Omni Cheer Blog
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Summertime Guilty Pleasures - June 15, 2018
If Spring is about growth and beginnings, and Fall is about harvest and endings, then Summer is where the MAGIC happens...where things get delicious.
Like a delightful little garlic bulb soaking up the sun, make the most of your summer by daring to indulge in these summertime guilty pleasures:
1. Tan (safely)
Hopefully everyone knows by now the dangers of unprotected UV exposure, but it doesn't hurt to say it again: WEAR SUNSCREEN! SPF 30 or higher. Avoid tanning between the hours 10am and 4pm, when the sun's rays are strongest. Tan only in increments of a half hour, or at most one hour. Flip frequently.
That being said... tanning in the sun is actually safer than a tanning bed! Not to mention the natural vitamin D can help with depression, especially the seasonal affective kind.
Did you know that the watermelon is technically a berry? And the whole berry is edible; rind, seeds, and all! Of course, when you think of watermelon, you're thinking of its juicy fruit. Sun-kissed into sweetness, watermelon is the epitome of summer! It is hydrating, perfect for hot summer days; naturally low-calorie; and loaded with vitamins A, B6, and C! Watermelon is all summer pleasure and no summer guilt...unless you eat a whole melon by yourself, of course.
The classic Root Beer Float is the summer equivalent to a toasty hot chocolate in the wintertime. Sassafras soda has a flavor like nothing else. But here at the Omni Cheer Blog, we've discovered the true secret of the Float: the vanilla ice cream. You can't go wrong with vanilla ice cream and just about any flavor of soda! Try it with orange soda for a magical summertime creamsicle!
Pair vanilla ice cream with any of your favorites from Dr. Pepper to Mountain Dew, to experience: The Float Version.
This year maybe mix it up? Pineapple ice cream with a mango soda sounds like a tropical delight. Oreo ice cream with iced coffee?! Or perhaps a summery sparkling pink lemonade with sherbet. My personal favorite: vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, floating in sweet strawberry soda pop. The chocolate chips are essential. Give it a try! I promise you won't be disappointed.
Naps are so underrated. Since most of us don't usually get the recommended 8+ hours a night anyway, a little nap is hardly something to feel guilty about. And yet, naps are still associated with kindergarten and grandparents only. Want to be alive for a late night party, but tired after a long day? Take a quick 20-30 minute nap for a boost of energy. Completely wiped out after a weekend hike in the sun? Maybe consider an hour or two snooze to heal up. The key to a quick and efficient nap is not getting too comfortable. Try keeping your shoes on if you know you need to jump up and be awake in a short time. Salvador Dali had an interesting way to nap effectively. He would take a spoon in his hand and dangle it off the bed above a ceramic plate. As soon as he fell asleep, the spoon would fall onto the plate, making a sound loud enough to wake him up. It's surprisingly refreshing! But real pleasure is a long and luxurious nap. Take a leaf from a cat's book: find a sunbeam, and sleep in it.
Planning Family Vacations Around Cheer Camp - June 12, 2018
The first day of summer is a week away, which also means the kids are on summer break. For many families, summer is the perfect time to plan a family vacation. The kids are out of school, they don’t have to worry about homework, and you can finally use a few of those vacation days you have accumulated from work. Summer is also cheer camp season, when your cheerleaders spends some time bonding with their team and learning new cheer routines.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate family vacation around cheer camp:
What day is it?
Get a calendar and write out all the dates that you need to remember. Write out when cheer camp starts and ends, the last day of school, the first day of school, and any other important dates you may need. Before booking flights and hotel rooms be sure to know exactly when you have time to go. You do not want to get stuck with a nonrefundable ticket and have to make a choice between cheer camp and vacation. Get you the dates and plan accordingly.
A little tip, especially if you have a teenager don’t go on vacation they day after they return from cheer camp. Give them a few days to get some rest, you don’t need a cranky teenager on a family vacation. You will thank me later!
Go to them.
Maybe time is not on your side and your child's cheer camp is out of state. You can plan a vacation in the same place as cheer camp! Plus, that's one less plane ticket you have to buy! Do some research and see what fun things are available in the area. You might be pleasantly surprised and find some hidden gems in a place you would least expect it. Plus, with that money you saved, can get yourself a much needed massage. After all you deserve it, you did coordinate an entire vacation!
Can't find a week or two to fit in a big family vacation? Don't worry, have a staycation! Family vacations are not about the amount of time you spend together but the quality of the time you spend together. Spend a weekend out camping, rent a cabin, or just stay at a hotel downtown. Go someplace you always wanted to go that was always too out of the way. Maybe a weekend trip to a lake or the river, family vacations do not have to be super complicated and extravagant. Family vacations are all about spending time together as a family, you don’t need to go to Disney World every year to make that happen.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but sometimes your schedule is just too crazy and you can't find one week that everyone has the same time off. We don’t want our kids just sitting at home watching TV all summer, so you might have overbooked their summer activities. So, your only two options are you can either not go on vacation at all, or take advantage of the situation and go without the kids. Hey, the entire summer your kids get to hang out and have fun at summer camp and you have to go to work every day. Don’t feel too bad about taking a few days off without them.
Summer is about enjoying some fun in the sun with your family, but working around multiple busy schedules can make coordinating a vacation difficult. By getting organized and looking at your option in advance you will not only save money but safe yourself some stress. Also remember you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have an amazing family vacation. It really is all about spending some quality time with your family and getting away from the business of our lives for a little bit.
Fourth of July Cheerleader Hacks - June 7, 2018
It might only be June, but everyone’s got their favorite day of summer on the brain…
The Fourth of July!
Independence day, the day the United States gained their independence from Britain, (In case you didn’t know) is one of the most, if not the most important day in American history. While we remember all that was done for our freedom, it’s also the day that seems to officially kick off summer. Sure, you’ve been out of school for a month give or take, but the heat and the long nights are still on their way. What better way to kick it off than fireworks?!
To spice it up this Fourth of July, we’ve got some hacks just for our cheerleaders. Keep reading—the last tidbit will have your squad pumped.
1. The Bow
As a cheerleader, the perfect bow for an occasion is always necessary. This holiday especially, since you want to sparkle with the fireworks! The Fourth of July is the perfect opportunity to get the perfect picture with the back of your bow with a firework in the background. Here are a few perfect Independence Day bows:
Not feeling these bows? A great summer get-together for your team might be a bow making party. There are tons of bow tutorials on Youtube and all around the internet. You can get super crafty and start from scratch with your own ribbon, or you can buy a pre-made ribbon and find adorable glue on additions from your local craft store.
2. Makeup That Pops
Now that you’re all set with your hair accessories, it’s time to move on to makeup. You know all that crazy colored cheer makeup that matches your team colors? You’re probably never going to use it all. If your team colors include red, white, or blue, you’re in luck! There are so many different things you can do with your eye makeup. Blue liner, glitter shadow, a combination of colors…makeup is amazing. You can go crazy with every flag color, or keep it super subtle with blending.
Here’s some awesome Fourth of July makeup inspiration:
3. Turn Your Stunt into a Firework
This idea’s an original, just for you. Many cheer teams have a summer performance of some sort—whether it’s at a local rec center, or even just your performance at cheer camp. Why not go festive with your stunting while everyone is watching?
Try a basket toss with a handful of confetti, or even a confetti blaster. Make sure this is something safe, and something you can do without putting your stunt group’s safety at risk. It can be as simple as loading your flyer with one handful of confetti to throw at the top of her stunt. There’s so many options—did you know there’s something called a confetti high five? You'd just have to clap your hands at the top of your basket toss and boom—you’re the talk of camp for the rest of the week. How awesome would a kick-fold look with a blast of confetti?!
Celebrate America this year to the best of your ability. Show your pride everywhere you can—especially when you have an audience! We hope you have a shimmering, beautiful, safe, Fourth of July.
Summertime Cheer Goals - June 5, 2018
Summer is the season for hitting the beach and indulging in ice cream (uh, and summer reading—while on the beach eating ice cream, of course). It’s also the season for kicking off a new cheer year. While the competitive season takes place in the fall and winter, summer is when cheerleaders prepare for the work ahead.
Everybody has their own goals for what they want to accomplish over the summer, but here are a few ideas of what every cheerleader can hope to achieve over the next few months.
When the weather outside is frightful…being cooped up in the gym for practice isn’t exactly delightful.
After a long winter season of hard work indoors, indulge in summer sunshine and the sweet aroma of freshly-cut grass.
Being able to practice outdoors is something that can be achieved during the summer season through early or mid-fall, depending on where your squad is located. Take advantage of good weather while it lasts! If your squad meets officially with coaches or instructors over the summer for practice or cheer camp, see if you can hold practice on campus grounds, at a park, or even at the beach. Don’t forget your sunblock!
For unofficial meetings, such as captain-led practices to teach incoming members the cheers they’ll need to know for games, the great outdoors is a great option. Meeting at a park can be especially useful, since many games in the fall are outside as well, and cheerleaders can practice their volume and enunciation from one set of bleachers to the other. Beaches, which are more crowded this time of year, may not be the best location for practicing cheering itself.
As an important reminder, if your team is meeting unofficially and there are no coaches or professional supervisors (i.e., a gymnastics instructor or counselor from cheer camp or tumbling practice), do not practice stunts or tumbling alone. Especially on the beach, where the sand increases potential injuries for practicing these types of tricks. Cheerleaders must put safety first. (Pool stunting, we're looking at you!)
Drink More Water
When you work hard, especially outside in the sun, you sweat more, and you need more water. Invest in a water bottle that has a good lid or cap and is small enough to fit in your bag, and take it with you on the go for hydrating at practice or sipping throughout the day. Many water bottles are designed to hold both hot and cold liquids as well, making them useful year-round. can fill up your water bottle at water fountains or ask a barista to use your reusable bottle instead of a disposable cup (hooray for sustainability!).
Water’s ability to hydrate and keep us healthy is important, and water as a beverage choice has its perks, like healthier skin and rejuvenated muscles. If you want to splash up your water with flavor, try adding fresh or frozen fruit or lemons to your water bottle.
Summer is the easiest time of year to want to drink more water. When the sun is strong, somehow nothing tastes better than water. Sip all summer and you’ll find that keeping your water intake up in all other seasons will be easier, too.
Cheer curls dominate competitions, and on the sidelines, high ponytails and half-up-half-down looks are go-tos for squad hairstyles that show off matching bows. When it comes to practice, though, braids are the unsung heroes. French braids are perfect for cheer camp, as they keep hair tightly in place for tumbling and stunting practice. Occasionally braids will appear on sidelines or at competitions as well, and they stand out because so few squads bring them to the mat. Braids are the perfect blend of clean uniformity and creative detail.
Contrary to popular belief, short hair can be braided as well! Depending on the length and cut, it may be a half-up-half-down French braid that keeps hair out of your face or a mini-braid to pin back long bangs and keep them out of your face during practice. Cute and efficient is always a winning combination!
One more reason braiding is a cheer goal? There’s no better way to master braiding techniques than to throw a sleepover with your squad where everyone braids one another’s hair. Team bonding traditions like “curling parties” are less common with the popularity of using hair clips for competitions, but modern cheerleaders can keep the spirit of these events alive with “braiding parties.” Even if practice braids aren’t for your squad, let’s face it, learning how to wind a waterfall braid or master the impossibly cute milkmaid braid can only be a good thing.
What are your summertime cheer goals? Be sure to share!
Keep Calm and Stunt On - May 31, 2018
5, 6, 7, 8
Clap 1, 2, 3, 4
Set 5, 6, 7, 8
Stand 1, 2, 3, 4—
A feeling you know all too well…setting up for your big stunt and hardly getting up due to either wobbly knees, a bad grip, a bad lift, etc…
So many things can go wrong in a cheer stunt. It’s not always going to be your fault, but if it is, we’ve got a couple of notes on how to stay calm when it does fall on you. (No pun intended. Doesn’t it always technically fall on you?)
1) Stay Cool
Don’t panic! Dropping stunts happens all the time to every cheer squad—you definitely aren’t the first. Panicking isn’t going to help anything. Once the stunt has officially fallen, your first order of business has to be safety. If you are a back spot or a base, instead of focusing on the fallen stunt, you need to be focused on making sure you catch your flyer. If you are a flyer, don’t panic! You’ve probably created a great relationship with your stunt group and need to continually trust them.
2) Check on Your Group
Tacking on to that last point, after you have done everything to make sure your stunt falls safely, check to make sure none of your stunt group has fallen injured after the fact. If you are stunting during a full out or a competition, chances are this is something you’re going to have to quickly realize and either move along or let your coach know that someone is injured.
3) Identify What Went Wrong
This point isn’t to say to blame yourself, but rather identify what went wrong so that you can make sure it doesn’t happen during the routine in the future. Your teammates are bound to be more than understanding about a fallen stunt—like we’ve said, it happens to pretty much everyone. If the stunt has dropped during a competition or pep rally, stress is bound to be a bit higher. If a teammate is upset with you, explain what went wrong and that you did your best to save the stunt. Don’t stress!
4) Learn From It
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. While you should be doing your best to get the best score you can or put on the best performance possible, your cheer experience should always be a fun one. All of it is a learning experience, and you're constantly building upon being both the best team and best athlete possible. Take a walk on the positive side of the blue mat and gain from the situation!
Celebrating National Brother's Day - May 23, 2018
Believe it or not, there’s a day designated to celebrate…
That’s right, the guy who spent your entire childhood teasing and annoying you to a pulp must be celebrated. We’re not sure who’s behind this one, but they definitely aren’t to be trusted. Realistically, it was probably just a brother who needed a new video game that was set to be released on May 24th. Any excuse for a gift, right?
Since you might be struggling on this national holiday, here are some ultra-relatable reasons to “celebrate” your brother and their impact on your life.
They Help You Grow
Whether you want to admit it or not, all of that constant annoyance helps you grow as a person. You learn to tolerate it and pick your battles, which at first isn’t easy. Soon enough, you know exactly what they’re doing just to grind your gears, and you learn not to give them the satisfaction of pure annoyance. This doesn’t come naturally, this is a straight-up skill, a skill you would never learn in school. You will be using this one in the future, trust us.
They Protect You From Unwanted Harm
Even if they weren’t there when you were put in an uncomfortable situation, they’re almost guaranteed to offer to hunt the offender down and do unspeakable things to them after the fact. Rarely we take them up on this offer, but it’s nice to know you always have the option. If they were there when the offense took place…best of luck to everyone involved.
They’ve Got Your Back
You probably would not have made it out of those family functions alive without them. When your aunt won’t stop pestering you about what you’re going to do with your life, they’re sure to come steal you and pull you aside for an ultra-competitive game of Uno. (Who’s winning now, Aunt Sherry?!)
They Help You Let Loose (Even When You Don’t Want To)
When you’re grumpy from hours in the car on family vacations, or even just having an off-day at home, your brother is sure to liven you up when you need it the most. Though they’ll most likely just make fun of you for your unwarranted mood, it will end in you realizing that you have nothing to be upset about—you just need some entertainment! Brothers are great for that. If your brother is anything like mine, he’ll probably get down with some silly dance moves to perk you up. Maybe he’ll even grab your pom-poms and put on a show.
(Hint: you are the car, and he is the dancing man. Why is he always so happy?!)
Annoying as they can be, there are a lot of perks to having a brother. Not only are they an extremely entertaining addition to the family, you’ll learn to interact with guys that much better in the future. You’re a pretty lucky sibling, I guess.
If you forgot to give him that new video game, this blog is the perfect stand-in until you can give him a proper noogie—I mean card.
Happy National Brother’s Day!
Cheer Fashions at Prom - May 23, 2018
Somehow, the end of the academic year always feels like a new beginning. Seniors graduate, finals are finished, and straight ahead are summer sunshine, toes in the sand, and (of course) cheer camp. But, before that final paper is graded, there’s one tradition left to wrap up the semester: prom.
Whether you’re attending the prom itself, a semi-formal, or a military ball, there’s something especially exciting about celebrating another school year completed at a formal dance with your friends. High energy, great music, and huge smiles are the domain of cheerleaders, so prom is like your last performance of the year. If your squad wants to incorporate a little extra cheerleader into your prom style, here are some ideas!
Bold Eye Shadow: Cheerleaders are pros at applying dramatic make-up for games and competitions, and there’s no better off-season occasion to show off those skills than prom! The vibrant school color hues that you might not wear everyday but rock on the mat (Hello, Bottle Green and Canary Yellow!) blend better with a party atmosphere like prom, so don’t feel limited to neutral tones. If you prefer neutrals, of course, go for it—you can even glam it up a bit with a little glitter glue and shimmery shadow. If you’re looking for something funky but don’t want to go full-blown bold shadow, consider incorporating a fun color into your liner or mascara, such as the recent blue trend.
Curls and Bows: If you’re more of a DIY person when it comes to styling your hair, why not use your competition curls or ponytails? Especially for cheerleaders with short hair who might want to style their hair differently for prom, cheer extensions are a quick and easy way to achieve spiral curls or a sleek ponytail without battling a straightener or iron. Whether you’re using cheer extensions or your own hair, adding a bow is a nice pop of color as well. Pick out your favorite cheer bow for a little added school spirit (especially great for seniors), or grab a spool of wide ribbon at your local craft store and make a custom bow just for prom (perfect for matching your dress—or the rest of your squad)!
Sneakers: We’ve all seen the pile of discarded shoes twenty minutes into any formal dance. Your favorite song is on the speakers, and you can’t pull of your signature moves in four-inch heels! Instead of going barefoot or using flip-flops, which both run the risk of getting your feet dirty, or worse, stepped on, consider bringing comfy footwear to change into when the dance floor opens up. Cheer sneakers are designed for a snug fit and sleek appearance, so they’ll hide perfectly under your prom dress. Plus, the only thing cuter than a squad photo of everyone pulling back their dresses to reveal matching sneakers is nobody on your squad having blisters and bandages all over your feet the day after the dance.
Polish: OK, to be fair, competition squads don’t wear a lot of cheer polish due to safety and performance rules. However, your nail polish can be an ode to your squad on prom night! Like with bows or shadow, show off your school colors (bonus points for glitter and glow-in-the-dark shades)! You can even add letters, designs, or stickers. These options are available at salons, or you can certainly pick up products at your local drug store to do yourself. DIY nails come with the bonus of the pre-prom manicure party with your friends, too!
Poms: It’s prom, the end of the academic calendar and the most fun night of the school year. Go ahead, bust out the poms. Bring them out to the dance floor and form a cheer circle, especially if the DJ is playing your competition song. Form a tunnel for seniors to run through when they come into the hall, a la homecoming. Throw your poms in the air like graduation caps to say, “We Did It!” You’ve earned it.
Do you have any cheer styles to show off at prom? Be sure to share your favorite looks!
Prepping for Prom - May 17, 2018
Prom season is upon us. When talking about prom there is no middle ground, you are either SUPER excited to go or dreading the day. Either way prom prep can be super stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some simple tips to help you prep for prom:
Getting a date:
If you already have a boyfriend or girlfriend, getting a date to prom is simple. If not, you might be tempted to skip the date ritual all together. Well, don’t! Don’t be afraid to ask someone yourself or go as a group with your cheer squad. If not, you always have the option to invite that one friend who is a blast to hang out with but goes to a different school. Whatever you do, make sure you go! It will be a lot more fun than you think. Plus, going stag means you can dance with whomever you want!
Your carriage awaits:
Now that you have officially decided you are going to prom, you need to figure out how you are going to get there. A horse drawn carriage may be out of the budget, but renting a limo is the typical way to go. Are you going in a large group? Renting a limo for prom is a ton of fun. Plus, it is not too expensive if you split the cost. If a limo isn't your style you can always drive yourself, carpool with friends, or borrow your parent’s car. No matter what you decide, it is best to plan ahead.
Say yes to the dress:
Now is the fun part, dress shopping!!! Before you even think about buying a dress, make sure to look at your schools dress code. You don’t want to find your perfect dress and suddenly not be able to wear it. Ladies, have a blast with it! Try on a bunch of different dresses just for the fun of it, take tons of pictures, and enjoy the day. Be sure to jump around and move around in the dress before you buy it. You want to make sure your dress is dance-proof. You want to be able to be able to dance the night away, not be stuck and unable to move because your dress looks pretty, but isn’t practical.
If you are someone who never wears heels, prom is NOT the day to start. You won’t even make it through dinner, trust me. If you just can’t, and must wear those super cute stilettos, put some socks on and wear those heels every chance you get. You need to break in those shoes before the night of prom. No matter what you decide, keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your purse or the car, just in case. Your feet will thank you!
Hair and Makeup:
If you are going to get your hair and makeup professionally done, you need to plan ahead; those time slots fill up quick. You might not think that makeup counters in the mall will be busy, but prom season always falls around wedding season, and it is BUSY at those makeup counters! Be sure to call and make an appointment ahead of time! You can always do your own hair and makeup with the easy-to-follow tutorials online, but be sure to test them out before the day of prom. Make sure to buy lots of hairspray and bobby pins, you're going to need them!
Plan a fun girl’s day with your cheer squad and get ready together, it's always more fun that way. Plus, who needs to pay a professional hair and makeup artist when you are cheerleaders? You already know how to do the perfect poof, plus: if you can make your hair and makeup look flawless through an entire competition, prom will be a cake walk.
Pre and Post Prom Plans:
There is a lot more to prom than you think. Pre-prom plans should include a meet up location, a place for your parents to embarrass you by taking millions of pictures, and of course: dinner! Again, be sure to make reservations for dinner! There is usually a party or fun activities. Things like bonfires at the beach, bowling, or going to an afterparty. Be sure to have a plan together, be safe, and most of all: don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do.
HAVE FUN! Don’t forget to get your date a corsage or boutonniere. If you're a big dancer, work on some new epic dance moves, you'll figure something out. If nothing else, HAVE FUN! Prom is the best. Don’t let any sort of high school drama stop you from having an awesome night out with your best friends!
All This Pom Pom Circumstance - May 15, 2018
Shake your pom pom! Raise your pom-pon! Pom pom? ...Pompon?!
While I spent my years in high school cheer believing what I was waving around at the crowd to be a pom-pom, I recently discovered others have had something else in mind. With the change in the spelling being as simple as a letter, this is something that seems to leave the cheerleading world in great distress. Being both an ex-cheerleader and a grammar enthusiast, I had to dive in and do some research to discover both the correct usage and history of this word. If you’ve been comfortably enjoying your cheerleading career and hadn’t the slightest clue of this debate, turn back now—you might not like what you see…
There are many different variations of each of the two spellings:
· Hyphenated (ie: pom-pom and pom-pon)
· With a space (ie: pom pom and pom pon)
· No spaces (ie: pompom and pompon)
Let’s go back to basics:
Mirriam-Webster defines pom-pom as:
To take it back even further, the etymology (word history) of the word pom-pom is said to be an alteration of the French word pom-pon.
Mirriam-Webster defines pom-pon as:
And now a chrysanthemum, for your reference:
The two definitions prove to be closely related, with pompom having a varied definition to directly define the cheerleading essential.
As for the hyphen or space between words, it seems that there is no agreement across varied resources. Mirriam-Webster uses a hyphen between each spelling, while the Online Etymology Dictionary lists the two without a space or a hyphen. During a quick Google search, you will find that the each word alternates between spellings across even the first page of results.
Here is a graph (Ngram) from Google Books, which pulls together words that occur in a variety of books—English, British English, French, etc.
The graph above shows the spelling of pompom and pompon (with no
space or hyphen), and the popularity of each spelling fluctuates from when it
first appeared in books in the 1800s. Initially, pompom is less frequently used
than pompon, but the spelling of pompom jumps into popularity in the 1900s. It
is surpassed again shortly after 1910, and the two are almost even around 1980,
but by the end of the graph we are shown that pompon’s usage in books has slowly plummeted by the 2000’s.
It is clear that currently pompom is more commonly seen than the word pompon, which would explain the surprise (mine included) when some notice the difference—often mistaken for a typo. The initial word pompon seemed to originate with no space between the two words, which may be a good idea to stick with, for peace of mind. However, it seems that the words themselves have become interchangeable (with pompom being the current leader), and the hyphen or space will have to be up to you. With that being said, I would be prepared with a folder and evidence on deck if you plan on consistently using the word pompon around your teammates. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Unfortunately, this debate remains inconclusive. The bright side is, it looks like however you choose to spell it or say it, you hold endless pom-pom freedom. Maybe we should just stick to spirit fingers after all.
Strategies and Ideas for Fundraising - May 14, 2018
Bottom line: your
school doesn't have enough money to give you everything you need.
At some at point, you're going to have to take your destiny into your own hands. Fund-raising is how you and your teammates are going to make your dreams become reality. And the victory will be that much sweeter when you've won it yourselves through hard work.
Fund-raising is definitely a challenge. Convincing people to part with their money is no small feat. First and foremost, you have to motivate yourselves. Bring your A-game!
Make sure to have a detailed account of everything you need funds for. Keep your eyes on the prize! Does your squad need new uniforms, new poms, or new shoes? Are you going to Nationals and need money for transportation? I'm sure you can think of plenty of things your team could benefit from spending money on! When you keep your goal in mind, it's easier to muster the courage to keep working. It isn't just the organizer's responsibility to keep everyone on task. You've got to want your goal enough to put in the work.
Decide how much money you need to raise. While you could just fund-raise as much as you can, it's actually better to set a specific goal. When you have an actual number to achieve, it's realistic and therefore doable. Plus, it's a great selling point: “We're only X away from making our goal!”
Now that you have a mission, how are you actually going to raise the funds? There are two schools of thought:
1) You can ask for money directly. This is the fastest and arguably the easiest way, but it does rely on your ability to convince people to care enough about your cause to donate. It's pure salesmanship. But if you have enough girls with a strong support group, and a reasonable goal, you can knock it out with a direct money fund-raiser.
The best way to make money directly is with Omni Cheer's Fun 2 Raise cards. They combine the ease of direct cash fund-raising and the fun of scratcher cards! Once you've convinced someone to donate, they get to scratch off a couple of boxes on your Fun 2 Raise card. The boxes have values ranging from $.75 to $3.00, and once you've gotten all 125 boxes scratched off, you've raised $250 dollars! This is not only an easy and direct way to fund-raise, but you can order as many cards as you need to meet your specific goal.
2) The other way to raise funds is to offer a good or service. The key here is to charge more money than it takes you to produce the good or service, in order to make a profit. What are you guys good at? What do you already enjoy doing? Maybe you could all bake something sweet or cook something delicious, and have a bake sale or cook off! Do you and your teammates have an excess of clothes, books, or other items? Hold a book swap, clothes exchange, or giant yard sale! If there is a big holiday coming up like Christmas, play into that and sell seasonal items. Summer time? Throw a pool party! If you choose to do an event type fund raise, keep these things in mind: You'll raise money through an entrance fee plus costs of sales. The location for the event must be secured, and that costs money itself; try to make a deal with the venue to save on costs. Rely on volunteer labor from your team and family to make the event happen.
Here's a tip: fund-raise in uniform; it will catch peoples' attention!
Your very first market is going to be your immediate family and friends. Ask everyone you know – they'll be more inclined to help than total strangers! Now is the time to cash in favors. Next market would be your community, specifically people involved in cheer. Besides your family (who loves you), who else would care? Who is most likely to respond to your pitch? Seek out corporate help, and target stores where cheerleaders shop. Your school's alumni cheerleaders are definitely a good lead to investigate.
Also, don't forget about internet marketing! Social media is a great tool for fundraising. Post a photo of those new uniforms you want on Instagram, take a Snap of what you're selling, make posts on Facebook and your Facebook groups.
Just keep in mind: when it comes to raising funds, nothing is better than word of mouth. People might consider donating when they read about your plight, but it's just too easy to get immediately distracted. One person putting money in your hand today is better than ten people reading about it and thinking “maybe later.”
You've got the goal, you've got the plan. Now you just have to stay on track! Reiterate your goals weekly, and keep track of your progress. Give kudos to your teammates and brag about your own accomplishments. Salesmanship is an impressive skill! It blends public speaking with business sense and marketing. Remember, the experience of fundraising can be harrowing, but you will surely learn a lot about communication, planning, and tenacity!