Now in its 19th year of play, Kickball for a Cause is an annual, summertime, adult, charitable kickball tournament that draws approximately 400-600 participants and volunteers. Since its inception, Kickball for a Cause has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Pittsburgh charities and spread awareness about many important causes and organizations. This year’s Kickball for a Cause will be held on Saturday, August 13th in Mellon Park.
HISTORY OF FINDING OUR CAUSES
For the first 13 years, the tournament was called Kickball for Hope and the beneficiary each year was Girls Hope. As a result of PUMP’s 2015 Strategic Planning process that established four new priority focus areas for PUMP, we changed the tournament to Kickball for a Cause (K4aC) to provide us greater flexibility to support these new areas. In 2015 and 2016, PUMP staff selected four nonprofits each year who were aligned with our four new focus areas.
In 2017, PUMP advanced our Public Policy work even further by creating a Advocacy & Public Policy Agenda to give young people a platform to advocate and care for the Pittsburgh region. The 16-point public policy agenda represented four key themes: Diverse & Connected Region; Equitable Opportunities for Success; Active & Engaged Residents; and Equitable Access to Health and Wellness. With this update, PUMP once again realigned the focus of Kickball for a Cause with these priorities. After receiving feedback from participants in the tournament, PUMP also decided to limit the beneficiaries each year to 1-2 Causes so that players and PUMP members could more deeply connect with and learn from the Causes.
Given that we wanted to engage our members and players on a deeper level, we also changed the format to a multi-step process in order to decide on the Causes. This way the engagement with the Causes started from the very beginning, instead of just at the tournament itself. First, we held open nominations where we collected the suggestions of organizations from our members. After an internal vetting process where we contacted and spoke with a large number of organizations, we were left with between 8-10 organizations for public voting and engagement. At the end of voting, we were/are left with 1-2 amazing organization(s) to serve as our Causes at K4aC.
To learn more about the Causes we have partnered with in the past check out this blog post.
FINDING OUR CAUSES IN 2022
The last time we hosted our nomination process was in 2020, just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are all well aware the pandemic has impacted businesses and nonprofits in significant ways. In an effort to be considerate of the struggles that many organizations are going through we have decided to make a slight adjustment to how we find our causes. Instead of accepting open nominations from our members and the community, we will now only be accepting nominations from organizations themselves.
By accepting nominations directly from the nonprofits, we are hoping to be able to work with organizations who are in need for both fundraising dollars, awareness and volunteers, but still have the capacity to participate in the process. We also plan on decreasing the voting process from between 8-10 organizations to between 4-6 to ensure that we are not wasting anyone’s valuable time and every organization can get the most from their experience.
Similar to the last few years, we will highlight the work of all the finalist causes who are doing amazing work in Pittsburgh and allow for each organization to share the voting process with their audience as well. After a 10-day voting opportunity, the finalist that receives the most votes in the community process automatically becomes a Kickball for a Cause beneficiary. PUMP will then decide one Cause is enough, or if a second Cause is warranted.
PUMP prides itself on the work we do to ensure that the Causes have a meaningful, awesome, and helpful experience at Kickball for a Cause. Organizations can expect us to listen, and help cater the experience to their specific needs. In addition to receiving all the funds raised from the tournament, there are also other great benefits as well that you can learn more about here.
We encourage everyone to share this with your favorite local nonprofits to see if they would be a good fit for this opportunity. PUMP will be working hard to ensure that the opportunity is seen broadly across our region’s diverse range of organizations.
We ask all interested nonprofits to have a staff or board member apply directly to be a cause beneficiary. Learn more and apply now!
- January 31 – February 27: Open Nominations for Organizations
- February 28 – March 10: Internal Vetting with PUMP Staff & Board
- March 10 – Announcement of Finalists
- March 10 – March 20: Open Voting for anyone (1 vote per person/PUMP Members votes count x2)
- March 22: Cause Announcement
OPPORTUNITY FOR CRITERIA TO BE CONSIDERED A CAUSE:
- The organization’s mission and programming align with PUMP’s Advocacy + Public Policy Agenda.
- Note: While we strongly support specific illness and disease nonprofits, animal focused nonprofits, and hospitals, these types of organizations are not eligible to be selected as a K4aC beneficiary.
- The organization must be a 501(c)3 with a focus on the Greater Pittsburgh Region.
- The organization must have demonstrated programming that impacts the lives of the people of the Greater Pittsburgh Region.
- The organization has a need for financial assistance to elevate their work; organizations will not be considered that have an annual expense budget of over $1 million per year.
In addition, if selected, the organization must be able to commit to and fulfill the following expectations:
- The organization must be involved and engaging onsite at the event by hosting and staffing a booth with an engaging activity.
- The organization must participate in an interview to share their story which will be featured in pre-event promotion.
- The organization is expected to have good communication with PUMP.
QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS?
Please contact us with any questions you may have.