The sheer passion of us Irish and our love for Gaelic football has kept the game going strong for over a century, but that alone isn’t enough to keep the doors open at GAA clubs. Like most things in life, it’s money that keeps the engines firing and it’s the responsibility of the treasurer, and club members, to keep it flowing in.
For over a century, fundraising has been – and is – the number one source of money for clubs. Want to paint your club’s changing rooms after 33 years? Want to invest in new training facilities? Whether your club’s rural or urban, there’s big money to be raised if done right (we’re talking tens of thousands in Euro from one cycle).
To help you get started, we’ve put together 28 simple and easy fundraising ideas for your club. Have a scan, pick out the ideas that interest your members most and give them a go.
Ádh mór ort!
GAA Fundraising Idea 1 – Sponsored challenges
At the top of our list is sponsored challenges. Challenges can be exciting (your own version of Tough Mudder) or mundane (walking 10k), but it’s the livelier events that attract the biggest sponsors (think Red Bull Soapbox). It’s likely your sponsors will be local companies, but the sponsorship’s got to be mutually beneficial to work out. So, the livelier or crazier the challenge, the higher the chances of attracting a lucrative sponsor.
GAA Fundraising Idea 2 – GoRaise
Set up a fundraising page with GoRaise and send the link to members and people in your community. Those who visit GoRaise before they shop online and click on a retailer through the website will automatically donate when they buy. This can be up to 3.5% and best of all it doesn’t cost the shopper anything. It’s totally free!
GAA Fundraising Idea 3 – Scrap metal
Scrap metal is valuable in high quantities and rural clubs have been jumping on the opportunity for years. It’s easy to raise money by asking farmers and village folk to get rid of their unwanted scrap metal at a collection point so it can then be sold on. It doesn’t cost the community anything and you can collect for weeks.
GAA Fundraising Idea 4 – Calf raising
Carrickedmond, a small rural GAA club in Longford, fundraise by combining farming with football. They have farmers buy calves, raise them, and then sell them after two years with the money going to the club. Most farmers in the parish have backed the idea and 15 calves have been purchased in 2018, raising over €10,000.
GAA Fundraising Idea 5 – Match-day raffle
GAA clubs who attract a decent match-day crowd can benefit from the power of numbers by holding match-day raffles. Raffle tickets sold for €3-5 quickly add up and especially over a season. Just make sure the prizes are worthwhile and you’ll be golden.
GAA Fundraising Idea 6 – White collar boxing
White collar boxing has been a fundraising staple for GAA clubs since their inception. Boxing events raise big money and hosting your own could prove highly lucrative. They’re also safe nowadays – far from the brutal sport of old. You raise money through participants, who raise money from family and friends as a sponsor for your cause.
GAA Fundraising Idea 7 – Barbeque weekend
Everyone loves a barbeque and they’re also a great way to fundraise. The easiest way to operate one is to charge an entry fee in return for a food voucher. Everyone can have a hot dog or burger for free, for example. The entry fee will cover the cost of the food. After that, people will be asked to purchase anything else (for a reasonable price). The big money here is in the activities you include, such as obstacle courses with an entry fee.
GAA Fundraising Idea 8 – LipSync Battle
Edenderry GAA has added the LipSync Battle to their fundraising efforts with great success. Performers take to the stage as their favourite artists and bid to outdo each other with outrageous performances. LipSync Battles attract big crowds who splurge on food and drink. You can also charge an entry fee on the doors.
GAA Fundraising idea 9 – Fun fair weekend
Pop up fun fairs is perhaps the most lucrative fundraising opportunity. Set over a hot weekend, they can rake in thousands in a prime location. You don’t need huge rides to get in the crowds. Anything for the kids works great – hook a duck, shooting ranges, tin can alleys, penalty shootouts (Gaelic style). You get the idea.
GAA Fundraising idea 10 – Coffee mornings
Coffee mornings never fundraise a lot by themselves, but when you host them every Saturday the takings quickly add up. All you need is a decent café to get started, and you can easily make a few hundred Euro over a weekend.
GAA Fundraising idea 11 – Bake sale
The Great British Bake Off has inspired GAA clubs around Ireland to host bake sales, and they make it onto our list because they’re dead easy to fundraise from. You can either charge a fee for a stall, such as €50 for the weekend, or all money raised from bakery sales can be given to the club. Just make sure everything’s tasty!
GAA Fundraising idea 12 – Farmer’s raffle
The Kildorrerry GAA, a rural club, make a killing raffling off livestock. From Limousin heifers to Vendéen sheep, they raffle off animals with golden tickets. Everyone wants in on the raffle because the prizes are worth thousands. Tickets are €5 each or 3 for €10. Each raffle brings in thousands in Euro. Don’t have farmland? No problem. The club also offers cash in lieu of prizes, so everyone can get involved.
GAA Fundraising idea 13 – Antiques Roadshow
Most people have antiques or interesting items cluttering up their homes, and it’s these people who make fundraising possible with an auction. You don’t need an auction house to get fundraising either- just a crowd, table and auction hammer (although a dedicated auction house is best if you have lots of stuff to flog). Have people in the community donate things they no longer want and keep the money raised. Simple.
GAA Fundraising idea 14 – Stage a concert
Hold a concert for local artists and charge a €10 entrance fee to visitors. Crowds of a few hundred people can easily generate thousands in revenue through ticket and food and drink sales. Organise a bar and you’ll generate even more.
GAA Fundraising idea 15 – Host a car boot sale
Car boot sales are a traditional way to fundraise. Unwanted toys and tat can make a lot of money. All you need is an empty field and lots of willing participants. The great thing about car boot sales is people can get involved from all over the country. You can charge a €20 entry fee to sellers to raise instant cash and a €5 parking fee to visitors.
GAA Fundraising idea 16 – Property raffle
St Fechin’s GAA club in Termonfeckin worked with a local property developer to secure a €280,000 house as the top prize in a raffle. 8,000 tickets, priced at €100 each, sold like hot cakes with all money raised going to the club to build a new community centre.
GAA Fundraising idea 17 – Carwash
Take a leaf out of the fire brigade’s book and hold a car wash day. All you need is some willing participants who don’t mind working for a good cause and a source of water. You can host a car wash in one of two ways. It can either be open to the public (at the roadside, for example) or open to GAA members only. We recommend opening it up to the public, so you get people from the whole community raising money.
GAA Fundraising idea 18 – Bubble party
This is one for the younger generation. Bubble parties, hosted at a nightclub or in a function room, are a top-tier fundraiser if you attract the right crowd. Anyone over the age of 18 can attend the event which you’ll make money from on the doors and by selling alcohol.
GAA Fundraising idea 19 – Duck race
Rubber ducks racing down a river? You’d be surprised by how much you can raise with an event so simple! Best of all, races can last all day and if everyone buys a duck for €5 you’re laughing. Just make sure you number the ducks and collect them all after each race. Using a top net on the water line is the best way to collect them. The winner should get a prize, be it something simple like a case of beer or shopping vouchers.
GAA Fundraising idea 20 – Take Me Out
If you can book a large venue with a bar, Take Me Out (named after the TV show) is a top-tier fundraiser. You can easily raise €5,000 in one night with the right crowd. Host it over a weekend, and you’re talking double that. Charge a small entry fee on the door to cover the cost of staff and take a percentage of takings from food and drink.
GAA Fundraising idea 21 – Exercise bikes and rowing machines
If you can get some fit and able volunteers on your side (such as your footballers), exercise bikes and rowing machines (kindly donated by a local gym) can raise lots of money in one sitting. The Tyrone Senior Ladies club found this out recently when they hosted a fundraiser of their own. The local team was able to raise hundreds of Euro.
GAA Fundraising idea 22- Darts competition
Make a deal with a local pub to split the pot 50/50 on a dart competition night. Invite your members and their families down to drum up lots of business for the pub. Make the event fun by introducing handicap ratings and a tournament. Have the best players compete against each other for a grand prize – a free bar tab up to €100 always goes down very well.
GAA Fundraising idea 23 – Table quiz night
Hosting a local quiz night is an easy way to raise a few hundred Euros. Eight rounds of six questions is more than enough to keep things interesting. Prizes only have to be small and if you have a bar you’ll easily raise €500 from a group of 20 people.
GAA Fundraising idea 24 – High street volunteers
This is perhaps the easiest way to raise money for your club. You simply have a few volunteers hover in busy high street locations and ask for donations. Over the course of a day, you might be pleasantly surprised by your collection. 5 volunteers working in five busy towns can easily collect a few hundred Euros in one day.
GAA Fundraising idea 25 – The great chicken race (Chicken Run)
Race some chickens, and the people come flocking! Chicken racing is an easy to set up and surprisingly competitive sport. These events easily raise thousands in Euro because they can last all day. Chickens are lightweight and easy to transport, so farmers from across the town can get involved and sponsor the event.
GAA Fundraising idea 26 – Bag Packing
It’s boring, but it works! Bag packing at a supermarket (by kind permission) can raise lots of money if there are enough volunteers. This is something the Dungarvan GAA Club did recently with 42 volunteers at Garveys Supermarket.
GAA Fundraising idea 27 – Strength and power championship
Gaelic footballers are known for their strength, so why not make the most of your team by hosting a strength and power championship? Atlas stones, arm over pulls, hammer throws, farmers walks, giant log lifts – all these events attract big crowds. Ask people to sponsor the participants or charge an entry fee for the event. Since you’ll be hosting it outdoors, it’s also a good idea to have food and drink stalls to raise even more cash.
GAA Fundraising idea 28 – Golf classic
Our last fundraising idea is a staple for GAA clubs. A golf classic pits teams against each other in a golfing tournament over a few days. Teams can be friends or a mix of people, it doesn’t matter – the key is everyone chipping in a little money for your club. Put an ad in the local paper and you’ll attract loads of people.
So, there we have it – 28 simple and easy fundraising ideas for your GAA club! Have some awesome ideas of your own? Share them with us below and if they’re too good to miss, we might include them in our article.
If you’d like to get started with fundraising through online shopping, GoRaise is the tried and tested platform. Have a question about using GoRaise? We’re always here to help. Find out more about how it works here and discover our causes for inspiration.
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