On January 7th, our roving Southeast Program Manager, Jeff, was fortunate enough to spend some time with two amazing rifle programs: the Warrenton Rifles (R7446) and IWLA (Arlington-Fairfax Air Range) (R4491). Jeff had this to say about the Rifle programs:
“Both teams have worked with us for some time: 2015 and 2013, respectively; and both teams have built substantial account balances THE OLD FASHIONED WAY- they earned it – by taking advantage of our free fundraising products, Giving Tuesdays, Online Donation Drives, and just pointing donors to their team page! Both teams are passionate about working with young athletes and securing the financial security of their programs forever.
Claude and the coaches with the Warrenton Rifles (an American Legion shooting sports program) are in their 11th season and continue to enjoy a great deal of success. In addition to utilizing the Foundation’s fundraising tools, they’ve also made a substantial amount of funds in a really creative, if unconventional, way: delivering mulch! I’ve talked to Claude over the years and it was great meeting everyone and seeing their facilities!
The IWLA (Arlington-Fairfax Sill Air Range) has been on my bucket list to visit for a long time. Thanks to Roger Thrasher and Keith Kuck for allowing me to visit their amazing (and exceptionally busy) facility! The rifle facility has been in place (albeit not in its current state) since the early 2000s and started off as a tractor shed! It has morphed (through hard work!) into a truly world-class facility. In addition to myriad other users, 7 local high school rifle teams train regularly at the range. Wow!
So what should youth shooting teams with Team Endowments take away from these two great programs?
- Neither program started “at the top”. Their current state is the result of years of hard work centered around the use of every opportunity available to them.
- Successful programs. such as these, think past the horizon. Where do you want your program to be in 20 years, 30 years? What incremental steps/actions can you take NOW to reach that endstate?
- Have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were these two endowment accounts. Every endowment starts at $0 and every endowment receives a first donation. Successful programs simply repeat that “first donation” again and again. Has your team received its “first donation” for 2021?
Lastly, many teams are supported by “state partners.” Visit our Partner Community page to determine if your state has a partner organization (or contact your Program Manager and we can assist). The Virginia State Partner is Lynn Wheeless, representing the Virginia Youth Shooting Sports Association. Lynn assists Virginia programs with matching and addressing questions they might have about their endowment accounts and how to make the best use of the account. Many thanks to Lynn for his passion for assisting Virginia teams.”