In Long Beach, California, a Little League with a long, rich history, tried something new. Its neglected fields and out-of-date dugouts were in need of attention, but the fundraisers the players had been holding for several years just weren’t making the cut. After sixty years in the making and two Little League World Series championships, Long Beach teams needed a change.
Parent volunteer Demetria Hayward knew that there were over 550 registered players for the season whose family and friends would be willing to support them, but couldn’t always make it to the opening day events. She thought that online fundraising might help increase their revenue, so she came up with the idea for a LBLL “Hit-a-Thon,” where the players could ask for sponsors online and have fun raising money at bat. To her pleasant surprise, Long Beach Little League brought in over $38,000, knocking parent and player expectations out of the park.
“It was amazing,” said Demetria. “This was something we have never done before. Corporate sponsorships are really helpful, but only go so far. People had been on the board for more than ten years and had never seen anything so successful!”
Over 250 players participated in the event, ranging from ages 4-12 years old. Each player had three turns at bat and were awarded prizes for furthest hits in each division. Fans cheered from the sidelines and the players were given the chance to support their team with exciting, friendly competition. Fun prizes like free snack shack drink refills, custom T-shirts and buttons incentivized the kids and made their day extra special.
Before the event, Demetria knew that getting players to register with PledgeStar would be important for the fundraiser’s success. She said that PledgeStar staff support made all the difference in knowing what to do. The PledgeStar team provided Demetria with strategies for getting more players registered online and more pledges from their family and friends, like strategically timed email reminders and easy incentives for participation. The players enjoyed watching the “leaderboard” she said, and she set pizza party prizes for the teams that brought in the most money.
“Emily, our PledgeStar team member, was amazing,” said Demetria. “I would call her while navigating the site and making additions. I can’t tell you how supportive and responsive the PledgeStar team is. It was such a pleasure.”
The decades-old Long Beach Little League has a “laundry list” of things to improve with the money they made at their Hit-A-Thon. They will use the extra money to replant grass, buy new equipment, improve scoreboards, and update batting cages. Players want to be ready to win another Little League World Series Championship, and the fields need to be up-to-par for such a hefty goal.
“The Hit-A-Thon was a tremendous success,” said Demetria. “I would highly recommend any organization to use PledgeStar! Their system takes your fundraising to the next level, times ten!”