We had to scrap our March Newsletter mid-month as the COVID-19 crisis hit the entire world. None of us could have imagined how quickly the world would change with cancelled sports events, school closings, universities evacuated and a complete lock-down in many states. The pandemic has made an enormous (and negative) impact on the health of so many individuals, the financial stability of so many families and the viability of so many businesses.
At a time like this, we all need to come together to help. It has been heartwarming to see how many athletes, owners and sports organizations have stepped up to provide financial support, emotional encouragement and so many other resources to fight the battle and help people impacted by the virus. You can read about these each week in our Sports Philanthropy Newsstand which comes out every Monday. Here is a link to our most recent issue.
The challenges are real. They will be here for a long time. Though we all miss sports, our goals right now are to provide support, encouragement and guidance for all of the organizations in our Network that are impacted by this crisis.
Each organization faces different challenges. These range from engaging youth athletes in a remote environment, maintaining communication with donors and other stakeholders, continuing fundraising and development efforts, cancelling upcoming events and struggling with layoffs of staff.
At this point, none of us have great answers. We are all struggling to figure out how to best adapt to this new lifestyle and how we can support our constituents.
We believe that the best way for us to accomplish this goal is to build community and provide a forum for our organizations and members to interact, learn and develop important skills and strategies which can be applied after the crisis.
Accordingly, we have taken the following steps:
- Launched a free Webinar program that will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the duration of this crisis. This kicks off with a series of Town Hall Meetings starting next Monday, March 30, 2020. These will address the activities that are needed to engage your constituents on a remote basis, discuss funding and fundraising challenges during a crisis, and explore productive ways your organization can use this down time to train your internal staff, Board of Directors and other stakeholders.
You can register for free by clicking the Zoom registration link for the appropriate Webinar. Feel free to share this info with anyone else you think would be interested in participating. Suggestions for other topics are welcome.
- Ramped up production of Podcasts so that we can bring you more insight and additional tips and strategies. Instead of our normal once per week Podcast distribution, we will now be posting new Podcasts three times every week. We have many outstanding contributors who have shared their stories with us, and given us the wisdom of their experiences. We hope you take the opportunity to listen to what has made their organization so successful.
- Created a COVID-19 Resource Page. Our page does NOT provide medical advice about the diagnosis, treatment or cure for the Coronavirus. Instead, we focus on providing you with tips, tools, strategies and other resources which are available for you during this crisis. We have so many outstanding organizations in our Network that have offered these resources and we hope you will utilize them. Please continue to check back as we will continue to add information and resources to this page as we find them. If you have any other information that you would like us to add, please email the information to Roy Kessel at email@example.com.
- Sports Philanthropy Newsstand. We will continue to put out our weekly Sports Philanthropy Newsstand every Monday. This will contain updates and news as well as some of the top stories of the week. Here is a link to our most recent issue. As we have seen from these last few weeks, #SportsPhilanthropyNeverSleeps
We hope that you will take this opportunity to engage with others through our Town Hall Meetings and Webinars. We have so many outstanding people doing fantastic work in their communities. We encourage you to learn from each other, collaborate and emerge from this difficult period even stronger than you were before.
If there are any particular ways that we can provide you with additional support, if we can answer any questions or concerns you have, or if we can put you in touch with others that can help your organization grow, please feel free to reach out to us.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Live generously.
Remember, Sports Philanthropy never sleeps.
Have a grateful month!
Roy Kessel, Founder, Sports Philanthropy Network