3 Powerful Ways to build your Non Profit Game Plan– Taking lessons from American Football

Baseball has always been called America’s Favorite Pastime. However, it has also been said that football is America’s passion.

No one can deny that there is something special about American Football – it brings millions of people together every season. But what is so special about football? Why has it been so successful in America? The three powerful lessons nonprofits can learn from American football are: build a team, Accept your Industry’s Free Resources, and utilize strategic promotions.

  1. Build a Team

 Building a team is the first step to any successful nonprofit. The biggest mistake many nonprofits make is at this first step. How? Many nonprofits fail to realize who is on their team! A nonprofit organization’s team is widespread. It includes the staff and board, of course. But it also includes an organization’s donors, sponsors, and volunteers!

“Many nonprofits fail to realize who is on their team!”

In the Wallstreet Journal’s article on Football, the special nature of a football team and how it is comprised is clearly articulated. “[Football] is a microcosm. It is everyone on the same field, pounding and propelling each other, the most mixed workplace we’ve got, the only private industry where people from all economic and ethnic backgrounds compete on an even plain—literally—in the most intense circumstances. Football is teamwork in the way of no other sport. Basketball is five guys, which is a commando unit; baseball is a scattering, each player closed in his own solitude. But football is 11 players acting as one, each having to execute perfectly to win.”

The nonprofit organization is very similarly mixed – nowhere else can you find such a diverse amount of educations, experience, and skill in such an array of positions than you have in the nonprofit world. A donor to your organization can be an art teacher or an engineer. A volunteer can be a young social-justice activist entering into college or a concerned father seasoned with experience and a Ph.D. Your relationship with your sponsor could have begun this year, or it could be as old as the kickoff of your nonprofit. Regardless of mix and regardless of how long a member of your team works with you, this diversified team is a unit. Just like a football team, a nonprofit needs all of its team to exist. Don’t forget about who is on your team!

  1. Accept your Industry’s Free Resources

Now that we have built a team, it is important to utilize what you have at your fingertips: resources!

A good game plan in football is about passing on the legacy of great athleticism from one great player to the next. When players, leadership, or goals change, everything does not start back at square one. There are generations of tradition, knowledge, and strategy that support a football team. It would not make sense for a fresh team with new leadership to think they should reinvent the way football has been played, rules and all, or forsake their city’s name and come up with a new one! No, football teams receive the resources that have been past down from the players and the teams before them. For football, these resources come in the form of structural tradition and team legacy.

“Don’t overlook these tested and tried resources that are at your disposal to build and strengthen your nonprofit”

In the same way, nonprofits should receive the “rules of the field” and the resources that come along with our line of work! Businesses (and nonprofits alike!) have generations of tradition, knowledge, and strategy that support them. Don’t overlook these tested and tried resources that are at your disposal to build and strengthen your nonprofit:

  • Google AdWords
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Media Partners (media sponsorships, press coverage)
  • Press Releases
  1. Utilize The Strategic Promotion of Feelings and Memories

Though football is first and foremost a sport, it is also a corporation that understands how to utilize their service in ways that extend outside of “game day”. In other words, football’s success also comes from an understanding that events are also linked to feelings, which create memories that are everlasting.

Sports Memorabilia embodies the investment of countless late nights glued to the game, decades of commitment, and unending pride.

No matter what market you are (be it a football organization or a nonprofit organization), success comes from the realization that any promotion or fundraiser should extend outside of a single event (“game day” – so to speak). Auction items that speak to the prized feelings and memories will have a lasting effect. No risk auction items like our hall of fame signed helmets is just one way to tap into feelings and memories for your donors that extend outside of the single fundraising night. These items are personal and priceless to the individual who is a diehard Denver Bronco’s fan. Sports Memorabilia embodies the investment of countless late nights glued to the game, decades of commitment, and unending pride. Charity Fundraising can offer you incredible fundraising items that are new, exciting, and will be of interest to your donors at your next non-profit event. Visit www.cfr1.org/ for more information on charity fundraising.