Grace Preparatory Academy (Grace Prep) is a small, Christian private school in Arlington, Texas and one of the newest members of the ScoreVision family. They installed LED video scoreboards powered by ScoreVision's software in their brand-new collegiate-sized gymnasium. We introduced their incredible story in our last blog post, which you can read here or watch in our video below.

As a small private school in a middle-class area, generating revenue to support their students was a very important consideration for Grace Prep. However, traditional gymnasium advertising wasn’t going to cut it. “Having such a nice, new facility, we didn’t want banners, flags, or signage littering our space,” said Chris Harper, Dean of Advancement. He emphasized the importance of the multimedia features and digital advertising capabilities that he looked for in his search for a scoreboard and scoring solution.

Harper took a very creative approach to generating revenue to pay for Grace Prep’s new multimedia scoreboards. In fact, he was able to raise enough to cover the new LED video scoreboards several times over, which will support their athletic programs for years to come. We compiled his process into 6 simple fundraising tips you can implement in your own school’s fundraising process.

1. Set a fundraising goal

Grace Prep simply wanted enough sponsorships to pay for the multimedia scoreboards, according to Head of School Dr. Marc Evans. Your school’s goal could be to fund some or all of your new ScoreVision system, or even to generate some extra funds to support your athletic and academic programs.

2. Create a fundraising strategy

Harper’s goal was to create collegiate-level game experiences where “students want to come play and patrons want to come watch a game.” He knew that a collegiate-level game experience would attract more fans and lead to additional revenue from ticket sales and concession stand purchases.

3. Consult with ScoreVision’s Digital Media Sales team

ScoreVision provides helpful sports fundraising services to help you generate revenue with your software and multimedia scoreboards. We empower you with resources and materials to take to local businesses and community supporters, and then we help you secure those sponsorships.

4. Tailor your sponsorship materials

ScoreVision provided Harper with proven sponsorship packages and materials. He customized them to his community and school by making some slight changes to the packages based on what he knew his potential sponsors would be interested in.

5. Call on your leads

Harper first reached out to vendors that the school already worked with, which had a very high success rate. But he didn’t stop there. He then reached out to businesses that had ties to the school’s students, parents, and staff members. Finally, he reached out to other local businesses that had no direct ties to the school.

6. Underpromise and overdeliver

Though Harper made good on the benefits he promised, he took this extra (optional) step which helped Grace Prep generate nearly half a million dollars in sponsorship revenue. Harper added in additional, unexpected benefits to his sponsorship packages, including:

  • Writing simple announcer scripts containing promotional content
  • Hosting sponsored theme nights at sporting events
  • Having cheerleaders pass out small, inexpensive branded items like sunglasses, tee shirts, and lip balms
  • Sending weekly email blasts to the school highlighting the sponsors and themes of upcoming games

Harper’s method has been so successful, he wishes he would have charged more for his sponsorship packages. “If I did it over again, I would have charged double for the top-tier Champion sponsorship ($20,000 instead of $10,000) because our sponsors have been so pleased with how their brand is presented during our game experiences.”

Check out the results:

  • Grace Prep raised over $480,000 over the next 3 years
  • Other revenue sources like ticket sales and concession stand sales increased dramatically due to more engaging game experiences
  • Gatorade and other sponsors made in-kind donations, including $10,000 worth of Gatorade and thousands of dollars worth of field turf
  • Grace Prep engaged many local businesses, with 40% of sponsorship revenue coming from their vendor list, 30% coming from businesses with a connection to the school, and a whopping 30% coming from businesses with no prior connection to the school

With the extra revenue raised, they’re “going to have not only a great experience for the students but the residual income to support that experience from now on,” explains Dr. Evans.

Harper emphasized that this is something any school can organize, especially if you utilize the creative ideas of your students. Plus, ScoreVision’s Digital Media Sales team is here to help you raise the revenue you need to pay for your scoreboard system - and then some!

Want to learn more about how ScoreVision’s software and LED video scoreboard system can increase your school’s revenue and elevate the game-time experience? Contact us today!

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