Background • Rams have contributed more than $3 million in cash, grants, merchandise and tickets since 1995. • Rams Foundation created in 1997. • In 2001, integrated Foundation and Community Relations department: four full time people plus two interns -- allowing greater layering of resources. • Focused on cornerstone programs.
Team/Foundation Impact? • How does a team/foundation maximize its impact?
How we got started • Conducted research on other sports foundations - not much existed. • Identified outstanding work in Jacksonville, Philadelphia. • Joined local grantmakers group - Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy, St. Louis.
How we got started • Through Jacksonville was introduced to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. • Opportunity to work with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. • Assisted us in increasing our efficiencies, maximizing resources and increasing our impact.
More than Cash • Never be the biggest -- but if we can work together to identify challenges and help address it’s a win-win. • If we can work with corporate and family foundations, we can make a difference.
What we do • Programming/Grantmaking of cornerstone programs • Limited fund-raising • Leverage resources, build awareness and serve as a catalyst for action
How we work • Rams Community Outreach team focuses on youth in the areas of education/literacy, health and recreation. • Uses set of objectives to help narrow partnership focus. • Focus on strategic player involvement with Community Outreach programs. (e.g. Cooperating School Districts “Get Into the Game” character curriculum).
How we work • Have a program coordinator who works with cornerstone program and other NFL community initiatives. • Meeting with each grant partner to learn more about their challenges and brainstorming on ways we might assist. • Technical assistance, suggestions of other partners.
Creating overall plan • Identify all vehicles that can be used to enhance an effort. • Think outside of the box. • Signage, team publications, in stadium announcements and presentations, cash, tickets, merchandise, player involvement, other.
Programs • Community First youth ticket program
Programs • Get Into the Game/Cooperating School Districts
Programs • Youth Football • St. Louis Public Schools Physical Education Program
Programs • Diversity Awareness Partnership
Programs • Healthy Kids at Play with Danforth Foundation/Children’s Hospital
Programs • Rams Reader Team
Programs • Player Programs • Work collaboratively with player and their foundation staff to create programs based up objectives of player
Programs • Examples: • Marshall Faulk Rams 28 Club • Torry Holt Bear Essentials program • Kurt Warner’s First Thing First Foundation
What are the opportunities? • RWJF SPP has helped to link teams together to foster best practices and take sports philanthropy to a new strategic level. • Your team can make a difference in the community, help enhance team image and assist in driving sales/marketing efforts.
How to get started • Use the SPP website -- gives you general information on what many sports teams are doing.
Brainstorming • What are your community’s challenges (teen pregnancy, smoking, illiteracy)? And how can your team help? • What types of issues/programs are your owner(s) interested in? • Who else cares about your issue (United Way, local business association, etc.) and how can this be leveraged?
How do you get started? • Convene an internal meeting to identify your resources (financial, in-kind, ownership support, etc.). • Assess community and determine your team’s focus. Align this with your business interests. (e.g. developing a fan base among youth, assisting sponsors, etc.). • Create a simple mission to articulate what you stand for.
How do you get started? • Create measurable objectives. • Develop strategies to meet objectives. • Find the right partners to create win/wins e.g. Cooperating School Districts. • Develop a few programs around your vision and put your resources against them. • Don’t spread yourself too thin.
How do you get started? • Learn to say no. Use a litmus test: If it doesn’t fit your objectives, don’t do it. • Get creative -- call on a group of smart people in your community who can help you identify opportunities. • Don’t be afraid to try something new. • Get out there and get involved.
How do you get started? • Start looking for common ways to work together. • From where you sit, you often have the opportunity to point out common ground to non-profits, funders, etc. and link them together. Do it. It makes you look good!
Feel the Powerand Use it • Power of convening. • Power of information dissemination. • Power of professional philanthropic procedure and staff. • Improve your community by harnessing the power of sports.
Diversity Awareness Partnership • Identified a common community issue -- lack of tolerance. • Research showed that if St. Louisans knew what to do they would try to help. • In 1998, Rams convened a group of non-profits working in this area to brainstorm on ways to help.
Diversity Awareness Partnership • DAP launched to specifically get information to the area and build awareness for the issue and what can be done. • November 2000 • Website launched - www.makeadifferencestlouis.org • Has “What Can I do”, Calendar sections, etc. • Print campaign featuring Rams players
Diversity Awareness Partnership • 2001 - Formed as separate non-profit. • Recruited Cardinals (MLB) and Blues (NHL) to join in program. • Print ads in all team publications • Appearance on poster distributed to all area schools. • CBS affiliate KMOV exclusive sponsor running spots throughout day and in prime time.
Diversity Awareness Partnership • DAP is central coordinating point for trying innovative efforts. • Part of Get Into Game curriculum - character education effort. • Debut of new youth program for kids in 32 middle schools throughout area this fall.
Diversity Awareness Partnership • Results: • More than $700,000 in-kind support - creative, design, printing, advertising space, office space, etc. committed by community. • Recipient of several awards, including “What’s Right with the Region.” • Unprecedented participation from all major league teams.
Results - cont. • High traffic on website. • Large number of inquiry calls to join effort -- St. Louis Quest - women’s volleyball team most recent. • Partners have seen increased calls, requests for services/information. • Effective way to tie in sponsors - Edward Jones Youth program, EDS for website etc.
What does this mean for you? • Identify a common issue. • Be a convener. • Position your organization as a lead facilitator. • Know your intangible assets (tickets, players, staff, relationships) and use them to your advantage (e.g. printing, sponsor ties etc.)
With some focus, your organization can make an impact in the community while improving image and helping to increase the bottom line. • Packet includes summary of steps taken for DAP project specifically - Use as a formula for your thinking on any major effort!