SPORTS: SnapRaise has been implemented with the purpose of equity and easy use

Although SnapRaise has been present at SCHS for six years, it has become popular among sports teams this year due to the district’s encouragement for all coaches to have a fundraising page. As Title IX compliance becomes a greater priority within SCUSD, the district has looked into multiple fundraising platforms.

The purpose of SnapRaise is to create an environment where people feel like they can contribute and participate despite their economic status. Athletic Director Nelson Gifford believes that SnapRaise has helped accomplish that goal.

“SnapRaise is one that we found that is most accessible and equitable,” Gifford said.

The money teams earn through SnapRaise has opened opportunities for teams to upgrade equipment. Varsity boys basketball coach Brian Van Dyck is looking to make a variety of purchases, including new basketballs, uniforms, whiteboards and conditioning equipment. In past years, Van Dyck has had to limit the amount of athletes on his teams, but he hopes SnapRaise will solve this issue.

“I’m in a sport where we have to cut because we have a limited team,” Van Dyck said. “And now because of the limit of uniforms, I have to cut even more, so that directly impacts athletes.”

Previously, SCHS sports teams have used a variety of fundraising techniques to generate revenue. According to Athletic Director DeeDee Kiyota, past methods include boba fundraisers, gift wrapping and an annual basketball tournament, but none have been more successful than SnapRaise. Gifford added that the biggest game changer is how low-maintenance SnapRaise is, even if the company takes a percentage of the money earned for the teams.

“The 20%, it’s a service that you’re paying for,” Gifford said. “If we went away from that, which we talked about, you can do it, but now you have to do all the work.”

As an athletic director, Kiyota has heard that students dislike the idea of conducting email and text outreach to family and friends in order to receive SnapRaise donations. Junior Grace Calfee pointed out that doing so feels like a bothersome request.

“It’s a little bit awkward,” Calfee said. “A lot of my teammates agree that sometimes you have to let people know ahead of time because it is like you are asking for money.”

Furthermore, Calfee believes the overall idea of SnapRaise is beneficial but noted that the idea of a communal pool of funds can be discouraging.

“A lot of the time with SnapRaise, the money goes to the sports program as a whole,” Calfee said. “So for certain sports, you won’t see that money come back into the sport, which can be frustrating.”

Although some students find it discouraging that funds may not return to the team, the athletic directors mentioned that the money is used to pay for universal costs, including referees, Huddle, Athletic Clearance and playoff costs.

“Everything gets jammed together,” Gifford said. “What we try to do is make sure everyone’s contributing to that overall athletic experience.”

With many new coaches this year, Gifford believes SnapRaise is an easy introductory tool into fundraising.

“The level of entry is low and the accessibility is high,” Gifford said.

Gifford commented that at his previous school, the water polo team raised money for polos to wear on game day to build unity and advertise their sport.

“That (the polos were) such a cool and creative way of one creating unity amongst a team,” Gifford said.

Van Dyck understands that some struggle to open up their wallet but believes it is necessary for the success of athletes.

“The quality of our program and the quality of our equipment really depends on the support we get from both families, relatives and outside, so SnapRaise becomes a vital part of that effort to raise enough funds so our kids have the best equipment and allow them that competitive edge,” Van Dyck said.