Where does the money go? What do we intend to do with funds raised? Answers to your questions…
Why girls aged 12 to 19?
By age 14, girls drop out of sport activities at twice the rate of boys (source: 1. Girls drop-out at different rates depending on where they live. Sabo, D. and Veliz, P. (2008). Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America. East Meadow, NY: Women’s Sports Foundation.) We know that participation in sports can provide many positive benefits to young women and their communities, including improved body image, self-confidence, leadership skills, and more. We want to make these opportunities more available to girls in their teens.
We also have anecdotal evidence from many junior leagues that it is more challenging to retain skaters in their teens. Specifically, while their younger skater programs are active, they have a harder time filling their teenage practice groups. This suggests roller derby is not immune to the problem of teen girls dropping out.
How will Girls on Track spend the money you raise?
Our goal is ultimately to distribute as much as 95% of the funds raised by donation and merchandise sales to relevant organizations by way of grants (determined by an application process). The remaining ~ 5% will cover things like legal filings, web hosting, and other unavoidable administration costs.
In our first year, we do have some start-up costs that will limit the percentage invested in organizations. As a result, our expected outcome in our first year is likely to be much lower than 95%. But our Board is working hard to ensure that as much as possible our services, marketing, and other costs are covered by in-kind donations.
Is this basically a scholarship?
We aim to provide funding to organizations, rather than individuals. Our goal is to improve access and awareness for as many teenage girls as possible, and we believe that by channelling support, resources, and financial aid into organizations already working toward those goals, we can multiply our impact.
What about funding for co-ed junior roller derby?
If an applicant promotes access to roller derby participation, or spreads awareness of roller derby participation to girls, they will qualify. However, our specific focus is to address the documented discrepancy in sport participation between boys and girls, which determines our focus on girls’ roller derby (including gender-unrestricted derby).
How can someone apply for funding from Girls on Track?
We are still working on raising awareness and our first round of funds, so we’re not yet ready to accept applications. However, the process will look something like this:
Call for applications — Tell us what program or project you are working on, how much money you need to make it happen, and how it will spread access to, or awareness of roller derby for girls.
Review of applications — our Board of Directors and Advisory Board will review the applications received, and choose as many deserving programs to fund as we can. Wherever possible and relevant to the application, we will also work within our network to connect applicants with items such as gear below retail that can help them achieve their best outcomes.
Gear grants or other consumables — Where items like loaner gear for new skaters and other such items are part of a grant application, we will work with the recipient to develop practices and procedures within their organization to minimize loss of inventory. We will do our best to ensure that donations of physical items are not ‘one and done’ but being maintained in such a way as to provide benefit to the maximum number of skaters, over as long a period as reasonable.
Distribution of funds — Grant winners will be notified. Our team will work with the recipients to pay out funds using accounting best practices to ensure the money gets where it’s meant to go. Wherever possible we will make payments directly to suppliers, or provide reimbursements, rather than pay directly to a league or organization.
What is the timeline for all of this?
We anticipate that our initial call for applications will happen in summer or fall 2017, with awards made soon after. We hope to do another round of applications in early 2018, and continue twice per year regularly after that.
Who is eligible to apply for funding?
Anyone can apply, so long as their request for assistance includes an outcome that improves access to or awareness of roller derby for girls aged 12-19, anywhere in the world.
This might include groups like: adult roller derby leagues who run a junior league; independent junior roller derby leagues; junior roller derby tournament programs; programs that bring roller derby demonstrations to local schools; a group wishing to start up a junior roller derby league; other things we have not yet imagined (but we know YOU will!).
Established organizations with a history of good financial governance will likely be scored higher in an evaluation, at least in the initial stages. We’ve all seen startup organizations with the best of intentions fail to get off the ground, and while we would like to support new ventures, we want to ensure that the funds raised from our donors make the maximum possible impact on the ground and on the track.
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Got more questions we haven’t answered? Contact Us. We would love to hear your thoughts.
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