for 5-6 years straight I raised $6,000 a year or more to pay expenses for mostly young schoolage, non-elite lifters travel expenses. We did a couple of car washes a year (once raised $1,250 in 4 hours at a car wash. One of the college lifters had a GF who was very very good looking, and had just gotten her chest "artificially enhanced, and she volunteered to stand out in the intersection in a small bikini holding a sign... I think that had something to do with it.), we sold magazine subscriptions, sold pizzas, candles... did yard work... as a team took out a few tile floors in area businesses in exchange for a donation, even built a rock wall around Rippetoes house in exchange for a donation equal to what he would have had to pay someone else to do it... and on and on... and i put in for grants, hit people up for donations, etc. So it is possible to raise money.
A few years ago we got a $20,000 grant from a local organization. That paid for a lot of plane tickets, motels and gas.
If you keep at it, you will get good at fund raising.