FOUND: A Donor For Your NCAA or High School Water Polo Program

Joan Gould
Water Polo Planet

Across the country, NCAA and high school water polo programs are falling victim to the ragged US economy.   Title IX,  rumored reorganization of the NCAA and pay-to-play athletic trends in high school sports are putting financial pressure on coaches across the country to contain or reduce costs and further water down their cash strapped programs. Here in the US, experience shows that once a program is eliminated, there is a less than 5% chance that it will be reinstated in the future.

The reality is that the US loves college basketball and football.   Although I live 1 mile from Butler University,  I do not thank Brad Stevens for causing every small school AD in the country to drool over “small school makes the big time” March Madness fantasies.   In the midst of the worst budget shortfall in California history, the UCSD Athletic Director is not tightening his belt…he is busy drinking Kool-Aid  that has him hallucinating over the benefit of football to a cash strapped institution!

“My AD promised me there will be no cuts” … is the latest mantra coming from coaches offices which leaves me shaking my head in disbelief.  Believe me, folks, ask the AD at UC Davis… if the college president or chancellor tells your AD to cut $2 million, several sports are gonna be HISTORY… particularly if the AD sees the benefit of eliminating maintenance costs by filling your schools pool with concrete to create a basketball court or additional parking for the football stadium.  The sad fact is that our water polo programs are not even as secure as the institutions cash flow.

 The recent loss of 5 sports at UC Davis should have been a wake up call for every NCAA and high school water polo coach in the US…setting off the alarm that fundraising for your program is overdue. 

 The UC Davis coaches were smart. Steve Doten began fundraising 2 years ago and had the courage to announce publicly that the program was in danger, giving the Water Polo community the ability to raise enough money to help save the program.  Not all programs are as lucky…our pool decks are littered with the fading echoes of UC Santa Cruz, Slippery Rock, University of Massachusetts, Loyola of Chicago and myriad others whose programs did NOT get that final chance to help themselves. 

Steve Doten happened upon the fund raising reality that “Donors help those who help themselves”. UC Davis Men's Water Polo started with a $60,000 pot which the water polo community increased with $20-$250 donations to reach $150,000. This amount became the seed that told potential donors that the program had widespread support and was thus an attractive (and tax deductible) program into which to invest large donations.  The $150,000 investment seed at UC Davis has become nearly $500,000 due to the generosity of many people.

What do water polo coaches know about fundraising?  How do you begin to raise the millions of dollars needed to endow your program?  Where do you find those big donors?  Where do you start? 

You start and probably finish by contacting Michael Salit at [email protected] .  Michael is the parent of 2 UC Davis men's water polo players and coincidentally owns the company which began the UC Davis fundraising drive in the recent months when he became aware of the urgent need for an influx of funds to keep from losing the program.  Michael’s company, EM8, exclusively markets the 2ReturnMe product.   Chances are pretty good that contacting Michael will be both the first and last thing you need to do to begin endowing your program with a program that returns money to your coffers year after year and appeals to EVERYONE with a simple call to action and a very low cost.

This is truly the solution to creating Long Term Legacy Fundraising plans, whether for a club, a school, and organization or a university.  What is available is a simple, yet brilliant program that will create an ongoing, ever-expanding, source of revenue for any type of organization who is willing to engage in the process.

So what’s the catch? The catch is that Michael Salit has found a way to raise money based on one of life’s few CERTAINTIES…the fact that teenagers and airlines lose everything. 

Did you ever wish that you had a dollar for every cell phone, graphing calculator, set of car keys or iPods your kids have lost?  Guess what?  Michaels program gives your program MORE than a dollar and increases the chances that the lost item will actually be found and returned.   Not only that…this program puts your school logo on each piece of material, creating  a multitude of advertising impressions for your program,  fund raising, recruiting players and allowing you to partner with area high schools to increase your exposure.

What is it exactly?

2ReturnMe™ is a identity theft protected lost and found recovery service for virtually anything that matters. When a 2ReturnMe™ tag or label is attached to your belongings, should you lose it, you increase your chance of recovery by up to 85% because of our patented contact system. Attach 2ReturnMe™ tags or labels to your luggage, briefcases, backpacks, work bags, gym bags, golf bags, car keys, jackets and apparel, purses, iPods, mp3 players, laptops, digital cameras, memory sticks, cell phone, pets or any other item you deem valuable.

When a lost item is found with 2ReturnMe™ labels or tags attached, the finder can connect with the owner in less than 60 seconds in most cases.
"Old School" ID tags handed over your personal information to anyone and everyone. With a single glance, in less time than it takes to order a soda, your name, address, and phone number can be read off and used for purposes that don’t have your best interest in mind. 2ReturnMe™ is a safe alternative to keep your identity protected, while still providing a fast and easy way to reach you should someone find something that belongs to you. 
Be Smart. Be Safe.  Be Proactive... that’s the message-and 2ReturnMe is the conduit to ensure you are all those things.
How does it work?

2ReturnMe's key to it’s exceptional Lost and Found service is its simplicity. 2ReturnMe™ tags and labels are a simple yet modern solution to the 'Finders Keepers Losers Weepers' dilemma. The 2ReturnMe™ Brand message is easily understood and encourages finders to take immediate action. 2ReturnMe™ patented contact system allows the owner to program up to 5 contact numbers and an email that can be used to find you when your lost item has been found.

  1. The finder calls the toll free number imprinted on the tag or label.

  2. Finder enters the PIN code on tag or label

  3. The 2ReturnMe™ automated system will then start calling the 5 programmed numbers putting the finder in contact with the owner immediately and safely. If a voicemail system comes on during the contact process, the finder can choose to leave a message or skip ahead to the next contact numbers.

  4. If contact cannot be made through the 2ReturnMe™ phone system the finder may leave a message at the end of the call. This voicemail and contact details will be emailed to the owner of the lost belonging to make contact for recovery details.

Is it really that big of a problem?

The FBI and PTA recommends that you do not write any personal information on any form of ID. A safe and secure lost and found identity theft protected service is what is needed. 2ReturnMe™ meets and exceeds all these recommendations.

  • 12,000 laptops are reported lost every week at 36 of the largest U.S. airports
  • 85 million cell phones are lost every year (most in taxi cabs!)
  • Every year there are over 20 million sets of car & house keys that are lost in the United States
  • Airlines in the USA lose 10,000 pieces of luggage every day - 1 in 4 iPods® are lost each year at a cost of $100-$300 each
  • Penn Station New York receives 4,000 lost items a day
  • Taxis in London reported 4,973 laptops, 5,939 Pocket PC’s and 63,135 cell phones were left in their cabs
  • Disneyland reports approximately 300 cell phones plus numerous iPods®, PDA’s, backpacks are lost every week

Identity Theft Facts:

  • Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the world
  • 11 million Americans have been victim of Identity Theft
  • When personal information is exposed criminals can net $1,000’s of dollars
  • Most victims don’t even know how criminals accessed their personal information
  • 63% of Identity theft is controllable
  • $49.3 billion dollars was stolen from identity theft victims in the United States

 Yes, it is, but don’t worry, 2ReturnMe is here to help .....truly, America’s NEW Lost and Found.

What’s Next?

The first thing, is to get in touch with the team at EM8 to define what your needs are.  They will then put together a plan that will not only meet the immediate needs to fix a problem, but will create a long term funding solution that will put a stop to the conversation of “how are we going to raise money this year?” for decades to come.

You can reach EM8 by calling their corporate offices, toll free 877-808-8EM8, or, by emailing Ms. Riana Bennerotte, Director of communications,  [email protected]  and request to schedule an interview. 

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