The popularity of pickleball has skyrocketed since 2020 with over 36 million people playing the sport. This boom was the result of pickleball being a fun and easy sport that met the social distancing regulations during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Because of its popularity, many recreational clubs and associations are looking to add pickleball courts to their facilities so that the sport can be enjoyed within their communities. In addition, nonprofits and other charity organizations have begun using pickleball fundraisers to raise funds and place a spotlight on their cause.
There are many reasons why this sport is so well-loved. It’s easy to learn, suitable for all ages, and it’s fun! All players need are paddles, a ball, and a court. While the first two may be quite easy to come by, though, a court might be a different story.
Even though the sport is fast-growing in popularity in the U.S., it has not yet become a mainstream sport. This may make it difficult for enthusiasts to come by a pickleball court.
So if you’re looking to add pickleball courts to your facility and are searching for ways to raise funds for this endeavor, you’re in the right place! There are several ways to help fund the construction of pickleball courts and we’ll share them below.
Paying for a brand-new pickleball court doesn’t need to rest squarely on your shoulders. As a recreational facility that can benefit the community, you have the following options available to fund it:
A great start when seeking funding for pickleball courts is the public sector. State, federal, and local governments have various grant programs that cater to community development. As a venue that will cater to the community, pickleball courts can qualify for funding.
To apply, you must meet the requirements of the grant which often includes illustrating how your project meets your local community’s needs. You will include these and other details in a project proposal responding to a public agency callout.
Federal grants that you can look into include the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act. The former redirects some of the funds from oil and gas projects to cultivating recreational spaces and activities within communities.
The Rescue Plan Act was initiated as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although primarily focused on alleviating the impact of the pandemic on communities, the grant also accepts applications for sports facility development in some states.
State-level funding options include those from your respective state’s Department of Natural Resources and the Open Space Lands Acquisition & Development grant.
Although public grants are a fantastic way to get the money to build pickleball courts, grants may only be willing to fund a portion of the amount needed. Bridging the difference will require other fundraising methods.
Crowdfunding, or setting up a donations page dedicated to this effort can go a long way. Money raised through crowdfunding grew by over 30% in 2022.
Not only do digital means like crowdfunds or nonprofit website donations expand the pool of people that can donate, but they also shine a spotlight on your cause.
You can promote it on social media, reaching out to pickleball fans across the digital sphere and sharing more about what the courts can do for your community and the work you do.
Private organizations can be an invaluable resource for fundraising in the nonprofit space. Many businesses have programs in place centered around giving back to society and the communities they operate in. Corporate responsibility and social values have become a primary factor in how consumers decide where to spend their money.
Building a pickleball court improves the community, expands recreational facilities for residents, and serves as a way for organizations to raise funds by hosting pickleball tournaments.
There are three ways that you can approach seeking private sponsorship for the construction process:
For the last approach, it’s important to highlight the positive impact that their contribution would have on the community. It is also key to show how the business can benefit from providing sponsorship. For example, you might include their logos around the court to indicate that they sponsored the court.
You need to have a value proposition that shows how the business gains from helping your cause.
Organizing a fundraiser can be an exciting and effective way to gather funds for pickleball courts. There are many different types of fundraising events to choose from and they all have varying benefits.
There’s a fundraising option out there for any budget, pool of resources, team size, and goal. You can also choose between hosting an in-person or virtual fundraising event.
For example, running an online auction can be a cost-savvy and convenient way to raise funds. With the right auction software, like BiddingOwl, you can manage your virtual auction without any strain, adding auction items and receiving bids all through one system.
The great thing about hosting a fundraiser is that it becomes another way to bring your community together. You can rally your network to build something that benefits them in the long run, too.
Although these are four distinct ways of approaching raising money for pickleball courts, they can co-exist. You can use elements of all four (or two to three) of these methods. It all depends on the resources you have available to you and whether you have a big enough team with enough capacity.
Our best advice is to create a strategy that breaks down your efforts into tiers, perhaps focusing on sending in public grants first or setting up a donations page, for example.
BiddingOwl can help you speed up the fundraising process with effortless auctions. Try it today!