2 answers

How can I inspire corporations to invest in community initiatives that will empower youth?

Asked Indian Trail, North Carolina

So many children are missing out on the growth opportunities and empowering experiences provided by team sports programs. The reason? Sports programs are expensive to organize. When parents and guardians are working just to pay bills and put food on the table, they cannot afford to pay for their children to participate in extracurricular activities, let alone find the time to transport children to and from practice with relative ease. My mission is to bring back genuine community and corporate engagement in youth sports. Not just as a sponsoring advertiser, but as an investment into the future. Mentorship through sports has saved my life. I want to give the gift of giving back, and I want those who have means to give to share in that gift as well. #help #children #grow #strong #community-outreach #corporate-social-responsibility

2 answers

Irina’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi David: what an incredible goal you have! Thankfully, it's very much achievable. More and more Fortune 500 companies (who will likely have the most resources to provide for these types of community sports programs) are looking to corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and community investment to really make an impact in their communities.

The best way to involve companies is to directly relate your cause to their mission and goals. For example, since you're focused on sport mentorship, look for companies that are involved in that area and it would make sense for them to get involved—think Nike, Under Armour, REI. This type of community sponsorship will make sense because these companies are all about sports, being active, healthy, and involved.

Now, getting these companies' attention can be a bit difficult—they are swamped with daily requests for money, sponsorship, etc. So the next step after identifying a company would be to show them how it would also benefit them. For example, if you want to start a sports program in a specific area and you know the company is headquartered there or has a large office, talk about how their employees could volunteer and get hands-on experience with the community.

Irina recommends the following next steps:

  • Keep dreaming big.
  • Look into degrees that will help you work with companies and communities (MBA, Public Administration, etc.)

Laura’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Hi David, It's great you were able to find mentorship through team sports and it's so nice to see that you want others to have that experience as well. As Irina mentioned, many large corporations invest a portion of their profits to community initiatives that align with their mission and help address societal problems that their organizations seeks to solve. Many companies are not just looking to provide financial grants, but for ways their employees can engage with the community and use their skills to help address the issues faced in their community. If you have an idea for a program or organization that will address problems faced by society and can integrate how employees can get involved, you can approach organizations that may be interested in helping!

Laura recommends the following next steps:

  • Frame your request/outreach in a way that will benefit the company as well as the community
  • Outline the program you're seeking to create and the problem that it solves
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