Non-Profit Thriving With The Help Of FundPlay
July 17, 2019
At LeagueApps, we’re helping make sports happen, and we believe everyone has the right to play. That’s why we started FundPlay.
Through donations of our software, resources, and time, we’re committed to making sports accessible to anyone who wants to play. We’re fortunate to partner with amazing organizations across the country who are fostering a sense of community through sports.
One of those organizations is a long-time partner, and FundPlay grant recipient, RallyCap Sports. The non-profit has developed sports programs specifically designed for children and young adults with special needs. RallyCap’s mission statement speaks to the power of sports, an ideal that is a pillar of our own company.
To gain a deeper understanding of the work RallyCap is engaged in on a daily basis and how they’ve been able to scale their operations, we sat down with their Executive Director, Luke Sims.
How did you come to work for RallyCap?
In 2014, I was a student at Bowling Green State University, which happened to be Paul Hooker’s (RallyCap founder) alma mater. He was attending an alumni event and we struck up a conversation centering around his work with RallyCap and how, in retirement, he’d love to see it grow. I pitched him on the idea of utilizing colleges and universities as a growth strategy. I saw a passionate group of students that were mature enough to champion their own chapters of RallyCap. Additionally, there were facilities on campus which could host RallyCap events, which was critical. Between the volunteer base, facility space and university buy-in, I thought we really had something here.
So in my senior year, Paul gave me the go-ahead and we piloted a new program at BGSU. We experienced a lot of success in that first year. All these awesome kickoff events led to us being recognized as the number one organization on campus. In our first year alone, we grew to over 200 student volunteers and we impacted over 50 families of children with special needs in the Northeast Ohio area. Once I graduated I had an eye on corporate marketing, but Paul made a pitch for me to come on board at RallyCap. And despite it being a small startup, non-profit, it was clear that there was interest from other colleges and universities to grow this thing. I decided to come on board and in June of 2015 and we began to expand, and today we’re at 17 universities spanning from New York to Ohio. We now have a small staff that is working hard to keep that expansion going.
How did LeagueApps play a role in your expansion?
Simply put, we could not have grown without LeagueApps and its technology. When I came on board in 2015, RallyCap was just a small, one chapter organization, and it was all on pen and paper. Trying to keep track of waivers and paperwork for a single chapter was a headache, so it would have been impossible to scale with that model. The difficulty is especially acute for a non-profit that is strapped for resources, both monetarily and in terms of workforce.
As soon as we expanded to a second university, it was vital to move off of paper registrations and find a tech solution. Automating registrations, text alerts, emails, was our top priority, because as a sports organization you need to be able to communicate in real-time.
It was at this point that we found LeagueApps. Needless to say, it has been a wonderful connection for us. In the last couple of years we’ve grown from two chapters to 17, thanks in large part to technology provided by LeagueApps. The platform has provided us the opportunity to easily create websites and registration options for each of our chapters, while keeping everything organized at the national headquarter level. Handling data is vital for our business.
At the end of the day, it makes things so much easier for our organizers and our families to get all the waivers, forms, and registrations squared away quickly so that they can focus on enjoying the experience. We want our families to fall in love with the programming we’re offering so that they come back and share their positive experiences with other people in the community. Eliminating the headaches of paperwork is a big deal in my opinion and LeagueApps is a lifesaver in that department.
Does LeagueApps play a role in volunteer recruitment?
Absolutely it does. We’re trying to work with college volunteers and you’d be surprised how many student organizations make things difficult by relying on paper and pen sign-ups. With LeagueApps the process is simple, in some cases as straightforward as clicking a single button to sign up to volunteer. Setting text alerts for previous volunteers, capturing data to connect with them via email or social media, these are all critical elements of our growth strategy that are powered by LeagueApps. I can’t say enough about the benefits of the platform.
What’s next for RallyCap?
One of our newest and most exciting initiatives is our RallyCap Bikes Project. It started just two years ago in honor of a former volunteer who had passed away. We decided to use the donations collected in her memory to gift five adaptive bikes to students with special needs at the LADACIN Network Schroth School in Ocean Twp, NJ.
The feedback from the families who received these bikes was unanimous – the bikes had a tremendously positive impact on their children with special needs. This led RallyCap to raise the funds needed to gift four more adaptive bikes to people with special needs in Monmouth County in 2018. It’s a program we’re very proud of and looking to continue through fundraising and donations in the future.
To learn more about Fundplay, click the image below or reach out to us directly.