Fundraising Tips: Raise More Cash at the Concession Stand

One of the most under utilized sources of fund raising for schools and sports leagues is the concession stand. Large or small, the concession stand can quickly become a ready source for cash, and an enhancement to any school, sporting or outdoor musical event. If you don’t have a facility, start small. Set up a table and sell bottles of water and granola bars! You’ll be surprised how fast your fund raising efforts will add up. Follow these tips for running a successful concession stand at your school or league field!

1. Appoint a Committee Chair or Leader
The person in charge will organize and oversee all concession activities including gathering a team to help recruit volunteers, appointing someone to be in charge of keeping the concession stand well stocked and clean, and keeping track of funds.

2. Gather a sufficient volunteer staff
To make sure you have enough inventory to sell and enough people to help, use VolunteerSpot to schedule volunteers. Volunteers can choose their shifts and items to bring and will received an automatic email to remind them of their commitments.

3.  Proper paperwork
In many cases, a concession stand must have a manager that has attended a Food Safety Workshop recognized by the Health Department. Some municipalities also require permits for selling and preparing food. Check with your city and local health department for details.

4. Adequate and attractive facility
Even if you start with just a folding table, make sure your concession stand looks appealing. Use an attractive tablecloth and ask students to help you decorate the table or concession stand with your team's colors and logo to remind people that they are supporting the team. This also helps parents and community members feel they are part of something special. In return, they are more apt to give back by volunteering or assisting in other activities that benefit the program. This sense of belonging creates a positive environment which makes each sporting event feel special.

5.  Friendly service
Train your volunteers in customer service. A simple “Hello, how can I help you?” and “Thank you” can go a long way in getting repeat customers!

6.  Consistent food and price menu
The most popular snack foods are nachos, popcorn, pickles, candy, gum, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. Colas, sports drinks, hot chocolate, and coffee are also popular. Identify a specialty item that people look forward to and can only get at your concession stand, like specially filled cupcakes from a local bakery. If team play is during prime meal hours, consider selling more substantial options like pizza, sandwiches and hot dogs. Establish and stick with a consistent menu so people know what to expect. Each year, analyze what sold well last season, and make adjustments accordingly.

7) Healthy food options
Offering healthy food options at the concession stand might take a little more work, but since the concession stand often provides the family’s evening meal, and many families have dietary restrictions to consider, offering healthy options is worth the extra effort. Here are some tips for adding healthier options at your school’s concession stand:Deli sandwiches 
  • Light mayo for sandwiches
  • Granola bars and dried fruit bars
  • Baked Lays and Sun-chips
  • Dairy free fruit bars or sorbet
  • Trail mix
  • Veggie pizza
If you don’t already have a concession stand at your school or league playing field, think about starting one! It’s not much work and the payoff can be a life saver for your school’s sports teams or music program. Use VolunteerSpot's fee and easy scheduler to keep track of volunteers!



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