Coaching for Literacy Sports PROPERTY INFORMATION

Executive Summary

Coaching for Literacy (CFL) and International Paper (IP) have established a 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 during the 2017-2018 NCAA basketball season and consists of two sponsored Coaching for Literacy Fight for Literacy initiatives with NCAA sports team partners.

Generate Financial Support Financial Contribution

  • Financial Contribution - Spend is $45,000-60,000 depending on scope. Sports Property takes 70% of the total sponsorship investment and CFL retains 30%.
  • Literacy Funding - 100% of the contributions from the general public will be allocated to the selected literacy program partner.

Create Literacy Advocates

  • Engagement Plan - Activate the general public through CFL’s 3-Step Impact Plan: Get Social (CTA: Retweet), Volunteer (CTA: Sign-Up), Donate (CTA: Make the Assist).
  • Match Donations - IP matches general public engagement via the Get Social and Make the Assist components.
  • Lead and Read - CFL conducts a reading day with the sports partner team's men’s basketball program and the local literacy program partner.

Engage International Paper Employees

  • Education - CFL and IP will host a lunch to educate IP employees on the issue of illiteracy.
  • Volunteer - Employees will have the opportunity to volunteer with the selected local literacy program partner.
Who is Coaching for Literacy?

About: Coaching for Literacy

Core Belief

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


Coaching for Literacy utilizes the unique power of sports to generate awareness about the issue of illiteracy and to raise financial support for effective, local literacy programs nationwide.


Coaching for Literacy empowers coaches, their teams, and fans to join 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 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.
“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
Why is literacy such 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
How does Coaching for Literacy make an impact?

Solution: The Fight for Literacy

Program Overview

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. We have partnered with more than 25 literacy organizations in 20 communities across 11 states providing direct support to more than 8,000 children.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Program Partners

"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
[Above: 25 NCAA coaching staffs to participate in CFL Awareness Game during the 2016-2017 season.]

How does the Fight for Literacy partner with NCAA programs?

  • Pick One Game - Partner athletic program picks one game to Fight for Literacy.
  • Invite Visiting Team - The visiting team is invited to join in the effort.
  • Wear Green - The coaching staff and players wear #Green4Literacy (Sport and permissions dictate how the green literacy awareness color is featured).
  • Blow The Whistle - Sports information team utilizes platform to raise cause awareness.
  • Fight for Literacy - The fan-base is engaged to make donations, sign-up to volunteer, and raise cause awareness.
  • 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

How does the Fight for Literacy engage fans?

  • Get Social - Engage the general public in a hashtag campaign that generates financial support and awareness.
  • Volunteer - Connect the general public to volunteer opportunities with our local literacy program partner.
  • Make the Assist - Fans can pledge to make $ amount contribution per assist that their team makes in the month of February or make a general donation.

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.]
How does Coaching for Literacy help children struggling in the Fight for Literacy?

Literacy Impact Approach


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.

Funding 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.
[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 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)
Let's 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 leading the way to promote literacy and advocating for the worth of every human being. Your potential involvement in this project could 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 can 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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