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 charity 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.
Our connection with kids happens through the Positive Tracks Charity Partner Network; through Positive Tracks athletic events hosted by our Charity Partners, and Positive Tracks Coordinator contact with coaches, team captains, athletic directors, and schools; through direct Positive Tracks outreach via social media and word of mouth from other kids; through Positive Tracks spokesperson and media channels.
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.
Youth Positive Trackers are especially motivated by
• 2:1 matching challenge – we double every dollar raised by ages 23 and under.
• Hands-on support from Positive Tracks Coordinators based at each Charity Partner.
• GO-Kit Tools including “Beyond the Bake Sale” fundraising ideas, organizational assistance, etiquette and protocol for making an ask, stewarding and thanking a donor, pitching their chosen charity and project, marketing counsel and templates, “How to Raise $500 in a Week” tip sheet, etc.; Get Active tools, Good Sweat Tips of the Week, and Good Sweat Blog posts.
• Using the platform of athletics and sport. Sport’s universal language shatters boundaries and reaches all. Athletics are FUN, and teach courage, teamwork, self-discipline, leadership and perseverance. Community-oriented athletic efforts present physical and emotional challenges, tangible goals, start and finish lines, deadlines and incentives. Athletic events often use electronic fundraising mechanisms, performance apps, educational web platforms and social media to connect mobilized communities – and nothing compares to the energy and momentum created by a motivated team of sweaty bodies – especially young ones! Above all: sport calls on guts and heart – both physically and metaphorically. Using your body to inspire social change, or to help another person, is transformational – it changes who you are, for good.
• Connection to other young people using Positive Tracks through Social Media channels, Google Plus Hang-outs, Youth Ambassador Board, and The Round Up.
• Annual Positive Tracks Sweatys Awards.
• T-shirts, postcards, banners, and other promotional materials (i.e. bracelets, sunglasses, tattoos).
• Visibility on our national website and social media pages, and cross promotion across Charity Partners.
• Opportunities to serve on the Positive Tracks Youth Ambassador Board, or contribute to the Good Sweat Blog