The Stadium Blankets Fundraiser
Year after year, student organizations, sports teams, booster associations and educators find themselves searching for unique fundraising ideas that will work. Underlying all the cookie dough kits, gift wrap, kitchen organizers and candy, one question refuses to be satisfied. Why do some fundraisers seem to effortlessly take flight while others remain forever mired in begging and mercy sales?
As a campaign standout, the stadium blankets fundraiser offers valuable insight for that question and proof that fundraising season doesn’t have to be a high-anxiety trial for anyone—seller or buyer.
How It Works
A stadium blanket campaign centers on something already highly valued within every community—sporting events and other school and community activities held in a meaningful local setting. To make it work,
- An established, reputable stadium blanket manufacturer agrees to split profits. For each item sold, the organization earns funds to support its activities.
- The manufacturer and organization collaborate on a marketable design.
- Ideally, the products are soft, high-quality stadium blankets proudly displaying a school’s custom colors, mascot, slogan or other artwork.
- Students or organization members offer buyers opportunities to purchase as many blankets as they like as a highly visible show of social spirit and support.
- The more blankets sold, the more money the organization makes.
Overlying the whole process is the fact that stadium blanket fundraisers begin by appealing directly to the student base selling them, and that is the key.
Why It Works
Stadium blanket fundraising takes off by itself because it brings together all the best aspects of fundraising ideas while leaving behind the parts that no one likes.
- Sellers always want one for themselves. This facet of the stadium blankets fundraiser is perhaps the most revealing, but if you think about it, it’s intuitive. How many times do investors decline to buy in because they don’t believe in a product or have no experience to offer? Likewise, student lethargy and disinterest often leave fundraiser packets languishing in zipped-up backpacks.
Students, however, consistently choose to sell their stadium blankets namely because they all want one for themselves. More important, that enthusiasm carries over to their willingness to share the campaign with family and friends and their ability to sell.
- Buyers will actually want them. Parents, family, friends and neighbors are relieved and pleased when a fundraiser has a readily visible relationship to what it’s supposed to support. Too often, fundraisers have nothing to do with the school—popcorn or candles, for example—and seem to benefit a for-profit company more than the local community or school.
Instead, stadium blankets directly represent the school and community. Even better, purchasers will be able to display proof of their financial support at every event they attend—whether they sit on it, wrap up in it or display it like a banner. Each blanket makes a clear, proud, compelling statement of “I contributed.”
- Stadium blankets are efficient, inclusive and resource-friendly. Ham sandwich sales, stadium food sales and car washes are complicated and inevitably depend on the same old dependable core of volunteers willing to put in vast amounts of time and muscle. Even conventional fundraisers require many hands and hours of sorting, packaging and pickup fraught with mix-ups and damaged items.
Typically delivered in their own clear carrying bag, stadium blankets are straightforward and essentially immune to breakage, spoilage, weather conditions or mix-ups. Because both selling and delivery are so easy, stadium blankets become an all-inclusive venture that engages the entire student body, faculty, alumni and community.
- A sea of spirit means fun and belonging. That waving ocean of orange, red, blue or purple after a successful stadium blanket fundraiser serves as more than financial sustenance for an organization. It is spirit, fun and belonging—the joi de vie within a social event that makes an occasion much more than the sum of its parts. Once blankets are issued, cheers incorporate them. Students gather with them. Parents wrap their toddlers in them, and grandparents huddle in them. They’re the prop to have for every group shot, selfie or tailgate.
Those who don’t have one of the stadium blankets will wish they did—and be ready to buy the next time. Those who do will bring them to proudly use, wave and display as a means of expressing their spirit and loyalty to something much larger than themselves. It’s a simple, appealing, uniting way of belonging with no restrictive barriers.
- High-quality useful items appeal. Demand for premium goods is higher than ever. At the same time, however, people are increasingly selective with financial resources and sensitive to wasted ones. They like items with purpose that make them feel good about using them.
In opting for a soft, lightweight, durable blanket emblazoned with a motivating logo in vivid detail, a fundraising organization can offer exactly that. It’s not a useless coupon that’s already available online for a place you’ll never go, and it won’t end up shoved to the back of a cabinet. It’s not subject to health or dietary restrictions. It won’t spoil, and one size will continue to fit everyone for years to come.
- Permanent and personal beat perishable or transient every time. Long after a game, long after graduation, stadium blankets continue to serve as memory of a specific time and place. They’re keepsakes that people hold on to forever thanks to all of the positive, uplifting experiences that become entwined in their fibers.
Light, comfy stadium blankets often become much more than a stadium blanket. They accompany athletes and band members on the long, cold bus rides home. They become the throw you keep in the car, the little extra on the foot of the bed. They provide comfort on under-the-weather days and security while preparing for the killer test. And yes, they embody the homecoming game, competition and maybe even states.
- Fundraisers can be wonderful gifts and freebies. Few items are so readily givable and transferable. Among family and friends, stadium blankets become a thoughtful way of giving of ourselves. Even if, for example, a grandparent never set foot in the stadium, the fact that a grandchild who did gave it as a gift makes it a treasure.
Within organizations, they’re a prize that people want to win. They can also be a thank you to volunteers, financial donors and other supporters. They carry no expiration date, and they’re a unifying reminder of what everyone is working together to accomplish within a community.
Options are boundless and made-to-order. Visualize a graduating class covering a football field in stadium blankets for a senior picture, one student per blanket. Picture attendance at games rising in a human wall of positive school spirit. Imagine student engagement at 100 percent and bonds with the community strengthened. Many fundraising ideas strive to help organizations make money. With the proper partnerships, stadium blankets can make fundraising a highly anticipated event.