There are lots of good ideas out there for fundraising, and we have tried a lot of them over the years. To evauate how well a fundraiser worked for us we divided our net profit by the number of person-hours (cant' say man-hours anymore) involved to see what our hourly rate was. We did the professional sports team concession for a couple of years until we found out we averaged $7.00 an hour when taking into account the drive time (45 min. each way), set up and teardown/cleanup time, etc. Direct selling (cookie dough, flowers, gift wrap, all that stuff) is harder to measure because of the time involved, and vaires a lot from sale to sale, but it does better. The only problem here is that you need to keep finding new customers. Grandparents and neighbors can only bake so many cookies.
The best return we get is from hosting a meet -especially if you can get a state meet. We have been has high as $25.00 an hour from a meet.
IMHO the success of any fundraiser depends on the committment of the people involved. No matter how good the product or program is, you have to have the involvement of the whole group to make it work. There is one other upside to fundraising, and that is it does bring the parents together. Working as a group for a common goal tends to build gym friendships and team spirit and support that can't be measured in dollars, but that will be very important to the team. Good luck with whatever project you decide to do.