The Client

Our Commitment To Serve

The Challenge

Studies* have shown since the late 90’s that event fundraising is the least efficient method of raising funds for charitable causes. In 2016 matters had only gotten worse. Nonprofit spending on events had far outstripped the actual funds going to programs, especially programs providing service to the military, and military families. With the notable exception of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and a few others, nonprofits whose mission was to provide services to cancer patients had gone far past the tipping point of any benefit at all derived from small donors participating in running and like events.

The challenge was not only the methodology, but also the institutions who were so deeply invested in the broken system.

The Solution

With an initial personal investment of $1000, and a blueprint for an online fundraising application unlike anything that had ever existed, we created The Sportsgrants Foundation.

The hypothesis was that small donors who supported friends and family members who solicited donations for a charity run, or other participatory event did not care about the event, and who often had no connection to the nonprofit the funds were being raised for, donated for the singular reason that they were supporting the person, not the expensive event.

The Sportsgrants Foundation was something completely different than anything that had come before in two distinct ways.

First, Sportsgrants was an “agnostic” nonprofit. We spent our own money to create a pool of funds that were then distributed to nonprofits that had programs in place that provided direct benefit to people in need with the contractual obligation to spend 90% of the grants created by Sportsgrants on specific programs with the remaining 10% going to the cost of the program administration.

Second was the creation of what the media later coined the “non-event.” We looked at activities that large numbers of people participated in on a regular basis. Activities like the CrossFit®. With the support of CrossFit, and its founder Greg Glassman, in 2006 we asked CrossFit members worldwide to participate in the Fight Gone Bad workout as teams representing CrossFit gyms. By then, while still operating out of the Ready Shed we’d grown to three paid employees, and by the sixth edition of the Fight Gone Bad fundraising event, and other “non-events,” the Sportsgrants Foundation had created $8.2 million in grants that supported nonprofit programs from the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to The Infant Swim Rescue at a ratio of .10 for every $1 raised at a time when what was termed by Charity Navigator an “outstanding” ratio was .80 spent for every $100 raised through events.

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