In a tight economy, the major auto manufacturers are hoping to drum up sales by offering fundraising opportunities to high school athletics programs. In this story, Tommy Mathews, President of the booster club at Boerne (Texas) High School, explains how Boerne's two high schools were able to capitalize on a local car dealer's initiative.
By Tommy Mathews
Greyhound Athletic Booster Club
Boerne (Texas) High School
The local GM dealership approached us, saying they had an opportunity to participate in a General Motors program in support of youth athletics. They wanted to raffle a GMC Terrain Crossover SUV, and if we were interested, they would provide 2,000 tickets to Boerne athletics and another 2,000 tickets to Champion, the other high school in town. On top of that, they'd give us a $500 cash donation along with ball bags, water coolers, clipboards, and some miscellaneous gear. Of course, we said we were interested.
We divided up the gear among our coaches, and asked each of them, "How many tickets do you want?" We decided to sell the tickets for $5 apiece, which was what the dealer recommended, and we didn't have trouble selling out. Student-athletes sold about half of the sales, with the proceeds going directly to their team, and the booster club sold the other half. Each team had its own parent volunteer to coordinate ticket sales and report back to us on their progress.
To publicize the raffle, we sent a press release to the local media, posted a notice on our Web site, and sent an email to everyone on our mailing list, which includes past and present boosters. We also announced the ticket sales at all varsity and sub-varsity home games. Knowing we had the chance to raise $10,000 really got people energized, and there was a good buzz around the community.
It was a great way to raise money, without a lot of effort on the part of the boosters, and I'd encourage other people to try it at their school, too. To start, talk to the marketing person at your local dealership--a lot of the major auto makers offer similar programs as part of their broader marketing effort nationwide, and chances are, they'll know what you're talking about. If you don't get traction locally, talk to the regional person for the brand.
Overall, the experience was very positive, and we're very grateful to GM and our local dealership. Because of the way we structured ticket sales, a lot of people were engaged in the process. At $5 apiece, it didn't take long to sell all the tickets we had, and that $10,000 is going to be a great benefit for our student-athletes.