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Crew is a very expensive sport — equipment costs alone range from $1,000 (one Concept2 erg) to $40,000 (a new 8-person shell), and on top of equipment purchases, Fairfax County teams must also pay for their own insurance, boat storage, excellent coaching staff, etc, etc, etc. On average, it costs high school rowing clubs in our area $1,450 per teammate to launch a successful team.

Rowing is a club sport in Fairfax County, and Oakton Crew receives no funding or financial support from OHS or from Fairfax County Public Schools.

Oakton Crew therefore has a choice: raise dues to cover costs, or ask for everyone to pitch in and help raise funds together across a wider field.  We have successfully chosen the latter path for many years: it helps families keep costs lower, it builds team spirit, and it works!  But it only works if everyone does their share.  Fundraising is the lifeblood of a team, and continued financial support from donors is crucial for Oakton Crew to develop and thrive.


Every teammate is expected to meet a minimum fundraising amount as outlined in the Membership Commitment. While you can fundraise on your own in any way you’d like (i.e., helping your neighbors, cat-sitting, washing cars, whatever floats your boat), our Crew Fundraising Committee sets up group options each year to help students meet their requirements. If you’re interested in helping out with fundraising activities, please send an email to fundraising@oaktoncrew.com to volunteer.

TEAMMATES MAY ALSO OPT OUT OF FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES BY PAYING THE FUNDRAISING COMMITMENT AMOUNT IN FULL. Fundraising payments are tax deductible; membership dues unfortunately are not.


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Saturday, JAN 12, 2019, 8 to 11 a.m.
James Madison High School Cafeteria

The First Annual Battle of Vienna Indoor Rowing Competition between Oakton Crew and James Madison Crew is ON — this is not only an exciting way for the two Vienna high schools to compete ahead of racing season, it’s a great opportunity for teammates to meet your fundraising requirements for the year.  

HOW THE COMPETITION WORKS: The Erg-a-Thon will take the place of regular practice on January 12th, and the entire team is expected to participate.  Each rower will complete a 20-minute erg piece, totaling as many meters as you can reasonably finish in that timeframe.  At the end of the competition, the TEAM AVERAGE will be compared to Madison’s team average, and the winner gets friendly bragging rights until next year’s competition, which we will host.  

HOW THE FUNDRAISING WORKS:  Ask your family, friends, neighbors, dentist, dog walker, whomever, to sponsor you per meter, or for a flat donation amount.  For the per meter donation, think about how many meters you can feasibly row in 20 minutes and make a suggested per meter amount.

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Coxswains can participate in a 500-meter Coxswains’ Challenge so all teammates have an opportunity to use this event for fundraising as well as team-building.  

Donors may opt to give a flat donation in any amount, or can ask to cap their total in case you go on a monster run and row 50,000 meters.  When asking for donations, make sure to let donors know that Oakton Crew is a non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible — Oakton Crew can provide receipts to the address provided by the donor.  

After the competition, total how many meters you’ve rowed, and go back to your donors to collect pledges.  Payment can be by cash or check made payable to OCCBC, or donors may visit the Crew Store and donate by credit card (requires payment in increments of $10, so ask them to round up to the nearest amount if they want to charge it).

Corporate Sponsorships:

This season we will be reaching out to businesses and corporations in Oakton, Vienna, and Fairfax for corporate sponsorships, both to promote awareness of our team and to expand options for local funding.  Crew is a sport that requires amazing physical fitness and endurance, mental toughness, and synergy between team members. We know that kids who participate in crew have a different level of understanding of what it means to be “in sync” with your team and to put individual egos aside to work for a stronger whole.  As a result, rowers develop life skills that translate into success in college and work internships, and ultimately into successful careers. Reaching out to locally-based businesses to showcase these strengths builds recognition for Oakton Crew, as well as promoting the benefits of supporting rowing as a high school sport.



The Fundraising Committee will work with team captains to organize small groups of teammates, who will then arrange to meet with company representatives to request sponsorships.  Each team will be accompanied by a coach or Crew parent or guardian, and will give a presentation designed to feature a quick overview of Oakton Crew, highlight the benefits of rowing for high school athletes, and outlining sponsorship opportunities to support Oakton Crew’s continued success.  

We are asking parents and extended families of our rowers to step up and provide our team with warm introductions to marketing, human resources, and community outreach departments of local businesses or regional corporations where you work, or where you have a personal connection or lead.  Our committee and teammates will take it from there!

If a parent lead within a company generates a corporate sponsorship of over $500, that sponsorship can be credited in part toward the fundraising obligation for a teammate (the teammate is expected to participate in the team presentation to that company for full credit).  For parents of siblings, a lead generating a donation of over $1,000 can credit two teammates.


Building on the success of last year’s eTeamSponsor email campaign, this year the Fundraising committee will be setting up options for donations through our own web store, and teammates will be provided with sample language to send their own emails to family and friends seeking donations.  By organizing the campaign ‘in house’ this year, we will reduce the administrative costs and hopefully generate more revenue for Crew. Teammates who do not wish to raise funds through Erg-a-Thon sponsorships can use the email campaign guidelines to work toward their fundraising obligations, or can use a combination of both individual fundraising options to meet the minimum required for support this season.  

For the email campaign, individual donations of over $350 will be eligible for a donor gift such as a specialty tee shirt or a branded coffee tumbler.  The email campaign will launch in late January and run through the end of March. Check back for details soon!

I have a great idea for a fundraiser. What can I do?

Wonderful! The first step is to contact our Fundraising VP: fundraising@oaktoncrew.com to discuss options for putting your plan in motion.