SCOTTSDALE – School funding is at an all time low and programs in the school rely on the fundraising efforts of booster clubs like Saguaro Volleyball Booster Club to build programs inside of the schools.
“We’re rebuilding our program under the direction of our varsity coach, Chad Speer, and the boosters are willing to provide whatever support is needed to make the program grow,” president of boosters, Kristi Bigelow said.
The boosters help the team by providing practice t-shirts and jerseys, feeding the coaches and players before away matches, organizing senior night and the year-end banquet. They also make sure the players and coaches have what they need to be successful throughout the season. This includes purchasing items like volleyballs, ball carts, and referee flags.
The boosters also support the program by hosting the snack bar at home matches, running fundraisers and asking for donations for the program.
“The bulk of our donations come from family and friends of the players,” Bigelow said, “We also utilize the services of Snap! Raise to hold a donation drive at the beginning of the season.”
Snap! Raise is an organization that allows anyone to donate a desired amount of money and it will go directly to the program. There is a small fee that they charge but Saguaro boosters have found that it is more successful than selling cookie dough or other types of gift items according to treasurer Cheryl Valdez.
“It allows donations to go to the program directly without having to buy something where only a small percentage of the price goes to the program,” Bigelow said.
Saguaro volleyball boosters currently have one business sponsor, Rex Tile, supporting them and donating to the program. They look forward to reaching out to more corporate sponsors in early 2017.
Although Saguaro did meet their goal for the season, one of the biggest struggles with boosters is getting the funds for the program. The board sets a budget based on the money they’ve raised and expect to raise then follow that plan for the season.
Our parents and players are pretty active in the program. Most of the fundraising that we have done, has been a direct result of the team participation,” Valdez said.
One thing Saguaro volleyball booster’s hopes to accomplish over the next season is strengthening parent involvement. This is one way they hope to expand their budget in the upcoming years.
“Something we find challenging is getting more parents to help volunteer with activities for the program,” vice president of boosters, Jennifer McDaniel said.
With the season coming to an end, the booster club is planning and putting together the banquet, coordinating a gift for the seniors, and an end of the season gift for the coaches. However, just because the season is coming to a close does not mean it’s the end of fundraising.
Saguaro volleyball boosters continue to raise money the entire year and have already started planning in preparation for the upcoming year.