Swim into profits with a swim-specific fundraiser. Breaking away from common fundraising techniques, such as magazine or candy sales, gives a swim organization the edge it needs to generate interest and funds.
Swim-team members can offer a variety of swim lessons in the community. Different lessons can be offered based on skill level, with beginners receiving basic instruction and more advanced swimmers learning advanced techniques. Classes can also be divided by age. The team may also opt to offer a ‘Mommy and Me’ swim class that teaches the parents how to teach their children to swim in an interactive environment.
These fundraisers are very effective because they contribute to community safety and provide a service that many parents and other community members will be interested in. Pool and water safety is important. Depending on the circumstances, the swim team may be able to use these lessons as a means of scouting for new team members.
If the team must pay for pool access, it is important to offset the pool cost in the admission prices. However, if the team has access to a cost-free pool, prices can be reduced to encourage participants.
Specific requirements vary by location, but no federal mandates require swim-instructor certification. However, a lifeguard certification, Red Cross Water Safety Instructor certification and other similar training may be beneficial.
Participating in a Swim-a-Thon is an effective way to raise money. During a Swim-a-Thon, participants have two hours to swim as many as 200 pool lengths. Prior to the Swim-a-Thon, participating swimmers get pledges from businesses, community members, and others who agree to donate a certain amount per length that the participant swims.
There are more than 500 Swim-a-Thons hosted every year. However, USA Swimming owns the Swim-a-Thon trademark and requires that organizations sign a contract with USA Swimming prior to participating in an event. The contract governs how the term ‘Swim-a-Thon’ can be used, how the event is organized, how donations are collected, and other details. USA Swimming will furnish the organization with a detailed handbook following the signing of the contract.
Hosting any sort of fundraiser that involves swimming laps for donations is considered a violation of the USA Swimming ‘Swim-a-Thon’ trademark.
Hosting a community pool party is another fundraiser that offers many opportunities for profits.
Although a cost may be associated with reserving pool time, business sponsors may offset the cost. Companies that are invited to set up vendor booths can profit from the exposure to new clients and may be willing to "sponsor" the event by paying for the right to sell items. Consider inviting recreational outlets, swim shops, clothing retailers and other businesses to participate in the event.
Additional entertainment can justify an increase in admission price. Consider hiring a DJ, offering a raffle or silent auction, showing swim-related movies and offering free food. Charge a reasonable, but affordable, admission rate to encourage attendance, and offer discounted tickets for advanced purchases. Charge slightly more for at-the-door ticket sales.