The Overlooked Fundraiser for Youth Softball Leagues and Non-Profit Organizations

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The primary sources for funding a youth softball league are the individual sign up fees, the league-wide fundraiser, corporate sponsorships, and perhaps income from concession sales. However, as the cost continue to rise it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise individual fees and also to garner the corporate sponsor. Further, if the truth be known, a very large percentage of the candy sales are picked up by the player’s parents. I can’t tell you how many boxes of oversized candy bars I have purchased over the years so my daughter’s didn’t have to burden the neighbors with their sad-eyed sales pitch.

The upside, to the typical sources of fundraising website, for a League are that they do produce a significant amount of revenue. The downside is that all of these methods of generating revenue require an inordinate amount of time and effort. Even something as simple as just collecting sign up fees requires a lot of man-hours. Just try finding fifty corporate sponsors and see how long that takes. And the candy selling fundraiser, I can’t imagine the total number of hours spent knocking on doors.

What if there was a passive means of generating revenue for your Softball League, or any non-profit organization for that matter? What if there was something the league could spend one hour on and it generated revenue for the league from now on? It wouldn’t even matter how much money it generated as long as it generated income 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for years and years to come. I have good news for you.

Earlier this year I surveyed over 300 youth softball league web sites. There were some really great sites and then there were some that were pretty simple. Some of the sites included listing of their corporate sponsors and some did not. But NONE of the sites had advertisements provided by Google. Oh my, what a GOLDEN opportunity everyone of these leagues is missing.

Let me explain how this works. Anyone, or entity, that has a web site can apply to Google to receive advertisements placed on their web site. It takes about five minutes to read through Google’s information and to submit the application. It is absolutely free to apply and join. Once that is done, Google will review the site and approve or disapprove the application. I can’t imagine then denying any non-profit softball league.

Once approved, Google will notify the applicant via email and will provide some code for the league web master to copy and paste onto pages on the league’s site. The web master can determine the placement of the ads, as to at the top or bottom of the page, or wherever they think is best. Don’t worry, Google doesn’t put those hideous pop up banners on your site.

Once the ads are on the site, when a visitor to the site clicks on an ad, revenue is generated for both Google and for the owner of the web site, or in this case, for the Softball League. Google keeps track of all of the clicks and the associated revenue, and when that revenue reaches a certain threshold Google will direct deposit or mail a check.

Google has done an excellent job of coding their ads so that only relevant ads appear on the web pages. Since we are discussing Softball Leagues, I would suspect that the ads would primarily be softball related. As such, they won’t seem intrusive to your league membership. In fact, they will probably appreciate added sources of information being available to them.

It’s impossible to say how much income this could provide for a softball league. I seriously doubt it would ever replace any of the existing sources of income for softball leagues. However, it is essentially effortless income which could ease the financial burden of playing softball.

I don’t believe this is a matter of if a non-profit organization will allow advertising on their web site, but when will they allow it. The truth of the matter about non-profit organizations is that they have all have two primary goals. The first goal is to produce whatever it is they produce, in this case it would be producing a fun softball league. The second goal is to raise money to support goal number one.

Is accepting advertising a foreign concept to non-profit organizations? Absolutely not. The baseball team I played on growing up was the Dr. Pepper Rockets. That was over 30 years ago that my league was accepting advertising revenue. I think the only issue now is when will these softball leagues become informed about the potential revenue their web sites hold. Once the secret is out, I suspect their will be a quick movement towards web site advertisements.

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