Prospective Charities / Non-Profits
Do you represent a local, Durham-based non-profit organization and want to join our softball league as an expansion team sponsor? Great! Thanks for your interest! Please read the information below to determine if you think your organization would be a good fit for involvement in our league.
The Durham Softball League is a non-profit organization where players compete to raise money for charity. Players sign up to play slow-pitch, recreational, co-ed softball and more than 20% of all proceeds are distributed to our non-profit sponsors. Each team in the league represents a unique charity and the players compete to earn money for their team’s cause.
Unlike traditional team sponsors, Durham Softball’s Sponsor Organizations do not pay anything to join the league and do not pay any fees for participation. Instead, sponsoring a team means the team’s players will represent your organization and compete to earn donations for their Sponsor. We brought in a diverse group of great local Durham non-profit groups that all have a similar mission to improve Durham and think every group is worthy of our help for different reasons. Player Registration fees will pay for the expenses, with all remaining funds going towards a Donation Pool and donated to the Team Sponsors in the league.
We currently have 13 wonderful non-profit organizations signed up as Team Sponsors for our league, with each bringing a unique benefit to Durham.
- Animals: Hope Animal Rescue, committed to improving the lives of abandoned animals in North Carolina.
- Environment: Don’t Waste Durham, creates solutions that prevent trash at its source.
- Food: PORCH-Durham, provides food to those children most in need.
- Firefighters: North Carolina Fallen Firefighter Foundation, leads the effort to remember North Carolina’s fallen firefighters and their families.
- Healthcare: Josh’s Hope, serves ages 18-35 who live with mental health conditions and/or struggle with a substance disorder.
- Housing: Families Moving Forward, provides families with children a stable, safe and loving environment.
- Housing: Housing for New Hope, mission to prevent and end homelessness.
- Music: Kidznotes, pre-K through 12th grade out-of-school musical program.
- Poverty: CPCANC, assists low-income families and individuals, including the working poor.
- Schools: Shepard Magnet Middle School, provides a premiere educational environment where all students acquire knowledge, skills, and values necessary to live enriched lives.
- Senior Citizens: Meals on Wheels of Durham, enhances the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities.
- Special Needs: Miracle League of the Triangle, positive experiences for children and adults with special needs.
- Teachers: Crayons2Calculators, provides Durham teachers with the supplies they need for classroom success.
- Veterans: Vets to Vets United, significantly improve a veteran’s life by providing companionship.
- Youth (Boys): South Durham Little League, provides baseball for children between the ages of 4 and 14.
- Youth (Girls): Girls on the Run of the Triangle, positively impacts young girls’ lives.
Benefits of Participation
- Raise Money For Your Cause. During the season, the team that represents your charity in the league will compete to earn donations for your charity at the end of the season. Your team will be guaranteed a baseline donation for simply participating, but your team can earn larger donations for your charity by winning games during the regular season and playoffs. During the 2018 season, we were able to donate more than $2,800 to our 12 sponsor charities. We hope to be able to increase that number with more teams, so your participation will help increase the donations for all our charities!
- Partner With Other Non-Profits. All of the teams in the Durham Softball league represent great causes in our community and help support each other. We recognize the value that each of our groups bring to Durham and want them to be proud to be associated with the other great local causes in the league. This is a perfect excuse to interact with other local charities, learn about each other’s programs, develop partnerships across new networks, and gain exposure for your cause among a fairly diverse audience.
- One Free Roster Spot. Like last year, each organization will have the opportunity to designate one player as their “free” representative in the league. You can decide on the “free” player however you’d like – give it to a employee, or volunteer, or (my favorite option) hold a social media contest and give it away to someone. The one catch – I can’t promise that person will play for the charity that gave them the free entry. They’ll just be in the league as a free agent, but I’ll do my best to have them placed on their chosen organization’s team if the registrations allow.
- More Than Softball. As our league’s parent organization (Play NC, Inc.) grows, we will be expanding into new sports, activities, and events. Our goal is to offer a wide variety of different ways to have fun and “play for charity.” While softball will always be our primary focus, we are also excited to see what comes next!
Possible Hassles of Participation
- Being a Team Sponsor does not mean you will be guaranteed a Team each season. If we do not have enough players sign up for the season, and your charity received one the fewest registrations, your Team will be contracted (only for that season) and the Players who did choose your organization will be assigned to a different Team. We had 11 teams last season and are currently recruiting new charities because we expect to fill the league again this year and want to be prepared to expand past 12 teams when the opportunity comes.
- In the unfortunate event that your organization does not receive enough registrations, your charity will still receive the minimum donation each season, which is a 100% match of the last place team’s regular season earnings. Basically, the last place team plays for themselves and any teams left on the bench each season. While not ideal, this still promises a guaranteed financial benefit from participating.
- You will be asked to occasionally “Share” our posts on Facebook and Twitter. I say “asked” because there is no requirement – it’d just be nice, if you did. We don’t ask often, but at least sharing our registration announcements and playoff results at the beginning and end of each season has proven to be a very effective way for us to build our online presence. It is also the great way for organizations to interact with each other (eg. Meals on Wheels vs. Miracle League at 2pm!) and a marketable way to reach out to the community for your own purposes, so I hope you’ll have fun with the possibilities.
- You will have to write about 300-400 words. We make a “Team Page” for each charity (eg. Hope Animal Rescue) that we want to make sure is consistent with your organization’s branding and messaging. To be sure we are effectively promoting the image you want us to promote, we’d simply like to have the words come directly from your organization. We would need your mission statement, a brief description of your organization, and the details of a specific project or initiative that your involvement with our league would help.
- Your organization must be a 501(c)3 non-profit.
- Your organization must sponsor programs or maintain offices in Durham County.
- Your organization must allow Durham Softball to use your name and logo on our website, social media, and jerseys. All materials would still be approved by you, but we’ll need permission to promote your organization as a part of the league and print jerseys with your organization’s logo.
- Your organization must designate a contact within your organization as our main contact for softball-related emails and social media.
- Your organization must be undertaking a specific project or initiative that will directly benefit from our league’s donation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to provide my own team?
No! We will recruit and assign players to your teams. However, if your team fails to meet the minimum player count for a full team, your team may get consolidated with another charity. We can donate more to your cause if we fill the team, so any help you can provide to promote the league and your team’s registrations would be great!
Do I have to pay for anything?
No! The goal of the league is to raise money for your charity, so you’ll never have a single required cost related to your organization’s involvement in the league.
Do I have to do anything during the games?
No! Your organization will receive a free roster spot, so you are welcome to play on the team as your charity’s representative. We’d love it if you came out to play, or at least cheer on your team from the stands, but there is no requirement for anyone affiliated with your organization to come to the games. We do need a steady contact within your organization in case we have questions, but there are no set time obligations. We expect to take up about 15-30 minutes of your representative’s time per year, but everything can be done on your own schedule.
What will I have to do?
You will be required to complete four things in order for us to fully establish your organization as a new Team Sponsor.
- Complete and submit the Team Sponsor form at the bottom of this page. After receiving a positive response from Ryan, proceed with #2 in your reply.
- Submit your organization’s logo (high quality format), mission statement, and description (~100-150 words).
- We will require permission to use this logo on our team jerseys, website, and marketing materials in order to promote the league and your organization’s involvement.
- Submit a full description of a single, specific organizational program/event/activity/need that will benefit from our league’s donation.
- Complete and submit the “Captain’s Interview” form (~200-300 words).
We hope to expand our reach in the community through new organizations that have different missions, target populations, and goals so we can support our local Durham community in a wide variety of ways. If you are reading this because you received an invitation from Ryan to join us as a non-profit sponsor, we believe in your organization’s mission and think you will add a unique option for our league to help give back to Durham.
We want to make this a fun way for people to support your worthy cause. If you manage or represent a non-profit in the Triangle area and want to help the league by sponsoring a team, please complete the form below. Thank you for your time!