Why Does It Work?
Kids, who have neither credit cards nor cash on-hand to effect change in the world, respond passionately to the message that their own bodies can turn sweat into gold. Once youth are plugged into a cause and athletic event, our staff, spokespeople and Positive Tracks Coordinators work directly with youth to make their “philanthletic” goals a reality. And we find that we change lives in the process – not only those of the charitable recipients, but of those who give.
Many young people are drawn first to the athletic challenge, but when they connect with the people their philanthropy touches, we often gain a lifelong convert to charity and civic engagement. Simply stated, we incentivize youth fundraising and physical activity by incentivizing fundraising with matching dollars, but more importantly, we develop youth leadership skills, philanthropic values, and a sense of civic engagement and community stewardship.
We know we’re onto something special. Our formula has been confirmed by Cone Communications as unique: no other nonprofit in the country combines athletics with philanthropy at the meta-level to build a national youth culture of active generosity so kids can do good, making themselves stronger and healthier emotionally and physically in the process.
Independent evaluators from University of Michigan and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that our programs lead to youth feeling increased confidence as leaders, increased empathy and perseverance, and enhanced fitness, and we will continue to make those outcomes our highest priority.
By 2021, Positive Tracks will have built the first wave of a new movement, one that will lead to every child in America being exposed to the opportunity to get active and give back, making themselves and the world better in the process. It’s the groundswell that will lead one million youth to find a starting line.
FIVE-YEAR TRAJECTORY: By 2021, Positive Tracks is on a measured course to help 272,000+ youth turn 1 million+ miles (that’s around the world 40 times) into $28+ million for hundreds of causes they care about.
BUT OUR END GOAL IS: One million children will know that Positive Tracks is poised and ready to help them find a starting line.
We have a long way to go. And we need your help to get there.
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
- Scale smart by partnering with “pipeline” entities seeking leadership, community service and fitness/wellness opportunities and partners (i.e. schools, clubs, sports teams, nonprofits) to expand our impact and diversify our reach by 100 times without a commensurate expansion of our staff, and without losing meaningful youth impact.
- Continue to meet kids on their own turf and terms by drawing our direction, tools, brand, and culture from youth themselves through our Youth Ambassador Board, Board of Directors Youth, Youth Program Beneficiaries, and Youth Peer Coaches.
- Build our team of adult mentors and volunteers (parents, teachers, coaches, etc.) who play critical support roles.
- Increase capacity to reach and engage youth by bringing in new corporate and foundation funding partners, stewarding them damn well, and encouraging them to engage in Positive Tracks programs.
- Seek partners to help us strengthen, expand and amplify our social media, digital presence, including app development, to reach youth communities fast and effectively.
- Evangelize the power of sweating for good through youth/staff/board/advisor thought leadership opportunities.
- Leverage a network of CEOs of national brands, leaders of large-scale foundations, college presidents, and elite athletes to share insight and connections to achieve our goal.
- Ensure data-driven continuous improvement: use tracking and evaluation to perpetually strengthen program delivery.