by Jen Janiak | February 5th, 2013
Teams across the globe are gearing up for the World Cup by increasing practice time, hitting the gym, and, just as importantly, trying to earn money to get there. Many teams face the high price of airfare along with room, board, and the occasional souvenir. Even more are simply in need of money for basic equipment and operation. Luckily, with a little brainstorming and imagination, creativity can be turned into a well-earned ride to Florida.
One way that many teams raise funds is through T-shirt sales. Nicole Denney, president and founder of No. 6 Kansas Quidditch (Lawrence, KS), said that these are an essential source of revenue for her team. “Our biggest success for fundraising has been T-shirt sales,” Denney said. “We sell them for $15 a shirt. Club members sell them to people and we bring them to events to sell as well as [selling] them online through our email. I’m the one who sends out the shirts from the email orders, and I’ve sent shirts literally all over the country and a few to other countries.”
While the idea may be simple, Denney has clearly found the path to success. Last year, the team made $10,000 in T-shirt sales alone after deciding to attend World Cup V a month before. Over the past three years, Denney has helped raise over $20,000 several different ways, though the T-shirt sales are particularly instrumental in her team’s successful fundraising. “This is my favorite type of fundraising because not only do you make money and it’s easy, people are advertising for your club and wearing your name on a shirt all over the world,” she said. “When we watch KU basketball games on TV, every single game you see a student wearing a Kansas Quidditch shirt and it’s just a great feeling.”
Besides apparel, teams can also channel their inner artist to create unique merchandise to earn cash. Alyssa Michnevitz, Public Relations Chair for No. 12 Hofstra University Quidditch (Hempstead, NY), said her team decided to sell homemade ornaments during the holiday season.
“From November to December we sold homemade snitch ornaments for $5,” Michnevitz said. “We sold over 220 to people at Hofstra, our families, and other quidditch teams.”
One lesson that the team learned and that Michnevitz advises other teams to consider is allowing pre-orders. “One thing we have found to be a successful thing is to have pre-ordering of many products because then we do not over-purchase and waste money,” Michnevitz said. “We sold out of our ornaments at 100 and then had around 120 pre-orders to make.”
This semester, the team will follow up their success by selling car magnets, reading “Catch me if you can.”
If a group is less inclined to sell merchandise, hosting an event is another solution to the sticker shock of World Cup. A popular type of event teams host from coast to coast is kidditch demonstrations and tournaments for elementary schools in their local communities. This event can be modified to fit the size and length of any occasion. Teams have the option of charging admission or a registration fee for children participating.Many teams instead choose to sell concessions or merchandise to those attending.
David Brownman, Director of External Relations at No. 11 Michigan Quidditch (Ann Arbor, MI), said that his team has had success with similar fundraisers. “Everyone loves having quidditch at their elementary or middle school, and even if you provide your service for free, they’re way more likely to buy shirts and stuff,” Brownman said. “I mean, [fundraising is] hard, but in the end, it’s all worth it to get to go to the World Cup.”
No matter how a team fundraises, in the end it will hopefully lead to a once-in-a-lifetime World Cup experience that’s a little easier on everyone’s wallets. Said Audrey Zeldin, captain of No. 31 John Hopkins University Quidditch (Baltimore, MD): “Our biggest fundraiser is selling T-shirts, but we’ve also held good old-fashioned bake-sales which have been fairly successful. We’re also planning a raffle…[but] we’re definitely always on the lookout for new ways to fundraise.”