How do I run a profitable drive-home program?
Drive-home programs are essentially a taxi service without a fare. Riders are given the option of making a donation to the league when they're brought to their destination.
If you're in a smaller community, word of mouth might be good enough to advertise the program. But if you live in a larger centre, your league could advertise in its own tournament programs or website.
Make sure your community is an appropriate size for a drive-home program before you start one. You might not have enough people to use the service, or on the other hand you could have too much difficulty advertising your program in a sea of businesses.
If you've decided to start a drive-home program, one way to let people know about it is to ask local businesses for free advertising as a donation to the league.
For example, the Portage Minor Hockey Association runs a drive-home program in Portage la Prairie, Man., each year during the Christmas season, called Operation Red Nose.
Parents from the league sign up to drive in order to fulfill their mandatory volunteer hours. Members of the community who want to help out can also participate.
The program is in its third year of operation, and makes approximately $3,000-$4,000 a year for the league.
The city of Portage has a population of around 15,000 people, and the program is well-known in the community.