How does a team make money?

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
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Bolt52
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How does a team make money?

Post by Bolt52 »

Reading the Forum posts and talking to members of closeby teams it seems to me that many quiz bowl teams seem to have large amounts of funding and cash flow. ERHS participates on par with many schools, ranking either in the middle or high in regional tournaments however will be unable to make a national appearance this year for two reasons:

1. We haven't been able to qualify for national tournaments because whenever a qualifier has come around we were running on limited funds (or this year weather) and
2. Even if we were to qualify we already know that it would be impossible for our team to cough up the $500+ registration alone.

Our entire funds are under $1000 and even though we are in dire need of a buzzer system, playing on one circa 1980 or 90, we have determined that if we were to buy one, our ability to make it to more tournaments would be limited.

We want to know, how does a team make enough funds to make national appearance and also stay up to date with necessary technology? How do teams at other high schools raise funds to go to both regional and national events? And most of all, is there any advice that you can give our team to make a national appearance in coming years (like the best way to host a profitable tournament).

Thank you!
Hunter Whaples
Freshie Class of 2017
Eleanor Roosevelt HS Team A '14

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake.
-GLaDOS

RexSueciae
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by RexSueciae »

If you have a fair number of people and a decent local field, you could host a tournament and take in revenue that way. NAQT and HSAPQ are both national-level question distributors that will gladly sell you a packet of questions for affordable costs. That being said, you'll need people to staff the tournament, although this can be partially alleviated by offering discounts to teams that bring a person who's willing and able to serve as a moderator.

That doesn't mean you can't host non-quizbowl related events to raise a bit of cash. A quick bake sale is usually popular among the general student body and can bring in some dough (no pun intended) as long as you have a few bakers within your ranks.
Vasa Clarke

Maggie Walker '14
Virginia '18
William and Mary '21

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Sniper, No Sniping!
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! »

There's been discussion on this topic before on this forum. I suggest you consider those ideas in addition to the ones you'll see in this thread.

See if parents of club members are willing to make donations to the team fund. Of course, this may be how your team is funded already, but if not, it's a good complementary source of money.
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

Kevin
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Kevin »

Tournaments are a pretty common way to make money. I'd suggest hosting a middle school tournament. It's probably a little bit cheaper than hosting a high school tournament, and it'll be easier for your team to staff it (you won't be fielding any house teams). It also helps grow the game at the middle schools in your area. If there are any college teams nearby, they would probably willing to volunteer so that you'll have some readers with quiz bowl experience.
Kevin Marshall
Coach, Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans, LA (2014-present)
Coach, Chapelle HS, Metairie, LA (2011-2014)
player and/or secretary and/or captain, Tulane Quiz Bowl (2007-2009)

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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Couch's Kingbird »

We host a Trivia Night- three rounds of pub-style trivia, and people pay for admission. The great thing about this is that during the Trivia Night, you can also host a bake sale/raffle (50/50's work pretty well)/other fundraiser. It's also a good way to spread information about your quiz bowl team/quiz bowl in general in your area.
Julia Tong
Darien 2014-2018; Co-Captain 2015-2018
Barnard 2018-2022 (VP Columbia Quiz Bowl)
Member of the Connecticut Quiz Bowl Alliance: ctquizbowl.org

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Sniper, No Sniping!
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! »

George V. Chilingar wrote:We host a Trivia Night- three rounds of pub-style trivia, and people pay for admission. The great thing about this is that during the Trivia Night, you can also host a bake sale/raffle (50/50's work pretty well)/other fundraiser. It's also a good way to spread information about your quiz bowl team/quiz bowl in general in your area.
This is a pretty cool idea, how does your team do this? Is it hosted at your school?
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

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Bolt52
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Bolt52 »

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:George V. Chilingar wrote:
We host a Trivia Night- three rounds of pub-style trivia, and people pay for admission. The great thing about this is that during the Trivia Night, you can also host a bake sale/raffle (50/50's work pretty well)/other fundraiser. It's also a good way to spread information about your quiz bowl team/quiz bowl in general in your area.

This is a pretty cool idea, how does your team do this? Is it hosted at your school?
This does seem like a pretty fun and innovative idea that our team may be interested in. When you say pub-style, do you mean like trivial pursuit? Also, what type of audience do you try to appeal to (students, parents, teachers, general public, etc.)? And how do you convince (especially students) that trivia is a fun passtime that they should give $5.00 or whatever the admission my be?
Hunter Whaples
Freshie Class of 2017
Eleanor Roosevelt HS Team A '14

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake.
-GLaDOS

High Dependency Unit
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by High Dependency Unit »

It is hosted at their school, in the cafeteria.
Michael Borecki
Middlesex Middle '13,
Darien (co-captain) '17,
Bowdoin College (club president) '21
NHBB Regional Coordinator
www.ctquizbowl.org

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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Couch's Kingbird »

Yes, its like Trivial Pursuit. Generally, we write three rounds of ten questions each (Trivial-pursuit style). The audience answers on an answer sheet.
Julia Tong
Darien 2014-2018; Co-Captain 2015-2018
Barnard 2018-2022 (VP Columbia Quiz Bowl)
Member of the Connecticut Quiz Bowl Alliance: ctquizbowl.org

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Huntur
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Huntur »

Bolt52 wrote:
Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:George V. Chilingar wrote:
We host a Trivia Night- three rounds of pub-style trivia, and people pay for admission. The great thing about this is that during the Trivia Night, you can also host a bake sale/raffle (50/50's work pretty well)/other fundraiser. It's also a good way to spread information about your quiz bowl team/quiz bowl in general in your area.

This is a pretty cool idea, how does your team do this? Is it hosted at your school?
This does seem like a pretty fun and innovative idea that our team may be interested in. When you say pub-style, do you mean like trivial pursuit? Also, what type of audience do you try to appeal to (students, parents, teachers, general public, etc.)? And how do you convince (especially students) that trivia is a fun passtime that they should give $5.00 or whatever the admission my be?
I've attended a handful of events like this. One way is to run it like a "traditional open tournament" which is run on easy NAQT questions (MS or IS-A). They charge normal entry fees and run it as a total open. The average attendees are local players home on break, college/high school teams looking to have fun, people who like pub trivia events, and parents. Run it like a standard tournament with your high school players and coaches moderating and scorekeeping. If you can marshal the support, parents can cook lunch and either sell it a low rate (2 Hot Dogs for a $1) or sell pizza/baked goods. Prizes for scorers and winning teams can be donated from local businesses (gift cards, shirts, etc.).

The other way I've seen it done is to do more typical "pub trivia". Essentially, you hand out blank answer sheets with ~20 answer lines. Registered teams (of four or five) fill out their answers as you go through the 20 trivia questions. Collect the sheet at the end and tally scores. Highest scores win a prize (donations!). Again, baked goods are usually a good sell especially if you're hosting after dinner on a school night.

The former is more of a time and resource investment (all-day) versus the latter which is just a few hours after school. There's the potential for more up-front costs with an all-day tournament (printing packets, etc.) as well. However, the payoff for the tournament setting is typically higher at lower participation rates. There's really no need to write questions for either. NAQT will sell easy questions and pub trivia questions can be found online (people like Themes!).

My biggest piece of advice is to advertise it heavily and use local businesses. Put up flyers around your school and local community centers (church, parks, bulletin boards, pubs) and approach local businesses about putting a sign in their front yard. Which leads me to -> You'll be amazed at how many local businesses will support your cause if you bring them an official letter from your coach on school letterhead. They'll donate prizes, allow you to advertise on their electronic signage, and even make monetary donations. In return, mention them at the event, and send them a thank you note afterwards.
Brian Mongilio
Virginia Tech '16, Treasurer 2011-Present
Parkersburg South (WV) '11

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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Great Bustard »

Bolt52 wrote: We want to know, how does a team make enough funds to make national appearance and also stay up to date with necessary technology? How do teams at other high schools raise funds to go to both regional and national events? And most of all, is there any advice that you can give our team to make a national appearance in coming years (like the best way to host a profitable tournament).
First, your priority should be to buy an Anderson Tabletop Officiator Buzzer for about $215. If you play regularly, it will pay for itself in two years. See andersonbuzzersystems.com
Secondly, your cheapest route to Nationals, given your location, would be to play at an National History Bowl qualifier, and then bring a reader to Nationals (in Arlington/DC). That will require virtually nothing in travel and will bring your fees down to the $475 level. If you have 5 people on your team, that's $95 per person to compete at Nationals. There are lots of ways to find $95, but just in general, that's your cheapest way to competing at a National Championship. Also, for NHBB, you can try hitting up your local historical society to help fund you too. Finally, it's easier to qualify for NHBB than other Nationals, so that might allow you to get a jump start on your planning as well.
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

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Cody
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Cody »

Buzzers are not a good investment and should be very far from your first priority. At just the cost of the buzzer, you'd have to play about 43 regular season tournaments to get the discount to match the cost of the buzzer. Spend money on tournaments not money sinks.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16. ACF Treasurer ‘19-20.
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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by Great Bustard »

Well, the better reason to get a functional buzzer is for practicing. But that said, many tournaments offer a $10 discount for a buzzer, and Nationals discounts for buzzers are $25-$50. Obviously, it's a better value the more you expect to be playing. Have you talked with your dean of students / administration about funding for a buzzer? Considering the sums of money spent on athletics, hopefully you could find someone with a sympathetic ear though this is often easier said than done.
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

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Re: How does a team make money?

Post by The Stately Rhododendron »

I'm sure your SGA will give you some money if you ask.
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