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.)