Looking for sports fundraising ideas for your organization? Tired of the same old fundraisers? Learn from Utah’s very own National Ability Center’s “Summit Challenge”.

Perhaps your sports team has tried to raise money before. For instance Fundraisingzone.com lists many popular sports fundraiser ideas for teams including the traditional:

– Bake sales
– Yard sales
– Car wash
– Cookie dough sale
– Popcorn fundraising

Each of these have been effective ways to raise funds for youth sports teams all over the USA. However, If you are looking for something that exercises the body and spirit look no further than Utah’s very own NAC.

What can we learn from the National Abilities Complex?

The National Abilities Complex, located near Park City, is a 26-acre adaptive outdoor recreation center for persons of all abilities. Military members make up one-third of the NAC’s clients, those on the Autism Spectrum make up another third, and people with any impairment make up the balance.

Since the Covid pandemic this will be the first year all of its programs will be running.

sports fundraising ideas featuring Summit Challenges. Go climb mount Nebo!
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The Summit Challenge, the NAC’s annual fundraiser, will also take place. The challenge consists of an 800-person bicycle ride through Summit County, with competitors choosing between a 16, 50, 80, or 100-mile ride with 10 rest breaks every 10 miles. At the conclusion of the race, there will be a vendor booth where participants can celebrate their accomplishments. The event will take place on August 27, and scholarships worth $4000 will be awarded. The ride will be open to everyone.

Summit Challenge is a fully-supported road ride through the picturesque mountains and valleys of Summit and Wasatch counties. Choose from a 16, 25, 50, 80, or 100-mile course to suit your skill level. All revenues help the National Ability Center and its objective of empowering people of all abilities through sport, recreation, and educational programs that improve self-esteem, confidence, and life skills.

You can get a ticket here: https://summitchallenge100.org

Many other states are using the idea of a summit challenge.

Summit Challenges have become a great way to protect the environment, fight cancer and bring awareness to the plights of communities all over the world.

New Jersey

The Summit Challenge here is described as a once-in-a-lifetime fundraising opportunity. They are rallying the people of New Jersey to combat cancer, a subject that we all care about.

Summit Challengers will compete in a multi-stage obstacle course, which will be surrounded by a food and entertainment festival for teammates, their friends and family to enjoy. The Challengers will raise money for Summit Cares cancer programs, which provide comfort and compassion to cancer patients and their families.

You can sign up for $50 as an individual or as a team. Additionally you get a personal fundraising page that states the fundraising goal you are reaching for. Source: https://takethesummitchallenge.com/


Phoenix Summit Challenge (PSC) is a nationally famous hiking event that invites you to test your physical stamina and mental fortitude. There’s a challenge waiting for you in the PHX7, whether you’re pushing yourself to the limit in the PHX5, taking on your first PSC in the PHX4, or proving there are no restrictions you can’t conquer in the PHX All Abilities. It’s not about being in first place at the Phoenix Summit Challenge; it’s about discovering the challenge within yourself and motivating others to reach new heights. Source: https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/psc


The Oakridge Triple Summit Challenge is the only three day stage trail running race in the state of Oregon!
Oakridge boasts almost 500 miles of densely forested trails, making this an enormous trail stage event in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a trail runner’s dream! Come race on one, two, or all three of these incredible mountain routes, totaling little over 40 miles of racing! Source: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=91456

New Zealand

There is an old saying that says either go big or go home. You can’t go bigger than this! In this Summit Challenge the Kiwis actually climb real mountains for a cause.

  1. Aoraki/Mt Cook
  2. Everest Base Camp
  3. Mt Everest

Imagine climbing the tallest mountain in the world!

Summit Challenge is one of the Himalayan Trust’s annual fundraising events, Sir Edmund and Louise Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust in the 1960s. Ever since then, they’ve inspired New Zealanders to give their time, money and support to help the people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust. All donations go to help the Sherpa families in these communities. Source: https://summitchallenge.org

Lessons you can apply for your own Summit Challenge fundraiser

There is no one right way to do this. Each Summit fundraiser was unique.

  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Obstacle courses

So use your imagination. Furthermore, many incorporated prizes for the winners.

  • Some of these races offer prizes and awards.
  • Some get corporate sponsors that help with the advertising and award prizes to the winners.
  • Customized trophies for the winners in each category.
  • Plenty of food, games and fun for the whole entire family.

Now its up to your sports team. Go climb a mountain near you and raise money for your favorite cause. Make sports fundraising fun again.