How LeagueApps Is Making Sports Happen in Every Community
By Melissa Wickes
January 31, 2022
If there’s one thing we’ve learned as we enter the third year of the pandemic, it’s that youth sports are a crucial part of every childhood and something we should never take for granted. We believe that every, single child deserves an amazing sports experience.
Unfortunately, youth sports has an accessibility problem.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, studies showed that kids from low-income families were half as likely to participate in youth sports as kids from higher-income families.
In recent months, that divide has grown significantly.
Now more than ever, children need that escape—so we’re kicking our 2022 FundPlay Drive off this week with an ambitious (and exciting!) goal that doubles last year’s results: raising $100,000 for sports-based youth development organizations (SBYDs).
What Is FundPlay?
We created FundPlay to help ensure kids can start and continue playing regardless of their socioeconomic background. Every year through FundPlay, we provide SBYDs with grants for LeagueApps software, giving them the opportunity to manage their programs free of charge and make sports more available to their communities.
We donate 1% of our annual revenue to athletes in underserved communities. Additionally, we provide opportunities for professional development and networking through our NextUp community—so the leaders of the youth sports organizations benefiting these communities have what they need to succeed.
By breaking down these barriers, our hope is that they’ll have more time and resources to invest back into their kids and communities.
What Does FundPlay Drive Do?
Community and giving back is a huge part of local sports and of the LeagueApps culture.
We believe everyone should be able to play sports, but children from underserved communities often miss out on this opportunity. Some of the most impactful youth sports organizations that are most in need of solutions are often the ones least likely to be in a position to adopt it.
We want to be their teammate.
In 2021, we took that to a new level when our team successfully launched #FundPlayDrive during our company-wide LeagueApps OTAs (organized team activities). Forced to host our team event virtually, we were even more determined to bring our community to life and connect with our mission. We exceeded our own expectations and goals and raised $56,830 from more than 500 donors in just 72 hours.
We had little planning and instead relied on a powerful message and the support of our own LeagueApps community. The results were overwhelming; we surpassed our goal and raised $55,000 for our FundPlay partners, as well as an organization that is near and dear to our hearts—Cycle for Survival.
We’re back in 2022. Once again we’ll be coming together as a team in a virtual environment. So we’re going to have even more impact. This time, we’re going to raise $100,000.
About South Bronx United
We’re excited and hopeful that we’ll raise all of that (and more!) this year so we can continue to have a larger impact on underserved communities and bring amazing sports experiences to every child.
The first $50,000 of what we raise this week will go to South Bronx United to help them build a mini soccer pitch. This organization provides athletics, academic support, college access, mentoring, immigration legal services, and more to youth in the South Bronx community.
They have one of the lowest income congressional districts in the country and have 200 kids on a waiting list. Funding this pitch gives direct opportunities for more kids to play.
The remainder will be donated to our other FundPlay partners, which include 110 organizations in 24 states and Washington, D.C., providing opportunities for more than 70,000 youth athletes. Nearly 90% of the grants we donated in 2021 support families and communities of color.
How You Can Get Involved
We can’t do it alone—here are some of the ways you can help us reach our goal:
- Share the fundraiser link with three people you think would be interested in supporting;
- Like or share the LeagueApps social media posts with the hashtag #FundPlayDrive; and/or
- Donate, if you are able. No amount is too small!
With your help, we will be able to provide youth sports organizations in underserved communities with the opportunity to work with more kids.