Set Your Team up for Success by Fundraising

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Club volleyball can be considered a double-edged sword financially. The higher the level your daughter competes at, the more experience and college exposure she'll get, but the more expensive it's going to be. Surprisingly, it's not the club dues and fees that have increased. Rather, it's the cost of traveling so frequently to play high-level competition. JVA even said, "It is now common place for travel costs to make up the vast majority of a player's membership fees during a club season."

Sean Fitzgerland, the Club Director and Master Coach at Axis Elite Volleyball Academy, was interested in how much a family could spend, so he estimated the cost of a single volleyball season. Brace yourself for this next part. The totals for the estimations came out to $5,100 for National or Elite teams, $2,600 for Regional teams, and $1,500 for Local teams, and that's not even including training or club dues.

Once you factor in uniforms, registration fees, club dues, and training costs, you're looking at, well, a pretty big number.

Make Funding Club Volleyball Feasible

Here's something to put your mind (and wallet) at ease: you can raise money on all of your volleyball-related purchases whether you're at home or on the road. Take a look at this info graphic that proposes a fresh fundraising idea where you can earn on all of the costs you encounter in volleyball:

We know the word "fundraiser" can trigger some less than happy thoughts about going door-to-door and asking friends and family members to buy cookie dough, pizza kits, candles, or wrapping paper. Unlike other fundraisers that take up time you already don't have, scrip fundraising works on your clock and on your schedule. Scrip is more of a lifestyle than it is a fundraiser.

Take, for example, JVA member Texas Advantage Volleyball (TAV), whose fundraising coordinator, Julie Harmon, got their program started in 2014 to raise money and cut the cost of competing.

After hearing about the program from her mother-in-law who runs a scrip program at a Christian school in Michigan, Julie started using scrip to reduce school tuition costs for her four kids in 2008. Scrip was so successful at their school that Julie approached the Skyline Juniors Volleyball Club in 2012 where her daughters were playing who agreed to let her set up a program. "The sole purpose was to help parents pay for their club dues, although we kept 2% to go towards scholarships," she said. "I helped them bring in over $32,000."

In 2014, Julie started a scrip program at TAV, where her youngest daughter is now on the 18's team. "In the two years I've run the program, we have raised over $25,000 to help parents pay their club dues," she said. And just like at Skyline, 2% of the money raised goes toward scholarships and the rest goes to the parents to help pay for club dues.

TAV competes at a very high level, regularly attending national championships and top-tier tournaments. Scrip makes it possible for TAV to make these trips, and they even use it when they're on the road. "At our travel tournaments, I always look for places the team can eat that participate in scrip," Julie said. "If the club has us staying in a hotel that offers scrip, I always let the families know."

For the 2015-16 club season, TAV had 50 teams, located in four different locations in Texas (North Dallas, Houston, Amarillo, and West Dallas). They currently have 82 people participating in scrip and are looking to bring in more. "The new club season is ramping up, and I've already received 16 new family enrollments," Julie said. "My daughter's team had 11 of 12 families participating in scrip."

It doesn't take much to sell volleyball parents on using scrip. "Why wouldn't anyone want to earn free money and have it applied to their dues? Club can be very expensive, and this is a great way to help parents pay club fees," Julie said. She continued, "It sure beats having to go door-to-door or hitting up relatives and coworkers to purchase something they really don't want but feel obligated to buy."

Although this is her daughter's last year with TAV before she heads off to college, Julie already knows she will continue to run the scrip program for them. "It's such a wonderful program," she said. "I want everyone to learn about it, understand it, and use it to the best of their ability to make as much money toward their dues as possible."

Scrip has worked for TAV, and it will work for your volleyball teams too. We understand it can be overwhelming to dive into a new fundraising idea, so just take a baby step and download the Scrip Fundraising Informational Packet that has all the information you need to feel confident moving forward.

Here's how Scrip works. Your volleyball team will enroll in a scrip program. Parents will join your program and will order gift cards from Great Lakes Scrip Center at a discounted price. They'll pay the face value for the card, and the difference in cost goes directly to your team. Then they'll use the gift card for all their purchases— from hotels, groceries, and gas, to entertainment and dining out — instead of a credit or debit card. Pretty simple!

Great Lakes Scrip Center offers over 700 retailers, over 350 of which have electronic products that you can use on the go. All of the scrip options makes it easy for one family to earn anywhere from $600 to $1000 in a single year using scrip, which can help your volleyball club immensely if the majority of families are using it! 

The Junior Volleyball Association is committed to improving the junior volleyball experience for clubs, coaches, and players. For more education for volleyball players and families, click here.


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