Volleyball clubs have evolved into one stop shops for athletes to not only develop their volleyball skills, but also to access resources that develop the “whole athlete.” These include strength and performance training, physical therapy, mental training, recruiting assistance, academic guidance, leadership development, and nutrition (to name a few), that all commonly take place in-house at a volleyball/sports facility. These resources, coupled with 8-12 tournaments per year, have significantly driven up the cost to play travel volleyball.
No club director intends for the cost of their travel program to prohibit the opportunity for a player to join their club. Therefore, as the fees for club volleyball increase, there is an intensifying need for clubs to have scholarship programs that allow athletes of all socioeconomic classes to participate.
Here are some steps your club can take to fund a scholarship program.
Secure a place for the Scholarship Funds
Whether your club is a for profit or non for profit organization, one step you can take is to establish a 501c3 to use for the scholarship fund so that the money you raise can go to your club to then distribute to the athletes. Any donations you receive will additionally become a tax deductible donation for the donor. When you create your budget for the year, make sure to include a line item labeled Financial Assistance or Scholarship Program and project the dollar amount that your club can commit to the program. This amount is meant to act as a goal to help your club plan for the upcoming year financially.
Implement a Scholarship Program
The type of program you implement will depend on the needs of your club, as well as your athletes.
Your club can ask for donations to your scholarship fund throughout the year. At the end of the season, if your club is able to give families a credit (typically from travel reconciliation) your club can offer the option to donate their credit to your scholarship program. Also, your club should make an effort to keep in touch with alumni and the alumni families can donate to show their appreciation through an annual gift.
- Reduction in club dues in exchange for volunteer time
Athletes and parents who qualify for your scholarship program can donate their time to help with administrative tasks, club operations or facility related small jobs. Uniform sorting, tournament logistics, the pro shop, front desk, check-in/screening, event set up and concession area are great opportunities for familiar faces who care about your club to be trustworthy and responsible. Set up a weekly or monthly tracking/sign up system to make sure that you have enough people signed up in advance, and you also know how many hours each family is volunteering.
- Leadership Development Program
Athletes who apply and are accepted into this program can be held to certain requirements/expectations that focus on academics, athletics, and social excellence. For example, the athlete must keep their GPA at a certain level, as well as maintain a certain level of performance on the court. The athletes receive volunteer experience as coaches for your youth programs. If your club participates in community service initiatives, these athletes can lead the initiatives for their teams and your club as a whole. In turn, volunteering their time provides valuable leadership opportunities for the athletes. It’s important to have someone on your staff oversee this program to ensure the athletes meet the expectations and have guidance throughout the season.
- Golf Outing
Hosting an annual fundraising event is a fun way to engage your local community and alumni to give back while enjoying a fun get together. If you are organizing an event like this, it is important to set the date at least 3 months in advance. Reach out to the local businesses and to your current members for prize donations or event sponsorships. Here is a sample Income Statement for a one day golf tournament. Your club can also consider a grass volleyball tournament, bingo night, or trivia night as fundraising events for your scholarship program.
SPONSORS $ 12,000.00
HOLE SPONSORS $ 7,000.00
CART SPONSORS $ 400.00
TEAMS $ 9,800.00
SKINS & MULLIGANS NET $ 350.00
PUTTING CONTEST NET $ 285.00
Resort Golf Package (donated for the auction) $ 2,000.00
Flexsteel Sofa (donated for the auction) $ 1,500.00
TOTAL INCOME $ 33,335.00
Save the Date & Postage $ 210.98
Brochure & Postage $ 322.32
Country Club – green fees $ 4,000.00
Country Club – 2 $50 gift cards $ 100.00
155 boxed lunches – $ 930.00
Golf Balls – $ 1,495.01
Golf Tees – $ 27.72
Golf Towels – $ 312.44
Hole & Cart Signs – $ 468.00
Snacks, Drinks, Ice, Coffee, etc. – $ 303.52
Golf Banners & Hand Sanitizer – $ 265.16
Golf Photos – $ 43.91
TOTAL EXPENSES $8,479.06
NET INCOME $ 24,855.94
Create an Application Process
Streamline your scholarship program by creating one place for your families to apply on your website. Create an online form asking for information on the families’ financial situation, and what they can contribute. Have your scholarship program in place by the time you are hosting parent information meetings prior to tryouts.
Depending on your tryout results and how much money you have for scholarships, you may not be able to help every single athlete who applies for financial assistance. However, you will be making a positive difference in your community. In time, the program will grow and your club will play an integral part in making travel volleyball accessible to all socioeconomic classes.
About the Junior Volleyball Association
The Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the growth of youth and junior volleyball through program and resource development, education, and events. The organization was formed in 2006 with a primary focus of being a voice for junior volleyball club directors and coaches, and with nearly 1,300 clubs nationwide is the only organization that is focused entirely on youth and junior volleyball.