Following on from our latest blog post ‘Show Me The Money – The Myths And Realities Of Club Sponsorship, Administration And Grants’ and the ensuing interest it generated there was no better platform to build on these funding issues than to make it the topic for our latest #SoccerSpeakUSA chat.
Sponsorship and grants have traditionally been an integral part of club income but the ‘rivers of gold’ dried up when the Global Financial Crisis hit back in 2008. Companies restructured their advertising dollars and clubs were forced to look at alternative funding mechanisms to survive.
Four years later on and we find ourselves discussing emerging trends such as micro-funding, crowdsourcing, in-kind sponsorship and public ownership.
To those that are unfamiliar with the #SoccerSpeakUSA chats – each week we provide a summary of the chat for those that missed it including the top posts from each question. We also announce a weekly ‘Tweeter of the Week’ who will be featured in this summary and goes to the person Soccer Support feels gave the best insights and responses during the hour and embodied what #SoccerSpeakUSA is setting out to achieve.
So show us the money in this week’s Twitter Chat (yes, in that voice)…
WEEK 6 SUMMARY
Q1. What fundraising tips can you provide for clubs out there looking for financial support?
@IT2theDLeon begin with a common method of fundraising strategy with team parents to begin with a grassroots effort
@justkhoai I would advise – publicize any fundraising events early and often! Soccer clubs should also invest in grant writers (volunteer & interns) to help research & write grant proposals.
@futboldaddy It’s all about getting the message out there. Make partnerships & build up a fan base.
Q2. How important is in-kind sponsorship becoming for grassroots clubs?
@futboldaddy It might have to be some of that in the beginning. Need to contact those everyone knows in the community
@IT2theDLeon In-kind still merits awareness and thanks. A honorable mention in a newsletter goes a long way to increase repeats
Q3. Do you or your club actively pursue grants or have a timeline in place to apply when needed?
@futboldaddy Clubs need to be realistic about grants or probably should devote more time/resources to dev. community relationships
@justkhoai Clubs should actively pursue grants as they appear. They also should be networking.
The discussion then moved to success stories and the sheer volume of grants out there. It was mentioned that there was some great workshops at the CalSouth Soccer Nation Expo in LA recently with the slides/videos from these sessions being put up on their website in the next few weeks.
Q4. Do you think micro-funding amongst supporters is a viable future for fundraising?
@theGlobalTeam The Sounders Community Shield was evidence of the ‘effectiveness’ of micro-funding via supporters… efforts for micro funding need/should be targeted to an outcome to inspire supporters to give.
@futboldaddy Absolutely! Probably more effective than grants to be honest. I think it can transfer to soccer.
We then discussed the merits of public ownership and the success stories of the Green Bay Packers. Users then used the San Diego Flash as a soccer team currently replicating this ownership model and the interest being generated by it. For more information check out the story that featured recently in the voiceofsandiego.org article – ‘You Guys Do Wanna Bring Big League Soccer to San Diego’.
Users showed a renewed optimism for club fundraising with new opportunities like micro-funding leading the way. President Obama – although not the pioneer – has been the biggest success story of such fundraising methods, but instead of electing a President we are looking to #GrowTheGame of soccer.
Our favorite example was the hypothetical of ‘if everyone that played soccer contributed 25 cents we would have $6.25m to reinvest into grassroots soccer’ (using the figures from FIFAs big count). Imagine what we could do with that amount of money and the infrastructure in urban centers it could build.
From what we can see there is no comprehensive guide in terms of grants available to clubs. Soccer Support along with some of the great people involved with #SoccerSpeakUSA have been in discussions to create a ‘grants bible’ which we believe would be priceless for the soccer community and will lead to better planning, the creation of more projects and a more community minded approach by our grassroots clubs. If you have any ideas, would like to contribute or simply suggesting grants out there for us to compile them together, please contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org
#GROWTHEGAME TWEETER OF THE WEEK
And so that brings us to the #GrowTheGame Tweeter of the week. This week we had to hand it to @IT2theDLeon – her views on fundraising is to take a principled approach, plan ahead and take a team approach to finding new income streams. We can’t agree with her more on this issue – grant writing is becoming a profession in itself and too many people believe grants are a handout, not an opportunity! @IT2theDLeon has won the right to promote a particular blog, website or team and can redeem this prize by emailing email@example.com or sending @SoccerSupport a DM through Twitter with the details.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK…
#SoccerSpeakUSA returns next week (3/21/12) at the regular time and day of Wednesdays at 4:30pm PST and 7:30PM EST.
The conversation doesn’t stop there though. Fans across the country are encouraged to use the #GrowTheGame hashtag during the week to be linked with other like-minded people and talk all thing soccer.
See you all next week!