We recently hosted a draw with Middlesex FA to raise funds for grassroots clubs in the county, and offer an incredible cash jackpot to one lucky winner, as well as individual jackpots at each club.
Clubs in Middlesex recognised the fundraising benefits which could come to their clubs through the Middlesex FA Club Raffle, sharing the draw directly with their members and with digital materials which were all provided for them by the Play Fund Win marketing team.
Within the draw, 50% of each £5 entry fee was donated to the club which the raffle entrant selected, with £1 from every ticket adding to each club’s own specific prize fund. There were a number of great fundraising success stories in the Club Raffle, but it was Headstone Manor Ladies who emerged as the top fundraising club in the County!
We spoke to the club’s Media Manager Elena Torroni to ask her how the club were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, how they successfully marketed their draw as well as how other clubs could benefit from digital fundraising.
What challenges did the club face during the COVID crisis and how did that affect the usual running of the club?
Elena Torroni [ET]: “We actually lost our regular home pitch at the start of COVID-19 as it was having drainage work done, which meant we had to find a new pitch less than a month before the start of our new season. Due to the changing pandemic rules, there was a lot of uncertainty around when we could train or compete in our matches, so various lockdowns meant we had to stop and start our sessions.”
In which ways were the club affected financially by Coronavirus?
ET: Again, because we had to find a new home pitch it meant we had increased facility hire costs, higher training costs, and then the season got extended because we hadn’t played some of the matches, making it a longer season.”
In terms of the general costs of keeping it club like yours own afloat, how much revenue do you need to bring in each season?
ET: “Just for pitch hire and the games and training costs alone it’s over £1,000 a season. That’s on top of our league affiliation fees and the general running costs on matchdays such as official fees, reps, all that sort of thing. We’re actually an entirely self-funded club.
Contributions are from our playing squad and a small team of volunteers. What little income we have comes through donations, and we’re not sponsored at all, so it all helps. [We are lucky to have the] players [and] the volunteers and their free time. You can’t buy time.”
Have the club carried out fundraising previously?
ET: “Up until now it’s not something we’ve done. This is actually the first fundraising campaign [we’ve] ever run. Like I said, it’s usually just through fees and registration [charges] and things like that where we get our funding.”
You are the club’s Marketing and Media Officer. How did you go about promoting the draw and what do you think was most important for the success of the club in fundraising?
ET: “We just used a lot of digital, visual things on the social media sites. Instagram, Facebook, you know. We also shared links within our team WhatsApp group, where the players had direct contact with their friends and family. We contacted former players to see if they would help us out too. And lots of people really did get involved and wanted to help us out. We had a really good [return] from the promotions.
I think when people just see a link or something [posted somewhere] they’re not always inclined to click on it, but if you’re talking to them directly, showing that they [and their support] as an individual really count [it helps]. That’s what it is with our club because we’re so small. We do really rely on every single person that is involved, so I think they like to know they are part of the team. We really do appreciate them even if they’re not a player. You’re part of the team.”
Did you use any of the materials that were sent out by Play Fund Win, and if so, what did you use?
ET: “Yeah, we used a lot of them actually. In Instagram stories and on our on our posts, anything that that was shared from Play Fund Win [too], we would also re-share. We also [made] use the QR codes because they’re so easy to scan and people can do it then and there. The posters and all of the things that that we were provided were used too.”
How will you be looking to spend the funds raised in the raffle?
ET: “A lot of it will be the usual day-to-day running of the club. We’re hoping to get some additional equipment as well, and obviously will have new signings, so they’ll need new kit. It’ll go back into the club.”
How do you think that digital fundraising could benefit other clubs?
ET: “I just think it’s easy. It’s convenient because everyone’s [online], they’re all on social media sites. It creates promotion for your club and awareness [of the club] within your area. [People don’t] have cash anymore, so this is a massive thing. Everyone’s using contactless card payments online, everything’s online [now]. So it’s a really good way for fundraising nowadays.”
Hosting a Play Fund Win Draw
Clubs can find out more about staging their own raffles to raise funds and offer great prizes to supporters, by clicking here.