Thursday, 09 July 2020 22:43

Richmond Senior to use crowdfunding site for athletics

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Richmond Senior to use crowdfunding site for athletics File photo - Jimmy McDonald

HAMLET — Richmond Senior High School’s athletic department will soon have a new revenue stream that branches out beyond the county line.

The Richmond County Board of Education on Thursday approved fundraising through Snap! Raise, an online crowdfunding site.

“I think it's a really great opportunity for us to get some funding for our students and also to get the name ‘Richmond County Schools Athletics’ out even more than what it is now,” Associate Superintendent Dennis Quick said while introducing Principal Jim Butler and Athletic Director Rob Ransom to make the pitch.

According to Ransom, using Snap! Raise will allow the school to receive donations from within or outside of the county for individual sports or sports in general.

“The football team would have a Snap! Raise page, track would have a page, baseball would have a page … each team would have a page and a portion of that would go back to general athletics as well,” he said.

Donors would also be able to sponsor individual athletes to provide them with equipment, he added.

Ransom said the department has set a fundraising goal of $30,000 for this year.

“We think we’ll be able to do better than that, actually,” Ransom added.

The way it works, he says, is that each athlete would have an email list and push the campaign out to the people on that list, with the hopes that those send emails regarding the campaign to people on their list.

“Hopefully we can reach pockets that we haven’t tapped into yet,” Ransom said.

Butler said the school’s sports programs’ reach “is pretty large.”

“There are a lot of folks outside of our community that still follow Raider athletics,” Butler said. “And we want to reach out to those people.,” he added, recalling the saying, “Once a Raider, always a Raider.”

According to Butler, when the football team began streaming clips, the school was getting attention from outside the state and the country, including service members.

“We kinda wanted to expand on that because we’re missing out on reaching those folks, and they also want to contribute and be a part of that, too,” Butler said. 

Snap! Raise can serve as a vehicle where Raiders fans can receive information about the teams, watch video clips and buy merchandise, Butler said.

“It’s about reaching out beyond the borders of Richmond County and letting Richmond Senior High School and the Richmond Raiders be a bigger brand, in a sense,” he continued. “Because we do have community members who have left the community who are still very much invested in what we do.

“We want them to be a part of that, so this is a way they can contribute if they choose to and have access to information about Raider athletics.”

Butler said the fundraiser would help the school to maintain the programs, especially since losing out on a lot of gate sales during the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with fall sports being up in the air.

Other regional schools, like Pine Forest and Jack Britt, have “done very well with it,” according to Butler. A lot of major colleges, including Notre Dame, have also seen success, but they have a larger reach, he added.

“Certainly, we’re not so bold as to think we’re Notre Dame, but, we’ll play them if they want to play,” Butler joked. “We do think the expansion’s good.”

According to Ransom, Snap! Raise will take 20% and the school will get 80% — which is better than the 70-30 split most schools get.

“But they’re thinking we can do very well with this, so we got a better rate,” he said.