Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges

Budgeting / Finance

Invest in Development Capacity Now - Four Key Steps

During a challenging economic climate is not the time for athletics departments to “pull back” on fundraising efforts because of fear that donors will not be able to give.  Now is the time to do just the opposite.  A bad economic climate gives athletics a new reason to fundraise – the prospect of having to eliminate sports or a reduction in the program’s ability to compete because of funding challenges.  While a large number of people may be reducing their spending, there are always key donors who have the ability to increase their gifts.  Investing in new fundraising staff is really an inv

Ten Tips for Relationship Building

A guest contribution from the President of Imagine Philanthropy...

Whether you are running your own nonprofit, building a sports program or starting a new business, here are my suggested “Top Ten Methods for Success”.  Please note that these are in no particular order although I personally value 1‐4 in people I work with! Success will come sooner when all are done well and consistently.

Q: What are the three characteristics that make up a good fundraiser?

A:  Passion, authenticity and  integrity.  Passion for your program is an essential prerequisite for success.  Being armed with facts that represent the qualities you most value (graduation rates, average team GPA, 100% effort, etc.) and delivering these facts with the energy and enthusiasm that would result in a prospective donor or fan saying, “How can I help?” is the goal.  Authenticity – being exactly who you are, being perceived by others as genuine, without arrogance or feigned interest, is also essential.   People easily detect fakes.  Integrity is all about a commitment to honesty. 

Q: What percent of an athletic director's time should be spent on fundraising?

A:  There are two ways to look at this.  First, your answer might be 100% time because everything an athletic director does should be related to sharing his or her commitment to the brand and selling it to everyone he or she comes into contact with.  If your athletic department staff is 10 or 100, the AD’s responsibility is to motivate every employee to make friends, share contacts and information and motivate others to support the athletics program.  Another way to look at this is to break down the athletics director’s time into segments like fundraising (35%), event management (25%), hiri

Q: Are football and men's basketball programs self-supporting?

No. 'Revenue-producing' and 'profit-generating' are not equivalent terms. Many sports produce revenues, but few produce profits. Revenues are simply the money a team brings in to the school, while profits are the team revenues minus the team's expenses. In fact, 52% (187 of 359) of NCAA Division I and II football programs and 52% (285 of 549) of NCAA Division I and II basketball programs operate with budget deficits, spending more than they bring in and contributing nothing to other sport budgets.