Results tagged ‘ Resources ’
Fall Maintenance Checklist
|Perform soil and tissue tests|
|Aerate the field|
|De-thatch or verticut turf|
|Over-seed and top dress the field|
|Fertilize the field|
|Apply post-emergent herbicides|
|Add ground limestone every other year|
|Complete renovations or reconstruction projects if needed|
It’s tournament time for youth baseball and softball leagues around the U.S. marking the end of another season. Soon, it will be time to start planning for 2013 (heavy sigh…) Before another season sneaks up on us, we would like to offer a few ideas and resource information about a variety of topics that you might find helpful in the operation of your organization. Some will be obvious and commonly used, but we think everything is worth sharing as a refresher or for those who are new to the team.
To kick things off, let’s start at the very beginning: promotion and advertising.
No matter what methods of promotion and advertising you use, fine-tune the message. Emphasize your organization’s accomplishments, number of kids served, retention rate, number of years in operation, what’s new and improved in the program, what’s new and improved at the facility, why it’s good for kids, why it’s good for parents, why it’s such a great program. Brag a little bit.
The Ever Popular School Flyer
Almost every organization we talk to provides flyers to local schools. Who has better access to kids and parents than schools, right? Don’t forget to give a few flyers to your Board members and volunteers to post around town on community bulletin boards in grocery stores, “big box” stores, coffee shops, restaurants, the post office, apartment complexes, churches, etc.
Support Local Business
Local businesses may have more to offer than just financial contributions. A business might be willing to provide space, coupons and freebies for a special registration day to drive foot traffic into its locations. Kick around a few ideas with your sponsors. Where are the popular places that families go on the weekends? This also might be a good way to attract new sponsors that may want to help your program but cannot offer a cash donation.
While we are on the topic of sponsors, ask your sponsors to include your organization in its existing advertising efforts in the newspaper, radio or on TV (i.e. “Proud Sponsor of …” or “Register today for our favorite league, …!”)
On the Radio (and TV)
Many local radio and TV stations announce community happenings. Don’t forget to provide your registration information in advance. Take the time now to create a database of all local media outlets and contact info for community announcements. Email a brief press release. Keep it simple with the who, what, where, when and how.
Bring A Friend
Offer a discount or small gift to past players who bring a friend who hasn’t played before. Give brand new players and parents a bit of recognition (i.e. a button, sticker or patch) to welcome them into the league and make them feel special.
The New Word-of-Mouth
We all are becoming more Internet and social media savvy (whether we like it or not.) Include email addresses in your player and parent database. Create a Facebook page and Twitter account to help inform your families of registration periods, schedules, practices, clinics, etc. Encourage them to pass along the info to other families. Existing players and parents are the best promoters!
Actively Seeking… Partners
Other non-profits and youth service organizations often look for new ways to engage children with sports and recreation. These organizations might include churches, public housing complexes, Boys & Girls Clubs, after-school programs, etc. Make a list of organizations in your community and schedule a brief phone call or coffee meeting during the off-season. Talk about how your organizations might help each other. What do they need that your organization can help with? Invite these organizations to form a team for your league or invite their membership to a free clinic during the winter months.
Make it easier by sharing a few of these tasks with Board members and volunteers. Promoting the program is a team effort!
What other methods of promotion and advertising work for your organization? Please share!
Check back here for more ideas and info in the coming months.
Fundraising is essential for the successful operation of non-profits. Fundraising can be completed in a multitude of ways — from 5K runs, silent auctions and galas to bake sales, car washes and even cold calls.
Non-profits in Major League markets may also turn to MLB Clubs for support. MLB Clubs support many worthwhile causes including health, recreation and education programs. Each team strives to make an impact on the community in which they are located and most provide fundraising opportunities to local organizations.
These opportunities come in many forms, but the most common is “in-kind donations,” of autographed items, game tickets or team merchandise for use as auction and raffle prizes. Other fundraising opportunities include the availability of an informational booth at the stadium for organizations to distribute information and allowing groups to work at the concession stands to earn a portion of the proceeds.
If you would like to learn more about opportunities with nearby MLB Club, here are the steps:
- Visit your MLB home team’s community page. Easiest way is to Google, for example, “the Boston Red Sox Community.” The Community page will tell you everything the Club is doing within the community: the causes they support, the events they host, and the fundraising opportunities they offer.
- Search. Look for the following key words or sections on the community page: “fundraising opportunities,” “in-kind donations,” or anything of the like. Each Club page and opportunities will be different so it’s going to take a little digging around.
- Locate. Find the opportunity that fits your organization’s needs or criteria.
- Apply! If applicable, fill out the electronic form. Most Clubs will ask for the basics about your organization; EIN (federal tax identification number,) year it was started, the type of organization and so forth. You’ll also need to provide a main contact and their information as well as details pertaining to the type of event you are having. Of course, be sure to read through the specific requirements, rules for application, and guidelines completely before submitting your application.
As challenging and rewarding fundraising is, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that your favorite MLB heavy hitters may be willing to help you out. Head over to your team’s community page, do a little digging around and submit your organization for an opportunity. Who knows? You may end up with the hottest item at this year’s auction.
Elizabeth here, reporting on an important topic: volunteerism.
This past weekend, I volunteered at a Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) U.S. Regional tournament, in Newark, New Jersey. Each regional tournament determines the softball, junior baseball and senior baseball winner that will represent their region in the RBI World Series, scheduled for July 31st – August 12th in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minnesota.
One of RBI’s missions is to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth. The New York RBI team needed volunteers to assist with the weekend-long baseball and softball tournaments happening in metro New York. A blast email was sent out to MLB interns, explaining the tournament, specific needs and asking to fill these roles. Four MLB interns were present on Sunday. I was tasked with keeping score, stocking the dugouts with supplies, and providing directions or instructions for participants. There were countless other volunteers who assisted in their roles as athletic trainers, coaches, tournament organizers and concession stand workers.
Many BTF grant recipients have success through the use of hard working volunteers. Tasks include: field maintenance, game organization, travel arrangements and the many other details that fall upon a sports league. Recruiting and retaining volunteers is difficult, yet valuable. As stated by Katie Ringel, the Coordinator for RBI, “recruiting and maintaining a reliable volunteer corps is crucial to the success of almost any non-profit organization. Utilizing volunteers not only increases the community impact of the organization; it also allows more of the financial resources to be used for the overall mission of the organization.”
Below are a few tips, with some help from The Girl Scouts of America:
- Be specific. Tell people what you want them to do before you recruit them.
- Be honest. Confirm the time and effort the role will entail.
- Define the situation. Provide information regarding any training, supervision and support.
- Identify the positives.
- Just ask – send out a blast email, reach out to your local college or high school, ask your neighbors, post fliers or call those in your address book.
From my own experience, the act of volunteering has always been enlightening. I have gained access to new organizations, met new friends and learned countless lessons. Ms. Ringel continues, “If you are able to demonstrate how volunteers will clearly and directly contribute to the success of the organization, they are far more likely to feel a connection that will give them reason to come back.”
If you’re in need of volunteers, remember the tips above and if you want to volunteer, consider reaching out to a local youth baseball or softball team or organization!