The organization works across all sport platforms with the goal of uniting philanthropic endeavors in a common purpose with that purpose being sustainability. Only through collaboration can sustainability be achieved. Where philanthropy is concerned, the organization’s mindset is that no one loses when they participate in philanthropy. Alan is very passionate about the goals of organization as well as the response ASU has received:
“We have received almost universal acceptance of our goals, missions and participation because really it’s a no lose proposition for athletes and sports industry professionals to engage with us. We provide a community that allows for the best practices from experts in every field to share their knowledge. By building that knowledge base and sharing that knowledge base, there is no way an athlete or industry professional can lose by participating. So we have received nearly universal acceptance from them.”
As Scott and Alan continue to network, they are finding universal support across all sports industries because everyone wins when you work together in philanthropy. Although professional athletes tend to be competitive, they are really not in competition when they are trying to make a difference in the world. Furthermore, a little competition can be a good thing because it helps spur action and increased participation.
ASU is working diligently to combat the perception that philanthropists are competing against each other. As Alan puts it:
With any effort and with any organization some of the things you are going to fight is the perception of competition between each other. One of the things that we really try to do is emphasize that look yes in some ways we are all competing for the same resources but in other ways by improving the efficiency of the community in general and the ability to understand what resources are available to you then you all benefit at a higher level.”
Frankly, by sharing efforts with each other, many times you can raise the bar and increase the level of participation from those that would be willing to underwrite causes by raising the profile. When you raise the profile, companies that have a strong social corporate responsibility policy or plan are able to leverage the benefit of their involvement in philanthropy by seeing a greater efficiency of the overall community. Then there is going to be greater financial participation from those partners.”
While there is a certain level of competition, the goal for the community should be the end result and that is what they are working to instill in the community. By sharing efforts with each other, not only do you raise the bar but you pool resources. As Alan put its:
“If you think about it and focus on the end result, and the end result to me is helping that stand alone foundation, if we can help that end result and the foundation remains sustainable then you have a real chance at leaving a legacy. Then we can help impact a community every time that equation hits a positive.
I think the end result really needs to be thought about more. Because every thing that goes from now to the end only makes sense if the end result is held up. My personal goal is to make sure that every professional athlete, every sports personality that we touch, that wants to give back is empowered to do so. To make smart decisions and has access to the right knowledge, individuals, entities, whatever so that they can effect whatever their cause might be.
Everything else in between is the conduit that connects it.”
In order for the philanthropic community to not only survive, but thrive, collaboration is necessary. The philanthropic industry still suffers from a lot of fragmentation. By focusing it’s collective resources, particularly in fundraising, the community can better serve itself and it’s common goals while increasing it’s credibility as a mission.
When philanthropists collaborate, their pool of resources increase which allows them to raise the bar and increase the level of participation by those willing to underwrite specific causes. A bigger platform and profile for the cause leads to increased participation all around especially among corporate partners. Also, increased participation by professional athletes leads to increased participation by those who follow sports. It’s a winning proposition all around. Alan states it best:
“Collaboration is the only way that this community is going to survive. Collaboration is the only way that we are going to be able to service all of the needs that fall under the umbrella of sports philanthropy. Collaboration is really the key word when it comes down to harnessing the best practices and the assets of the entities we are networking with.
Whether that collaboration means service providers, whether that collaboration means higher education platforms, universities, whatever, unions, leagues, associations, agencies or even collaborating with some of the real experts that touch certain parts of the equation like the social media platform they have to be open to this.”
For ASU, the most important word in the sports philanthropic industry is sustainability. Each individual organization has to be honest about how they create that sustainability. One of the goals of ASU is to convince those who are trying to do their own thing to band together with like minded individuals in a specific philanthropic cause. For example, those who are working to eradicate childhood obesity can work together and have far more collective reach, power and impact.
Instead of spending all of their efforts, resources and money on fundraising for the same exact cause, what ASU wants to do is connect those individuals because they are really not in “competition” with each. They gain by sharing each other’s experiences especially those that are truly committed to making a difference. Pooling resources helps everyone involved and provides greater outreach for the common philanthropic goal.
ASU understands that Corporate America is going to be driving and supporting each of these entities. The numbers indicate that up to about 80% of the revenue that most foundations receive comes from corporations. To make this happen, these corporations will need sports philanthropists to understand who they are and how to measure the corporations’ involvement so that they then measure their return. In order to do this, the foundation must have a complete understanding of it’s philanthropic goals. ASU provides the ability to arrive at that understanding.
As part of its mission, ASU has instituted an annual philanthropy award now called the Humanitarian Award. It is looking to finalize the award and voting is now open to the public. Please help them select the athlete or sports professional who exhibits excellence in sports philanthropy. The Humanitarian Award is central to ASU’s mission and the public is encouraged to respond. Just click here and submit your vote.
For more information on ASU’s goals and mission you can visit it’s website here.
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