We recently passed April 15th, otherwise known as the dreaded Tax Day. As I was going through my returns and looking at the countless number of factors involved in calculating the final numbers, the one thing I noticed above all the rest was the charitable giving tab. I knew that I had donated to a variety of causes throughout the year, but I didn’t realize how much this added up to until I had to file the tax return. This was not some massive amount of money, but a few $20 to $50 dollar donations added with a couple larger donations ended up being a sizeable chunk of change. Now I am not tooting my own horn. In fact, I probably could have given more, but what I realized was that a bunch of small donations, spread across a long period of time, adds up. As an added bonus, you realize that you don’t even notice your doing it until you take a second to add it up in your head.
What am I getting at here? Simple: a collection of small cases of generosity, added up, can go a long way and you won’t even notice its happening. In the case of lacrosse, the sport could achieve something very meaningful and beneficial for the sport by adopting this strategy/philosophy.
How? In recent years, there has been an explosion of lacrosse camps across the country. Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of them from coast to coast that attract more and more youth lacrosse players each year. As a result, each generates sizeable opportunities and revenue for the camp directors. This growth is ongoing. How do we know this? Because if these camps were not profitable or the market for lacrosse camps had become saturated, we would not see new ones sprouting up.
How does the charity aspect come into play? Typically, when companies reach a level of profitability, they begin to look for ways to develop outside of simply making profits. This is something often referred to as “goodwill”. It includes such things as community relations and corporate giving. As these companies grow, they tend to give more back. Although the amount ends up being very significant, it tends to be a virtual drop in the bucket to these companies and becomes just another part of their operating budget.
This got me thinking about how to apply this concept to lacrosse. There are several lacrosse charities, camps, and companies that have become very profitable and establishing some goodwill would make both economic and publicity sense.
An example? Cornell and the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation created a scholarship program in 2009 for five deserving young lacrosse players. The Foundation created a selection process based around achievement on the field and in the classroom. Several prospective campers submitted applications for the spots and five deserving young men were chosen. They attended the 2009 Cornell Big Red Lacrosse camp run by head coach Jeff Tambroni. It was a very successful program that promises to only grow in the years to come.
The challenge? To the numerous lacrosse organizations across the country to join this venture. There are many deserving student-athletes eager to attend summer camp, but cannot afford it. With anywhere from 250 to 500kids attending some of these camps, another camper or two is going to feel like a drop in the bucket and will go a long way, both for the players who are fortunate enough to go to camp and, in the long run, for the camps that provide these opportunities. It’s a perfect win – win.
Teddy Lamade played midfield at the University of Virginia from 2000-2004 where he was a part of the 2003 National Championship and captained the 2004 Team. He went on to finish his final year of eligibility at Georgetown while completing a masters degree in international affairs where he completed a thesis on the Invasion of Iraq and it’s Consequences. He is currently working at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City on the fixed income rates desk dealing with a variety of products including government bonds, high grade corporate issuance, and mortgages. He writes about the business of lacrosse monthly for LacrossePlayground.com.