Around the country, pickleball clubs and groups host events, pro-ams, exhibitions, round robins, and tournaments to raise money for specific causes and charities, ranging from The Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the local Humane Society, and the local pickleball club and public courts, among others. One pickleball club, the Vernon Pickleball Association of British Columbia, Canada, has even embarked on a campaign to raise $1.2 million to "Raise the Roof" to accommodate first-class indoor pickleball play year-round. In just three weeks after the start of the campaign, the Vernon Pickleball Association has already raised $1 million and is on its way to fulfill its indoor pickleball vision by the end of the 2020 calendar year.
The success of the Vernon Pickleball Association, as well as hundreds of pickleball clubs and groups across the county, is telling to the power of pickleball and the power of the pickleball community. The sport of pickleball and the pickleball community seems to be uniquely positioned to power "good" for the following reasons:
- The culture of pickleball is centered around community, inclusiveness, and social interaction.
- People of all ages, skill sets, backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, religions, races, creeds, etc. can play pickleball together and have fun rallies together on the pickleball court. In other words, the sport of pickleball is welcoming to all, and is an activity that fosters community and corporate engagement.
- Pickleball is relatively inexpensive to play. Only a paddle, ball, net, and a court are necessary to play, and there are thousands of public pickleball courts across the country that are free to use to the public. This helps keep costs down and lowers the threshold for people to participate in the sport of pickleball.
- The pickleball community is passionate and champions for their respective cause(s). This could be due to the fact that the pickleball community is largely 50 years of age and older (and largely retired), so many picklers have the time and funds to be more involved in the sport of pickleball and their respective cause(s).
With that said, the sport of pickleball seems to be the perfect fundraising activity, as pickleball (i) is a sport on a "budget", (ii) is fueled by people that are champions not only for pickleball, but other important causes and charities, (iii) could provide a unique experience for donors, (iv) offers multiple opportunities for fundraisers to engage with donors, and (v) offers an activity that lends to personal, one-on-one engagement with donors.
The sport of pickleball is all about community, which is what causes and charities are all about. As such, the sport of pickleball seems to be a perfect vehicle to help fuel causes, charities, and most importantly, community.
Have you used pickleball to help your organization raise funds for your cause? Share with us in the comments below!