Start a Program
Whether you represent a corporation, foundation, or simply have an interest in making a positive difference in your community, America SCORES can provide you the opportunity to change kids lives through soccer, creative writing, and service-learning!
It is hard work to kick-off an America SCORES affiliate but the pay-off is thousands of smiles on the faces of kids who have never had the chance to play on a team, recite a poem, have a coach, hear someone cheer, or score their first goal…
America SCORES has the following criteria for all of our programs:
- The program must serve public elementary and/or middle schools in an urban community.
- There must be a concentration of lower income households served by your target schools.
- Fifty percent of the program participants must be girls.There should be few recreational programs available to youth in your target neighborhood.
- There should be few, if any, organized soccer programs available to youth.
- There should be few safe and supervised activities for students during after-school hours.
- The schools must desire the program and be willing to support it using their facilities.Soccer fields should be available either on school property or at nearby parks and recreation centers; if necessary, practices can take place inside of school gyms.
- There may be a professional or semi-professional soccer team that can lend their support for training, referees, and tournaments.
If your community fits these criteria, please consider the following five goals for starting a program:
GOAL 1: Identify A Board of Local Leaders.
America SCORES programs all have local educators, writers, soccer players, lawyers, politicians, business people, and other community members who volunteer to serve on their Board of Directors. This Board comes together on a regular basis to help the Executive Director raise money, plan events, and make new contacts to accelerate the program’s growth and success. The Board has the ultimate fiduciary and governance responsibility for the organization. A good start-up board should have at least 5 to 7 active members.
GOAL 2: Secure Start-Up Funding.
America SCORES programs typically cost $250,000 to start. This covers 3-6 months of planning plus the pilot year of programming, including the salaries of an Executive Director and Program Director. Costs also cover hiring and training of coaches, game days, tournaments, writing workshops, and at least one program-wide soccer and/or poetry event. Once this money is raised and your program is up and running, you can invite future donors to see the program so that they keep you growing season after season!
GOAL 3: Hire an Executive Director.
The Executive Director will spearhead the planning phase, raise additional funds, and ready the program.
GOAL 4: Recruit Schools and Coaches.
America SCORES programs start with a cluster of urban schools that are interested in having the program and are willing to pay a nominal annual program fee (usually $1,000). The Executive Director, who lives in the city and knows what neighborhoods could benefit most from the program, will identify partner schools. The Executive Director meets with principals, superintendents and local leaders to secure commitments from local schools. Your SCORES Corps of writing and soccer coaches will be recruited primarily from teachers in these public schools.
GOAL 5: Find Field Space.
Since America SCORES programs serve urban communities, finding suitable, accessible field space is often one of the greatest challenges, but it is surmountable! The best way to explore space is to work with the schools themselves or to work with the Department of Parks and Recreation in your city. Parks Departments are usually eager to allocate space for America SCORES programs because their mission often prioritizes use of parks for kids in the local community.
Now, here’s where we come in! At America SCORES, we believe strongly in the teamwork that we are trying to teach our kids. That’s why we will join you in your efforts to begin an America SCORES program:
If you are a funder, we will help to develop the program by ensuring that your dollars stay in your community and lead to an America SCORES program that speaks to your philanthropic interest in improving the quality of life in your city.
If you are a potential Founding Board Member or Executive Director, we will provide with technical assistance and, if possible, funding and supplies to ensure your success. What’s more, we can include you in the community of America SCORES leaders who have started programs in such major cities as LA, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston.
Here is a sample of the types of assistance we provide:
- 501(C)3 Federal Tax Exemption status
- An Affiliate Replication Guide
- America SCORES Soccer and Writing Curricula
- Team Uniforms
- Fundraising materials
- Complete Administrative/Financial and HR
- Legal/Incorporation support