Development Overview page 3
Consumer/Marketing Facts & Figures page 4
Commercial Messages on Uniforms page 4
State Level Events/Programs page 5
Local Events/Programs page 6
Sample Knights of Columbus/LAMB Foundation request letter page 7
SONC License Plate Order Form page 8
General Fund Raising Tips page 9
Sample appeal letter for corporate sponsor page 10
Sample corporate sponsorship benefits page 11
Fund Raising Event Application Process & Form page 13
Torch Run Athlete Development Grant Application page 15
The following information provides an overview of the fundraising programs that Special Olympics
North Carolina (SONC) manages at the state and local levels. SONC conducts a multitude of
fundraising endeavors in order to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of
Olympic-type sports for thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics North Carolina operates on a $5 Million budget and is supported by contributions
from individuals, corporations and foundations in North Carolina. SONC is a totally self-
supporting organization receiving no direct funding from the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.
Local Special Olympics programs raise approximately $500,000 annually through internal
initiatives organized by SONC as well as external initiatives organized and implemented by the
local programs themselves. SONC-generated initiatives, outlined in the following pages, account
for significant annual revenue generated by local programs.
Funding is a daily challenge at all levels for SONC as we abide by a policy set forth by Special
Olympics Incorporated (SOI) stating that no athlete will be charged for participation in any
aspect of the Special Olympics program, including everything from meals, uniforms, to
training costs. All funds to pay for meals, housing, transportation, uniforms, equipment or
anything else are raised at the local, state and international levels and are not passed on to the
athlete or their family. Special Olympics North Carolina pays particular attention to cost
effectiveness, accountability and donor sentiment associated with the organization’s fundraising
As a result of our successes in donor stewardship, we have been honored with the distinction of the
country’s most credible charity, according to a nationwide survey published by the Chronicle of
Philanthropy. Special Olympics was rated very honest or extremely honest by 73% of those
surveyed, easily exceeding it’s nearest competitor by almost 10 percentage points. This reinforces
the fact that people trust Special Olympics with their donated dollars. The trust is a result of donors
actually seeing how successful Special Olympics programs are at all levels of the organization and
how the funds raised directly impact the athletes involved. Some additional accolades of the
Special Olympics movement are noted below:
• Universal Impact. Between athletes, donors and volunteers, Special Olympics touches the lives
of one in every six families in America
• Vast Recognition. Special Olympics--the world’s largest amateur sports organization with more
than one million athletes and 250,000 coaches in 160 countries--enjoys an amazing 95 percent
name recognition rate in America
• Overwhelming Support. Special Olympics has a loyal following of more than five million
donors and 500,000 volunteers in the U.S.
Consumer/Marketing Facts & Figures
•77% of the public say they would be "extremely" likely to spend a little more to purchase a
product or service if they thought they were helping Special Olympics (Performance Research,
•If given the choice of two products with similar price and quality, 56% of the public said they
would "almost always" or "frequently" choose a product because it is associated with Special
Olympics (Performance Research, 2001)
•68% of the public say they feel more positive about companies that support Special Olympics
(Performance Research, 2001)
•84% of the public believes that corporate partnerships with Special Olympics "make a difference"
in the lives of children and adults with mental retardation
(Performance Research, 2001)
•Special Olympics is named the “most credible charity in America”
(Chronicle of Philanthropy, 1995)
•Special Olympics is rated as one of the top 100 best human services charities in the United States
(Worth Magazine, 2001)
The strengths of Special Olympics are numerous: mainstream appeal, non-controversial, a
distinctive mission – both a cause and sports affinity, national exposure and grassroots
involvement. Special Olympics touches all North Carolinians across the state in an emotional and
credible manner like no other organization.
If you have any questions about this information or how to use in your fundraising efforts, please
contact your area director.
Commercial Messages on Uniforms at Special Olympics Games &
It is a fundamental policy of Special Olympics that the uniforms worn by athletes and coaches
during all Special Olympics competitions and Opening/Closing Ceremonies shall not be
emblazoned with the commercial message of sponsoring corporations/organizations. This policy
has been enacted for two reasons:
1. It is not appropriate to allow people with intellectual disabilities to be exploited for
2. Barring commercial messages on athlete’s uniforms is consistent with our obligation to
maintain standards consistent with those of the International Olympic movement, which
maintains similar restrictions.
Major Fundraising Initiatives Providing Funding of State-Level Events/Programs
Statewide Partnership Program
SONC has built year-round partnerships with corporate supporters throughout the state and worked
to fully integrate the sponsor within the statewide Special Olympics movement. Our current
partners have recruited volunteer teams for the SONC Summer Games, established pen pals on-line
with Special Olympics athletes and planned and implemented cause-related marketing programs to
raise additional funds for Special Olympics while driving sales for a particular product/service.
Direct Marketing Initiatives
The following direct marketing initiatives are conducted by Special Olympics North Carolina. As
noted in Section 8 of the SONC Operating Policies, the use of professional fundraising companies
(including direct mail, telemarketing and internet fundraising) by accredited sub-programs is
strictly prohibited unless specifically approved by the President.
DialAmerica (DA) conducts a magazine subscription consumer telemarketing
program. Through a licensing agreement between DA and Special Olympics North
Carolina, SONC receives 12.5% of each magazine subscription price, which is a
significant amount for a merchandised product.
Combined Direct Mail Program
The consumer direct mail program (CDMP) is administered by SOI in an effort to
reduce the mailings our donors receive annually and increase the cost effectiveness of
direct mail for state programs throughout the country. This program educates the
community on our athlete development efforts while also providing opportunities for
members of the North Carolina community to financially support these efforts.
SONC launched a statewide, consumer telemarketing program in the fall of 1996 and
currently works with Integral Resources, Inc. to raise funds for Special Olympics
Procter & Gamble (P&G)
Special Olympics earns 10 cents from every participating Procter & Gamble product purchased
throughout the month of January (up to $750,000 nationwide). To encourage consumers to take
advantage of this opportunity, P&G will distribute flyers in Sunday newspapers nationwide on
Sunday, December 30. These flyers contain coupons for P&G products, redeemable in January.
The most notable aspect of the P&G promotion is the matching donation program. If any P&G
retailer raises funds for SONC through an in-store promotion, P&G will match the donation (up to
$700,000 nationwide). This program is held in January. (See below for associated local program
Major Fundraising Initiatives Providing Funding of Local Events/Programs
A Pinch of Gold. This fundraising program is the most significant fundraising program ever
administered to local programs. This 250-page publication features 300 recipes submitted by
SONC athletes, families, volunteers and supporters. The SONC cookbook captures the rich history
of the Special Olympics movement in North Carolina through athlete, family and volunteer
profiles, inspirational stories and captivating photographs. The SONC cookbooks are sold for
$19.95 each, thus providing local programs a $10 profit from each cookbook sold.
Law Enforcement Torch Run
Each spring law enforcement officers from across the state raise funds for SONC. Over 4,000
officers run over 2,200 miles of a 15-leg relay during a 16-day period arriving in time to light the
cauldron at the Opening Ceremonies of the SONC Summer Games. Over $1,100,000 was raised in
2003, placing the SONC Law Enforcement Torch Run third in the nation. Every year, fifteen
percent of the net funds raised go to counties in which funds are raised. The remaining funds pay
for expenses for area and state-level athletic competitions.
Knights of Columbus and Civitans
The Knights of Columbus and Civitans are two major volunteer civic organizations that support
Special Olympics at the local and state levels. Both organizations are recognized as statewide
partners by Special Olympics North Carolina for the total contributions made during the year.
In order for local programs to receive contributions from local Knights of Columbus councils and
Civitans groups, a letter from the accredited local coordinator needs to be submitted to each local
group requesting the local funding support. A sample letter for the Knights of Columbus is
included on the following page. The SONC vice president for fund development manages the
overall relationship with both organizations and can assist you with a current mailing list of the
local leaders of the organizations. The volunteer leadership of these organizations usually change
on an annual basis.
Special Olympics North Carolina does a significant amount of work with grant foundations both for
local program assistance and general operating expenses and state level competitions. Because of
the collaborative nature of our approach to grants, we have been very successful in securing
funding for various local programs. As you become aware of foundations in your area, please
contact your area director, so that we can work together to develop the approach. SONC staff is
available to complete the application for these applications.
SONC License Plate
SONC License plates are available by order for $25. This cost is in addition to the annual license
renewal fee. Make checks or money order payable to Special Olympics North Carolina and mail to
the Morrisville Office. Once SONC receives 300 orders, which are required by NCDMV to issue
the plates, your license plate will be sent to you based on the information provided on this form.
SAMPLE LETTER FOR LAMB FOUNDATION REQUESTS
Knights of Columbus, Council # XXX
Dear Council Members,
Thanks to the continued support of Knights of Columbus Councils across North Carolina, Special
Olympics is proud to say we now serve more than 38,000 athletes, including #### athletes in
Your council’s gift to Special Olympics XXXXXX County will help to provide sports training and
competition opportunities for athletes in your area, including equipment, uniforms, travel expenses
to state level competitions, and sports facility rentals. Special Olympics athletes are never charged
a fee to participate, so your financial support is vital!
Special Olympics strives to provide children and adults with intellectual disabilities hope for a
healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life through sports training and competition that keeps them
engaged in regular physical activity within a structured peer network. Through participation in
Special Olympics our athletes achieve goals, build self confidence and improve their over all
health and well-being. We invite the Knights of Columbus to continue their generous partnership
with Special Olympics. Our athletes need your support!
On behalf of Special Olympics athletes in your area and across state, we thank you for your long
time support of our program. I hope you will include us in your giving this year. Your gift will
improve lives of hundreds of people with intellectual disabilities in the XXXXX (county or city)
If you need further information, please feel free to contact me at XXXXXXXX or Julie Talbert at
(919) 719-7662 xt.114. I look forward to working with the Knights in Council XXX for many years
All the best,
(Name), Local Coordinator
Special Olympics XXXXXXX County
INSERT SONC License Plate Order Form – PDF file
General Fund Raising Tips
1. The 25% Rule:
In order to maximize revenue for your local program, it is important to minimize expenses. For
any fund raising event you hold, your expenses should not exceed more than 25% of the total
revenue raised (i.e. If you plan to raise $1,000 from a car wash, the total cost of the event should
not be more than $250.)
To help reduce expenses, plan the event far in advance. In addition to soliciting cash gifts from
area businesses, also ask for in-kind gifts so items that you would normally pay for can be provided
to you for free or at a significantly reduced cost (such as t-shirts, food, drinks, banners, et al).
Our primary organizational purpose is to provide sports programs for the athletes. If we allow fund
raising expenses to exceed 25%--which is the acceptable national average--then we are not
providing ample funding to provide the best possible program for the athletes.
2. How to get the money you need?
When asking for a financial gift, whether from a corporation or an individual, make sure to:
a. provide detailed information about your local program (how many athletes participate,
coaches, volunteers, sports offered, etc.)
b. explain how the sponsor/donor’s gift will be used (to fund travel, uniforms, sports
c. include the Special Olympics mission statement
d. explain why your local program needs the funding…to provide a first-class experience
and unique opportunity for the athletes, that athletes are never charged a fee to participate.
Typically, you will realize a much greater return on “asks” when you speak with a sponsor/donor
prospect over the phone or in person rather than simply appealing to them via a letter campaign. If
you do send a solicitation letter first, make sure to follow-up with the prospective sponsor/donor
within one week.
Once you receive a gift, always send a thank you letter. If the gift is a large amount, also have
one or two of the local athletes write personal thank you notes to the sponsor and mail these notes
along with your letter. Stewardship of the donors is key to enhancing and keeping that relationship
and the financial support.
3. Sample Appeal Letter for Corporate Sponsorship (modify accordingly)
[send on official Special Olympics North Carolina letterhead with your county’s name]
July 30, 2005
Mr. John Smith
Bob’s House of Antiques
123 Main Street
Anytown, North Carolina 23456
Dear Mr. Smith,
Special Olympics North Carolina XYZ County serves more than 400 school-aged children
as well as more than 150 adults in our community. As a result of tremendous interest
from families and area schools, we are continuing to grow by leaps and bounds! In order
to fund this ever-increasing number of athletes, we are seeking additional support from
On behalf of nearly 1,100 athletes who benefit each year from Special Olympics North
Carolina XYZ County, I invite (COMPANY NAME) to make a gift of $500 (LIST SPECIFIC
AMOUNT) to sponsor one of our local sports teams.
Enclosed, please find a list of the benefits you will receive for supporting Special
Olympics. Your gift will be used to pay for equipment, uniforms, traveling expenses (food,
lodging and transportation), and facility rentals. Since athletes are never charged a fee
to train or compete, your support is greatly needed.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports program for people with intellectual
disabilities. Persons with intellectual disabilities involved in Special Olympics North
Carolina participate as athletes, coaches, officials, speakers, staff, and volunteers.
Thousands of people with intellectual disabilities have gained respect and acceptance
through Special Olympics by having the opportunity to develop physical fitness,
demonstrate courage, experience joy and share their unique talents with family, friends,
and the community.
I hope Special Olympics North Carolina XYZ County can partner with (COMPANY NAME)
this year. Your gift will help make the dreams and goals of hundreds of local athletes
Jane Smith, Local Coordinator
Special Olympics North Carolina XYZ County
4. Sample Corporate Sponsorship Benefits (modify accordingly and send with
sponsor letter in Item 3 above)
Special Olympics North Carolina
[Always list name and year of the specific local event or program you need sponsored]
Gifts of $1,000+
•Logo displayed on signage at local event
•Logo on promotional print materials for local event
•Logo on volunteer t-shirts for local event [if available]
•Logo on local SONC website with direct link to your
•Full page ad in event program
Gifts of $500+
•Large name on signage at local event
•Large name on promotional print materials for local event
•Name on volunteer t-shirts for local event [if available]
•Name on local SONC website
•Half page ad in event program [if available]
Gifts of $250+
•Name on signage at local event
•Name on promotional print materials for local event
•Quarter page ad in event program [if available]
Special Olympics North Carolina local programs that plan to conduct fund raising
activities/events in the name of Special Olympics must complete this form if the
expected gross is $1,000 or more OR if there is any contract, waiver, or release form
associated with the fund raiser. This form must be completed at least six weeks prior
to the event or activity being held. If extensive preparations or initial costs are
required, we encourage you to submit the form before any preparations or costs are
incurred by the local program.
Please print/type the information below, attach a detailed budget or complete the
budget worksheet and send form and all attachments to your area director.
Local Program: _______________________ Coordinator: _____________________________
Name of event/project: _____________________________________________________
Who is hosting this event? Local Program ______ Other organization ______ (if other
organization, please provide name of organization): __________________________________
Organizer’s Daytime phone: ____________________ Event/Project Date(s) _______________
General description of project: ______________________________________________ _____
Will the Special Olympics name or logo be used in any promotional material? Yes or No _____ (If
yes, please attach a draft of all promotional material that may be used)
Are there any contracts, waivers, liability release forms, or rental agreements associated with this
project/event? Yes or No _________ (If yes, please attach copies of all associated forms)
Does this project adhere to all SOI/SONC policies and procedures? Yes or No _____________
Are the funds being collected by an outside organization? Yes or No: _____ If yes, how will the
funds be accounted for and distributed? ____________________________________________
Local Coordinator/Phone Number Date Project Coordinator/Phone Number Date
Last update - May 12, 2010
For Office Review Only: AD _________ VPFSIP ________ VPFR: _________
Local Fundraising Budget Worksheet
These are examples of typical expenses and income from fundraising activities.
If your project/event does not have a certain expense or income listed,
simply leave that space blank. If you already have a detailed budget, you
can attach that to the notification form instead of completing this worksheet.
If you need assistance, please contact your area director.
Local Program: _______________________________________________________________
Project/Event Name: ___________________________________________________________
Facility Rental Admission/Registration Fees
Equipment Food Sales
T-Shirts General Donations
Decorations Sponsors (please list)
Office Supplies Sponsor:
Printing (flyers/letters/posters) Sponsor:
Other___________________ Other Income:
Other___________________ Other Income:
Other___________________ Other Income:
Other___________________ Other Income:
Total Estimated Expenses: Total Estimated Income:
* Attach additional sheets if necessary * Attach additional sheets if necessary
Total Estimated Income: _________________________
Total Estimated Expenses: _________________________
(expenses should not be more than 25% of the estimated income)
Estimated Net Income: _________________________
2009-10 Torch Run
Athlete Development Grant Program
Special Olympics North Carolina
Application for Funding
The Torch Run Grant was established in 1997 to increase the number of athletes,
families, coaches, and volunteers actively participating in Special Olympics by funding
new sports and other innovative outreach projects.
Some opportunities for athlete development initiatives include Unified Sports®, Partners
Club®, Athlete Councils, sports partnerships, and family involvement. For additional ideas
relating to athlete development opportunities, please contact your area director or A’Lisa
Tello, Vice President of Field Services & Program Innovations at 866-373-4916.
Request must be directly linked to increased number of new athlete, family, or volunteer
participation in the local program. Only fully accredited local programs and agencies may
Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2009. Programs may apply for a
maximum of two grants for two different initiatives. Grants will be awarded in April 2009 so
please plan your program to start after May 2009 and be completed by May 2010. Send
the completed application to your area director.
Please include the following information in your proposal:
1. An explanation of why funds are needed.
2. The amount requested.
3. A description of how the money will be spent.
4. The objectives of the program in measurable terms. What do you hope to
accomplish as a result of this program. Be specific.
5. How many athletes, family members, coaches, or volunteers do you
expected to reach.
6. All funds must be used within one year of receipt unless otherwise stated.
7. Describe the method of how you will be able to evaluate the results of this
program and the impact of this grant.
$1,000 or less
January 31, 2009
2009-10 Torch Run Athlete Development Grant Program
Application for Funding
Send completed application to your area director
Deadline: January 31, 2009
Local Program: Area:
City: State: Zip:
Work Phone: ( ) Home Phone: ( )
Fax: ( ) Email: _______________________________
Athlete Development Project Name: ____________________________________
NOTE: The grant should not cover existing expenses. This money should fund new and innovative
programming to reach new athletes, coaches, volunteers and/or families.
Write the objectives of the program in measurable terms. That is, what do you hope to
accomplish as a result of this program? How many athletes, family members, coaches, or
volunteers do you hope to reach, by what date, and with what means? Describe the
method to evaluate the results of this program and the impact of this grant. Describe your
plans for continuing this project after the funding year. Be specific.
(Attach another sheet if necessary)
Projected number of new athletes: ___________
New is defined as
Projected number of new family members: ___________ athletes, families,
Projected number of new coaches: ___________ coaches or other
volunteers that are
Projected number of new volunteers: ___________ not currently involved
in the local program.
Amount Requested $ (Maximum amount of $1,000) All funds
must be used within one year of receipt unless otherwise stated. Describe specifically how
the money will be spent. Attach an additional sheet if necessary.
TOTAL (not to exceed $1,000.00) _________________
Local Program Coordinator: ___________________________________ Date: _______
Area Director _______________________________________________ Date: _______
VP of Field Services & Innovative Programs:_______________________ Date: _______
For Office Use Only
Recommendation: AD Approve: ___________ VPFSPI Approve:
Approved pending the following:
Not approved for the following reasons: