COACHING FOR LITERACY 2017-2020 partnership


Prepared by Coaching for Literacy | April 2017

Executive Summary:

Coaching for Literacy is seeking funding to increase the ability to achieve its organizational outcome goals: raise awareness about the issue of illiteracy in America, create literacy advocates, and generate financial support for effective local literacy programs.

Funding Request:

$1.2M over a three year period ($400,000 annually). Funding covers the following items:

  • Staff: Executive Director, Marketing Director and Program Director
  • Contractors: Social Media / Digital Content Specialist, Public Relations / Content Personnel, IT, CPA, Bookkeeping
  • Initial Overhead: Website, Video, Logos, and Brand Book
  • Programming: Fight for Literacy Campaign and Paid Social + Paid Search Media
  • Marketing: CRM, Email, Metric Platforms, Brand Ambassadors, Graphics
  • Operations: Administrative, Insurance, Lease, Non-Profit Compliance

Funding Commitment:

CFL promises to be self-sustaining upon the conclusion of the three-year investment window. The plan to achieve this status is as follows:

  • Sponsorship Fees - 40% fee for cause marketing campaigns and a 25% fee for Fight for Literacy sponsorships.
  • Online Store - CFL items are sold and 100% of the proceeds support Coaching for Literacy's programming.
  • Donor Support - Raise $100,000 annually through the HomeField Advantage campaign and 100% supports Coaching for Literacy's programming.

Proposal Outline:

  • Problem - The issue of illiteracy in America.
  • Overview - Who we are and why we are working to end illiteracy in America.
  • Case Study - Why you should invest in Coaching for Literacy.
  • Business Plan - How Coaching for Literacy will achieve its outcome goals.
  • Execution Plan - Detailed strategy to achieve organizational outcome goals.
  • Budget Proposal + Financial Projections - Overview and in-depth financial analysis.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” - Steve Jobs
What impact your financial partnership make on CFL?

Investment Impact

Organization Profit

Your investment will ensure CFL’s profitability enabling the organization to continue its mission in the coming years:

  • Profit Projections (With Investment) - $575,000
  • Profit Projections (Without Investment) - ($600,000)

Literacy Program Support

Your funding will empower CFL’s ability to raise crucial awareness, financial, and volunteer support for 165 projects at 45 local literacy organizations nationwide.

  • Funds Raised (With Investment) - $950,000
  • Funds Allocated (With Investment) - $350,000

Brand Influencer

Your support will provide a platform for influential NCAA brands and Corporate Sponsors to advocate for literacy.

  • NCAA Partnerships (With Investment) - 165 schools will partner with CFL and support literacy efforts in their communities
  • Corporate Sponsorships (With Investment) - 39 corporate sponsorships

Start A Movement

Without you we would not be able to convert members of the general public into literacy advocates.

  • Donors (With Investment) - 2,825 unique individuals
  • Social Campaign Participants (With Investment) - 18,000 unique individuals
  • Literacy Program Volunteers (With Investment) - 1,650 volunteer leads
Why is literacy an important issue?

Problem: The Issue of Illiteracy in America

  • 32 million American adults are functionally illiterate. (National Center for Education Statistics (2003), "National Assessment of Adult Literacy," U.S. Department of Education)
  • 19% of high school graduates cannot read at the proficient level. (National Center for Education Statistics (2003), "National Assessment of Adult Literacy", U.S. 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, U.S. 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, U.S. 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. (U.S. Justice Department)
“The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime is welded to reading failure.” - U.S. Department of Justice
Who is Coaching for Literacy?

Overview: Coaching for Literacy

Core Belief

Every individual is born with equal worth and dignity and should have the opportunity to be literate.


Make Coaching for Literacy's green color synonymous with the national effort to promote literacy and build a nationally recognized brand that is a leader in the nationwide movement to support local literacy programs.


Leverage the unique power of sports to raise awareness of the the problem of illiteracy in our society and generate financial support for effective literacy programs.


Coaching for Literacy empowers coaches, their teams, and fans to make a difference in the Fight for Literacy by participating in awareness efforts, volunteer work, and fundraising activities.

  • Brighter Futures - Our work has enabled coaches, teams, and their fans to directly impact the lives of 8,000 kids.
  • Local Impact - We have raised over $500,000 and provided over $140,000 of funding support for more than 50 literacy projects across 11 states and 20 communities.
  • NCAA Experience - We have conducted 75 Fight for Literacy games with 37 different NCAA programs.
Why is Coaching for Literacy a smart investment?

Case Study

A Small Organization with Big Results

In less than 3 years, with a staff of 1.5 and an annual operating budget of $120,000, Coaching for Literacy has built a reputable program with the potential to become a national movement. Take a look at our accomplishments and start dreaming of what we could do with additional staff and funds.

A Highly Successful Start Up Initiative

  • Proven Difference Maker - Provided over $140,000 of funding support for over 50 literacy projects across 11 states and 20 communities.
  • Sponsors Best Friend - Aligned with C Spire for three consecutive years in a statewide campaign. Secured a regional campaign worth $120,000 with International Paper, a Fortune 500 company.
  • The NCAA Connection - Conducted 75 Fight for Literacy efforts and established partnerships with 37 different NCAA programs and coaching staffs.
  • Friends in High Places - Recruited and successfully formed two teams of brand ambassadors - our Coaches Council and CFL Brand Ambassadors.
  • An Awareness Machine - In just three years, Coaching for Literacy's work has generated 76 press releases, 23 radio interviews and 13 national television appearances.
  • Program Builder - Executed three highly successful programs: Collegiate Chapters, Revitalizing Literacy Through Sports and the Fight for Literacy.
  • Experienced and Focused - Through valuable experience, we have refined our organization and are focused on the growth and scale of one program: the Fight for Literacy.

Poised for a Breakthrough

No other literacy organization in America is better positioned to generate cause awareness than Coaching for Literacy. The foundation we have built is impressive and the potential is tantalizing. Millions of American children are not reading at grade-level. We should work to change that and Coaching for Literacy has the realistic opportunity to make a difference. We know we can create brighter futures, but we need your help.

"Without a doubt, I confidently recommend an organization to partner with Coaching for Literacy to further the cause and bring awareness to this mission." - Millie Graham,Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Millar
How will Coaching for Literacy realize its mission?

Business Plan

1. Raise Awareness About the Issue of Illiteracy

  • Fight for Literacy Program - Conduct the Fight for Literacy with NCAA partner coaches and sports teams. [Goal: 2017-2018: 30 games // 2018-2019 - 35 games // 2019-2020 - 40 games]
  • Brand Advocates - Leverage our Coaches Council and CFL Brand Ambassadors to generate awareness about the cause of literacy.

2. Generate Financial Support and Fund Effective Literacy Programs

  • Fight for Literacy Sponsorship - Activate corporate entities as title-sponsors of the Fight for Literacy games on a market-market basis. [Goal: 2017-2018 - 2 // 2018-2019 - 4 // 2019-2020 - 6]
  • General Public Donations - Involve the general public in fundraising activities through the Fight for Literacy's Assist For Literacy initiative, social funding campaigns and general donations. [Goal: 2017-2018 - $55,000 // 2018-2019 - $78,750 // 2019-2020 - $121,500]
  • Cause Marketing Campaigns - Execute cause marketing campaigns with corporate partners where the partner donates a percentage of sales to Coaching for Literacy. [Goal: 2017-2018 - 1 // 2018-2019 - 2 // 2019-2020 - 3)
  • Allocation Model - CFL will allocate the following percentages of funds raised by revenue channel: 100% of donations made from the general public, 70% of Fight for Literacy Sponsorships, 60% of cause marketing sponsorship minimum agreement.

3. Create Literacy Advocates

  • Get Social - Maximize the exposure of CFL's program by involving the general public in social media campaigns (Example: corporate sponsorship social funding campaign where a company makes a donation for each retweet).
  • Volunteer - Connect the general public to local literacy programs in need of qualified volunteer support.
  • Lead and Read - Conduct a reading day with sports team partners and literacy program partners.
  • Corporate Engagement - Leverage corporate sponsorships to educate employees about the issue of illiteracy and connect them to advocacy opportunities: volunteer work and financial support.
How does Coaching for Literacy Fight for Literacy?

Overview: The Fight for Literacy

What is the Fight for Literacy?

Coaching for Literacy's Fight for Literacy creates a movement of coaches, teams, and fans who support literacy efforts nationwide through awareness initiatives, volunteer work, and donations.

Program Success

To date, CFL has conducted 75 Coaching for Literacy Awareness Games with NCAA and NBA partners.

  • Literacy Impact - We have supported more than 25 literacy organizations in 20 communities across 11 states providing direct support to more than 8,000 children.
  • Press Releases - Our partners shared 76 press releases exposing the cause of literacy and CFL brand to thousands of loyal fans.
  • Radio Interviews - During last season alone, CFL conducted 23 radio interviews in metropolitan markets.
  • Television Exposure - The program received prominent television exposure on 13 occasions last season through coverage from: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U, ESPN 3, NBCSN and FS1.

Fight for Literacy Coaches Council

"I am honored to once again partner with Coaching for Literacy," said Coach Wade. "We believe our joint effort to improve literacy will pay off for students here in Richmond and nationwide." - Will Wade, Head Coach, LSU Basketball
  • Adam Cohen - Stanford
  • Avery Johnson - Alabama
  • Ben Howland - Mississippi State
  • Josh Pastner - Georgia Tech
  • Kevin Stallings - Pitt
  • Larry Brown - National Basketball Hall of Fame (retired)
  • Ron Sanchez - Virginia
  • Stan Jones - Florida State
  • Steve Alford - UCLA
  • Steve Forbes - ETSU
  • Tubby Smith - Memphis
  • Will Wade - LSU

Fight for Literacy Partner Programs

“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
[Above: 25 NCAA coaching staffs to participate in CFL Awareness Game during the 2016-2017 season.]
How does the Fight for Literacy execute the Business Plan?

Execution: The Fight for Literacy

Provide Platform for NCAA Programs

  1. Pick One Game - Partner athletic program picks one game to Fight for Literacy.
  2. Invite Visiting Team - The visiting team is invited to join in the effort.
  3. Wear Green - The coaching staff and players wear #Green4Literacy (Sport and permissions dictate how the green literacy awareness color is featured).
  4. Blow the Whistle - Sports information team utilizes platform to raise cause awareness.
  5. Fight for Literacy - The fan-base is engaged to make donations, sign-up to volunteer and raise cause awareness.
  6. Lead and Read - Coaching staff and players visit local literacy program partner on a selected date to read with program participants.

Example // Lead and Read - Florida State Basketball + Early Learning Coalition

Call Fans to Join their Team

  1. Get Social - Engage the general public in a hashtag campaign that generates financial support and awareness.
  2. Volunteer - Connect the general public to volunteer opportunities with our local literacy program partner.
  3. Make the Assist - Fans can pledge to make $ amount contribution per assist that their team makes in a given three-game period.

Example // Fight for Literacy Social Element - Ole Miss Men's Basketball + C Spire

[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.

Example // Fight for Literacy Funding Element: Johns Hopkins Women's Lacrosse

[Above: Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse and CFL utilize the PledgeIt platform to raise donations for each assist the team makes during April 2017.]

Activate Corporate Sponsors

  1. Sponsor - Work with the athletic program's sports property group to purchase media and sponsor the Fight for Literacy in a specific market.
  2. Financial Support - Match what the fans raise via the social funding campaign and assist challenge.
  3. Engage - Media and campaign focus is to engage fans to participate in cause both financially and as volunteers.
<Insert International Paper quote>
How does Coaching for Literacy help children struggling in the Fight for Literacy?

Literacy Impact Approach

Funding Methodology

Through our awareness initiatives and fundraising efforts, we bring valuable awareness and critical financial support to our literacy partners. The following four approaches represent our portfolio of literacy investments:

  • Materials - Books and digital readers are key in teaching literacy. Unfortunately, materials in areas that struggle with literacy are scarce. We help provide the materials so kids can learn.
  • Embedded Literacy 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.
  • Summer Literacy Initiatives - 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.
  • 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.

Partnership Methodology

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, U.S. Government). We currently partner with 20+ literacy programs represented by the following organizations: members of the Campaign For Grade Level Reading network, public schools and literacy programs supported by our athletic team partners. Literacy programs must have the following qualifications:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
[Above: Every literacy program we fund is required to provide a grant receipt report that allows CFL to understand the impact being made and populations being served.]
We are believers in a brighter future.

You Could Start a Movement

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 that you are promoting literacy and advocating for the worth of every human being. Your involvement in this project will create a ripple effect that will enable young people to read, giving them the ability to write their own story and define their own future. Our work together will change thousands of lives.

Fight for Literacy,

The Team at Coaching for Literacy

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

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