Executive Summary

Prepared by Coaching for Literacy | February 2017

Coaching for Literacy (CFL) and International Paper are exploring a potential, mutually beneficial partnership to raise awareness and donations for CFL and build brand equity for International Paper, while highlighting their commitment to the issue of illiteracy in America. This partnership will take place in 2017 and consist of a Coaching for Literacy Awareness Game with the Memphis Tigers sponsored by International Paper.

"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." - Steve Jobs
Who is Coaching for Literacy?

Coaching for Literacy Overview

Mission: Coaching for Literacy (CFL) is creating a movement of coaches, teams and communities who fight for literacy by participating in awareness initiatives and fundraising efforts.

Success: To date, CFL has conducted 75 Coaching for Literacy Awareness Games with NCAA and NBA partners. We have partnered with more than 25 literacy organizations in 20 communities across 11 states providing direct support to more than 8,000 children.

[Above] Ben Howland, Mississippi State (Left), Tony Bennett, UVA (Center), and Avery Johnson (Alabama) were three of the 25 NCAA coaching staffs to participate in CFL Awareness Game during the 2016-2017 season
"We know this program really helps to make a difference in communities across the nation by providing valuable resources to local schools and youth programs." - Steve Alford, Head Coach, UCLA Basketball
How does Coaching for Literacy help children struggling in the Fight for Literacy?

Literacy Impact Approach

We support our partner literacy organizations with critical awareness and financial support. Our efforts focus on improving reading levels among third and fourth grade students due to this staggering statistic: "64% of American fourth graders read below grade level" (National Assessment of Educational Progress, US Government). Funds provided by Coaching for Literacy are invested in the following literacy tools:

  1. Summer Intervention - Reading over the summer is crucial to literacy growth. Summer intervention programs ensure that children who need to continue reading during the summer are doing exactly that.
  2. Embedded Programs - Embedded programs exist within many schools, libraries, and other institutions. These programs provide children with the extra attention they require to become better readers.
  3. Materials - Books and digital readers are key to teaching literacy. Unfortunately, materials in areas that struggle with literacy are scarce. We help provide the materials so kids can learn.
  4. Instructor Training - Effective instructors are a critical part of improving literacy rates among children. We provide funding to ensure that instructors are capable of helping children grow in their ability to read.

Literacy Partners

The organizations that we choose to partner with have proven track records improving the literacy level of children in their programs. Each organization qualifies to receive the funding that the general public provides because they have met Coaching for Literacy's Giving Methodology Requirements outlined below:

  1. Focused Literacy Programs - The funded literacy initiatives must have the following service profile: serve children at or below the 4th grade-level and provide programming to at least an 80% majority of students living at or below the poverty line.
  2. Proper Qualifications - Literacy partners must possess and share the following documentation with Coaching for Literacy: IRS 501 (c)(3) Determination Letter, 990 Form and high-level ratings from charity evaluators GuideStar and Charity Navigator.
  3. Team Player - Recipient organizations must be willing to contribute and provide support as needed with items agreed upon by the literacy organization and Coaching for Literacy. This includes the following: participating in Coaching for Literacy's Impact Evaluation Reporting and supporting awareness campaigns.
  4. Long-Term Impact - Coaching for Literacy firmly believes that to make positive long-term change in communities it is preferable to have committed, consistent, year-to-year relationships with the same literacy partners. Coaching for Literacy will discontinue partnerships if it is deemed that the partner is ineffective in its work.
“We are incredibly grateful for Coaching for Literacy’s support over these past four years. We have watched our students directly benefit from their donations, improving their reading skills each year.” - Melissa Spradlin, Executive Director, Book'em (Nashville, TN)
Why is literacy worth fighting for?

The Problem of Illiteracy

  • 32 million American adults are functionally illiterate. (National Center for Eduction Statistics (2003), "National Assessment of Adult Literacy", US Department of Education)
  • 19% of high school graduates cannot read at the proficient level. (National Center for Eduction Statistics (2003), "National Assessment of Adult Literacy", US Department of Education)
  • Illiteracy costs the U.S. at least $225 billion annually in non-productivity among the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue. (National Council for Adult Learning, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor)
  • An excess of $230 billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy. (American Journal of Public Health)
  • 85% of juveniles in the court system cannot read. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, Department of Education)
  • Among adults at the lowest level of literacy proficiency, 43% live in poverty. Among adults with strong literacy skills, only 4% live in poverty. (US Justice Department)
“The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” - US Department of Justice
[Above] To date, our donors and partners have helped us create a brighter future for thousands of children
How can International Paper Fight for Literacy?

3 Step Impact Plan

1. Sponsor Coaching for Literacy Awareness Game

  • Presenting Sponsor - Become the official game sponsor of Coaching for Literacy's Awareness Game with the Memphis Tigers in 2017-2018.
  • Financial Spend - The estimated financial spend is $35-45k depending on International Paper's decision regarding scope. (Note: This figure includes potential matching opportunities outlined below).
  • Fund Allocation - The financial allocation is based on the following structure: 70% media spend with Tiger Sports Properties (Learfield) and 30% contribution to Coaching for Literacy.

2. Generate Financial Support

  • Match Donations - International Paper matches contributions from the general public via the "Assist" pledge, general donations, and the social funding campaign.
  • Literacy Funding - 100% of the donations from the general public and the matching effort(s) are allocated to the local literacy program partner selected by International Paper and Coaching for Literacy.

3. Create Literacy Advocates

  • #Green4Literacy - Employees can wear branded green CFL shirt and jeans on the day of the Coaching for Literacy Awareness Game with the Memphis Tigers for a $10 donation.
  • Literacy Lunch - Coaching for Literacy and International Paper will host a lunch to educate International Paper employees on the issue of illiteracy.
  • Volunteer - Employees will have the opportunity to volunteer with our local literacy program partner.
"Why not execute a cause marketing campaign that provides a win-win scenario for the corporation, non-profit and community? This is the future of philanthropy." - Joe Waters
What does it look like to be a corporate sponsor?

Sponsorship Collateral Samples

Press Release

[Above] Ole Miss Athletics has participated in the CFL Awareness Game initiative for 4-straight seasons

Social Funding Campaign

[Above] C Spire makes a commitment to provide financial support based on number of engagements
[Above] Ole Miss Athletics provides support of the social funding campaign engaging thousands of individuals for the cause of literacy and garnering exposure for C Spire

How It Works: Social Funding Campaign

  • Create Hashtag - Unique hashtag is created by Coaching for Literacy and the corporate sponsor.
  • Socialize - The unique hashtag is shared via digital assets and the message goes viral.
  • Impact - Sponsor donates $1 per every tweet using unique hashtag.
  • Evaluation - CFL provides key metric evaluations: impressions, reach, users and posts.

Video: Athletic Department Support

Video: Check Presentation


Coaching for Literacy provides campaign exposure through ESPN Radio, the athletic partners coach's show, and other local radio syndicates. Please visit Coaching for Literacy on SoundCloud to access the audio.

Brand Ambassador Support

[Above] Coaching for Literacy brand ambassador Gary Parrish supports the campaign. Parrish is a CBS Basketball analyst and ESPN Radio host with 130,000+ followers on Twitter.

Earned Media

The following are a collection of releases provided earned media for the initiative sponsored by C Spire:, The Daily Mississippian, WMC Action News 5, Fox 34.

The movement to #Fight4Literacy starts with you.

Thank You

On behalf of the millions of children in America struggling with illiteracy, we thank you. We believe that each and every person is born with equal dignity and that literacy is an expression of that worth. We are grateful International Paper is leading the way to promote literacy and advocating for the worth of every human being. Your potential involvement in this project would create a ripple effect, enabling young people to read, giving them the ability to write their own story and define their own future. Our work together could change thousands of lives.

Fight for Literacy,

The Team at Coaching for Literacy

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