as school bleacher seats or gym divider curtains? A capital campaign such as these examples may be well-suited for fundraising through a crowdfunding website. On these sites, your school can set a goal to raise a certain amount of money in a specific amount of time. Donors are ensured that their money will only go to the campaign effort, and can be rewarded with thank you gifts through the web portal. Be certain to find a website that is designed for schools only, as they will charge the lowest percentage of the funds earned for their fee.
Other Funding Sources to Consider
For high-cost projects or equipment needs, your school should look at what grants, both public and private, may be available. Local and national foundation support is frequently earmarked for athletic programs. If you have the internal resources or a parent with a development background, certainly leverage that asset in terms of grant-writing and soliciting major gifts from wealthy alumni or community interests. You may find that there is increased interest if you offer naming opportunities for legacy gifts; be certain to allow for planned giving as well, which can often be a win-win situation for schools and donors.
Finally, keep an eye out for contests and promotions. Most major suppliers of school gym equipment give at least some items away each year through essay contests and other means.