How to Create a Budget Plan for a Youth Sports Program

Jeff Porter |
Table Of Contents

Are you tasked with the role of creating the budget for your youth sports program this year? This is an important job. Sports teams juggle several important expenses throughout the year, including uniforms, equipment, sports facilities rentals, sports tournaments, travel fees, league registration and more.

A budget plan for your youth sports program aims to elevate your financial goals and focus on the game. This blog post will help you plan so you can cover your organization's spend throughout the year, fundraise effectively and keep your youth sports team active and thriving. 

What’s the Purpose of a Budget Plan for a Youth Sports Program?


Managing a youth sports program will have its costs. The purpose of a budget plan for your youth sports program is to help you use your finances effectively and efficiently throughout the year.

Your youth sports budget will be a detailed guide to track your spending, income and revenue. This can help you properly manage all incoming or outgoing costs.

Improves Operational Performance

Your budget plan should outline how to operate a sports team based on your expected revenue and expenses. A detailed plan will improve operational performance by keeping things organized, running smoothly and staying within budget. 

Encourages Smarter Financial Planning

Your youth sports budget should cover any forecasted expenses. Identify areas where you can handle your finances better and save or spend more effectively. 

If necessary and unexpected expenses come up, you have somewhere to fall back on to be adaptable to change. Your team and your wallet will thank you later.

Provides a Communication Tool for Parents and Stakeholders

Keep your financial statements organized for the sake of parents and stakeholders–no one is happy about paying unexpected, last-minute fees. A thought-out budget allows both parents and stakeholders to review funds and see exactly where expenses are going.

By planning your budget every year, you’ll have more confidence and transparency for everyone involved. Update parents and stakeholders when costs change and adjust more efficiently and smoothly.

How to Make a Youth Sports Program Budget Plan

Create a budget plan for your youth sports program that you’re proud of and that yields meaningful results. Just like the game, practice makes perfect. 

1. Review Your Program's Financial Background

Plan well by reviewing your sports program’s financial history. How has financial performance been in the last couple of years? What has your organization spent the most on in the last year? 

Create a habit of checking over your program’s financial background every single year after your season ends (or whenever is best) and before you begin registration for the upcoming season for a season of financial success. 

You can get a financial report of your program's spending and earnings using whatever budgeting software or accounting was used to track them throughout the year. Additionally, you can get a financial report if your organization has filed as a 501(c)(3) or used a youth sports grant.

2. Calculate Your Program's Revenue

After reviewing your team's financial history, it's time to calculate your program's revenue for the year. Your revenue is the total of all incoming money that your program receives (or grosses) throughout the year.  

Your budget plan template should begin with the total revenues of each income stream of your program, including things like:

  • Apparel sales
  • Fundraisers
  • Player registration fees
  • Concessions
  • Donations
  • Sponsorships

A formula for finding your total revenue for each of these is to calculate the total number of goods sold or services performed multiplied by your price. 

3. Determine the True Costs Per Player


Determining the true cost per player is a precise way to get a more accurate budget plan for the season for your organization. You can do this by calculating your total expenses throughout the entire year and dividing that number by the number of athletes on your team.

An example would be if your team has 20 players and your total expenses for the year are $10,000. Your cost per player would be $500. 

Upfront costs are just the tip of the iceberg, while ongoing costs throughout the year can accumulate. 

Pro tip: Give yourself a bit of a cushion per player (since estimates aren’t exact).

4. Calculate Fixed Costs

Your fourth step in calculating your budget plan for your youth sports program this year is with fixed costs. 

Fixed costs are expenses that remain constant regardless of how many players you have on your team. In simpler terms, the costs are not directly affected by changes in production volume. 

A common misconception is that fixed costs always remain the same. While fixed costs don't fluctuate with production volume, they can still change over time and will need to be adjusted. Fixed costs may include:

  • Facility rentals
  • Youth sports team insurance
  • Coaching & training fees
  • Website and registration software
  • Indirect youth sports costs (travel for family members, snacks for the team, team celebrations)

5. Calculate Variable Costs

After squaring away your fixed costs, add in your variable costs. These are the costs that will increase as you take on more players. 

Calculating variable costs is necessary to ensure that your profit margin is sufficient and that you have the funds available to cover your operating costs. If you want to increase your profit margin each year, you will most likely have to reduce your variable costs. 

Variable costs include items like:

  • Uniforms
  • Equipment 
  • Concessions
  • Parking 
  • Coach and trainer background checks
  • Registration fees 
  • Travel costs (Food, hotel, transportation)

Tips for Youth Sports Program Budget Management and Reducing Costs

Both players and their parents will appreciate any cost savings you can offer them while wisely planning for the season. Here are some ways to save and manage your youth sports program budget effectively.

Use Event Housing Management Software 

Event housing management involves coordinating and managing the housing needs of your sports tournaments, including: 

  • Finding lodging
  • Negotiating contracts and pricing
  • Managing room blocks
  • Responding to attendee inquiries
  • Keeping the accounting and invoicing processes error-free

Get help organizing reservations, maximizing revenue streams and creating operational efficiencies with EventPipe. EventPipe’s event housing management software can help you:

  • Build an event in less than 10 minutes
  • Select from tens of thousands of hotels using dozens of filters, including room type, distance from venue and amenities
  • Create a customizable booking site that will wow your attendees
  • Monitor pickup in real-time
  • Access all your group block and reservation info in one place

Another great feature of EventPipe is the ability to analyze and track your events. This gives you insight into your financial performance, presents ways to save, spend more effectively and build additional revenue opportunities. 

When it comes to tracking sports tournaments and events, EventPipe is an effective event housing management software that reduces costs for your travel teams. 

Pro tip to consider: If you’d like to outsource room block management completely, consider partnering with a third-party housing company to help you out.

Try an Expense Tracker

An expense tracker is going to be your best friend when it comes to budgeting. Track every single expense with an easy-to-use program like Quickbooks, Expensify or Xero. This makes it easier to see where your money is going and identify any areas where you may be overspending. 

Determine Where You Could Cut Down

Though we hate to admit it, wasting money happens. Are you getting the best deals on uniforms and equipment? Are you getting optimal group hotel rates when traveling with the team? 

Looking at your past expenses from the last couple of years will help you target areas where you could save. You can categorize your expenses to get a clear picture of how much you're spending on essentials versus non-essentials.

Consider Fundraising

It’s very popular for youth sports teams to fundraise throughout the year to help offset any costs. Create fundraising goals and plan a fundraising strategy before your next season begins. 

This proactive approach allows you to budget accordingly, engage team members and their families in the process and establish a roadmap for financial success that ensures all players have the opportunity to participate.

Pro tip: Delegate someone on your board to focus strictly on fundraising and building relationships within your local community.

Form Partnerships

Partnerships are a powerful force and the foundation of a successful fundraising initiative. Always offer people the option to donate or sponsor a player on your team. Add these great opportunities to your team registration forms. Be creative!

After learning the true costs to fund a player, use this information to give parents and the local community the option to "Sponsor a Player" before the season takes off. The money donated doesn't have to cover just this one specific player–it can also go to your operational costs for the entire team.

Pro tip: Offer more than just one option for youth sports sponsorships. Your community wants to get involved and support you in more ways than you know! Write a sponsorship/donation letter, consider grant applications, research youth sports sponsors and continue to engage with your local community!

Monitor Progress Year Over Year 

While you may not be able to aim for perfection, you can aim for progress! Are fewer players registering this year? Are there more donations and fundraising funds than last year? You want to be able to answer these precisely to maximize the impact of your funds. 

It should be quick for your board to identify important areas for improvement within your budget. By monitoring your progress, you can identify where you can improve next. 

Have your Treasurer send a financial update before each board meeting that includes details on expenses, registration progress and any budget shortages the board should be aware of. 

Investigate any overspending as you notice them, try out event management software and continue to test out fundraising. Continue to track progress in your budget template and you'll be able to run your sports team stress-free.

Boost Your Budget By Managing Youth Sports Travel Costs

We hope this article has given you plenty of solid pointers as you create and manage a budget plan for your youth sports program. As you strive to be intentional, see the change in your finances this year and for years to come. 

While youth sports budgeting includes a lot of factors, you can save big if you optimize your travel expenses. EventPipe is here to help take the pressure off. 

With our event management software, you can simplify and manage all the little details from one place. We know how stressful it can be to coordinate accommodations for all your sports event attendees. Juggling hotel blocks, keeping track of attendee details and accessing real-time analytics and reporting can quickly become overwhelming. 

But, it doesn’t have to be. With EventPipe, you can: 

  • Easy event management
  • Customize your booking site
  • Streamline the RFP process
  • Realize additional revenue opportunities

By harnessing the power of EventPipe, you can optimize the accommodation aspect of the sports team management process, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience for everyone. Or, if you’d like to outsource some of this burden, consider partnering with a third-party housing company to do it on your behalf.


Ready to level up your event housing management in 2024?

Chat with our team today.