Thanks to our friends at Rowperfect, we bring you a collation of the diverse activities which rowing clubs undertake in order to raise funds.

Scroll to the bottom of this article to find 3 additional resources from Space Saver all about fundraising and finances, including our e-book of fundraising hints and tips.

Make the rowers cook!

It goes like this: tickets are purchased for a “strictly dinner” event where the athletes both cook for and serve to the guests.  There will need to be culinary standards, of course.  A hoard of people would love to be served seafood chowder by an Olympic athlete, (especially when they can give their compliments to the chef in person!).

This fundraiser works equally well for under 23s – friends and parents would love to have little Tim hand pick a wine to go with the Linguine Alfredo that he so carefully created from scratch!

This is a great fundraiser to bring the rowers out of the water and into an entirely new setting (for better or worse, you be the judge).

Inspired by: Olympic Athletes competing in the kitchen

Bring the people to New York, and then take New York to the people

Pick a theme, such as New York, or Paris, Vegas, Delhi ……and then decorate your club room to resemble the city you choose.  Here’s how one schooltransformed its common room to resemble NYC.

The commons on St. Joe campus will transform to look like Central Park in New York City. Twinkle lights will dangle from the ceiling to look like stars. Students will perform like New York City street performers and Occupy Wall Street will occupy the commons. The red carpet will welcome guests as the paparazzi snaps a few photos. A bar made to look like Sardi’s in New York will be the place to go for a cocktail. Ask for a cosmopolitan, it’s their signature drink.

Encourage fancy dress and funny accents – it’s easy to research the history of cities using Wikipedia which should give you some ideas of fun themes and famous venues.

Dinner, dancing, and free child care

We all know about the classy fundraising dinner idea: open bar, raffle, dancing and entertainment is all purchased for a $35 to $50 ticket.  But what the Orcas Island Junior Rowing Club added to its ‘Pure Pleasure Dinner‘ is an inspiration.  Their event is a night of  feasting, regaling and dancing in a historic lodge around a roaring fire.  It starts early – 5pm with live music, free appetizers, a no-host bar, and free child care available.  Parents need have no reservations about frequenting the bar and purchasing too many raffle tickets or even getting home early to relieve their baby sitters at the designated hour.  Their children are cared for, for free, just in the next room.  An excellent addition to the classic dinner and dancing fundraiser.

You could add to this further by offering a ‘chauffeur drive home’, by getting older students to drive the parents and children home after the evening in their own car so they could drink as well!  This plan requires you to have a ‘collection’ driver who then visits each home collecting the driver afterwards.

A row-a-thon with a twist

It’s not exactly the Montagues and Capulets, but the Humboldt Bay Rowing Association’s junior rowing team has started a faux family feud to raise some money.

The club held a “Sunrise to Sunset” row-a-thon fundraiser that featured teams inspired by two local families that are involved in the sport: the Carlsons and the Daughertys.

Ezra Carlson, 17, said it keeps things competitive while also raising money for the team.

So go on, think about it, which families would you choose for your rowing club’s rivals?  The Redgraves versus the Pinsents….

 An Interactive rowing sponsorship

Austin Rowing Club has taken on this initiative, developed by Brock Sampson, this fits into fundraising/ giving back to the community – It certainly is a different slant using rowing to help the wider community.

The essence of the campaign was encouraging donors to sponsor a child to learn to row and participate yourself.

Garcia had a friend in Seattle who participated in Row to the Future, and Garcia saw what a difference it made in his life. “He can row indoors and make good grades,” Garcia said of his friend. “He said that everyone, no matter if they were tall, skinny or good in sports, had to learn because it was new.” Garcia ended by saying that the reason for his letter was that he wished for an indoor rowing program in his school in Austin.

In response to Garcia’s letter, IBTU is utilizing Indoor Rowing Machines to accomplish similar objectives in the Austin Independent School District. IBTU is currently offering Interactive Sponsorships for the rowing program, allowing sponsors to learn to row themselves, while engaging a child in a very unique way.

 Let a sport drink giant pay you

Not bad, eh? Supporting their launch of a new sports drink, Mars Refuel is offering grants every month for the next 6 months – these can be spent on equipment, travel and other expenses.  Read the full details here.

 Or buy a copy of the e-book Fundraising Hints and Tips for your Club

Read our other Space Saver Rowing System articles all about fundraising and finances: