Top Accomplishments of 2016:
Top Goals for 2017:
Top Needs for 2017:
renewable revenue streams to support growing operating costs linked to the
explosive demand for and growth of school-based programs. If sufficient
resources are identified, we hope to end a 3-year freeze on our personnel plan
in order to hire an additional fundraising professional in 2018.
Additional funding and collaborative partners to help us maximize our health outreach
programs. In addition to Healthy Athletes, we also host MedFests and would like
to pilot some online resources for SO Fit programs based on initial successes
documented in the Tidewater Region.
Volunteers are essential to the success of Special Olympics. Funding is
needed to improve our overall volunteer training programs, including the
development of online training modules, which would allow us to more easily
provide more educational materials to our volunteers. This would address
our larger goal of creating a more effective volunteer infrastructure through
improved recruitment and training.
4. Funds to
integrate external websites for our major events and initiatives into our new
master site. Recent changes in Google’s mobile-friendly site policies mean that
these external sites will no longer be prominently featured in Google’s online
search results. Integration into our master site will allow for cost
efficiencies and optimized end-user experiences.
to our success in urban areas is the Urban Program concept. Approximately
$200,000 in annual funding is needed to ensure the continued growth of this
successful program in Richmond that has grown from less than 100 athletes in
1996 to over 1,500 in 2016. A gift of $3 million dollars would ensure the
future of the Richmond Urban Program and allow SOVA to expand and replicate the
success of this program in other areas of the state.
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day, around the world. Through work in sports, health education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society.
Although Special Olympics Virginia has always been about building a respectful, inclusive society, its earliest purpose lay in improving the quality of life for persons with intellectual disabilities through access to sport and recreation.Incorporated as Virginia Special Olympics in 1975, the first office was housed in Norfolk. Later operating out of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Charlottesville in the late 70s and the Central Virginia Training Center in Lynchburg in the early 80s, the office finally settled on Richmond as a permanent location.
The first Summer International Games attended by Virginia athletes was held in 1979 in Brockport, New York, followed by participation in the first Winter International Special Olympics Games in 1985 in Park City, Utah. Since those early days, the now Special Olympics World Games, have been held at summer and winter venues around the globe, including Austria, Canada, Ireland, Japan, China and Greece.
Virginia Special Olympics held its first Summer Games at Virginia Tech and later at Lynchburg College, prior to establishing a relationship with the University of Richmond in 1985. The current state championship format and annual calendar were adopted in 1987 followed by a change in corporate identity in 1998 (from Virginia Special Olympics to Special Olympics Virginia). A refreshed brand identity was released in mid-2012 and was fully adopted ahead of the 2015 deadline. Special Olympics Virginia now provides state championships in 13 Olympic-style sports for more than 20,000 actively involved athletes, with and without disabilities in our community and school-based programs. In addition to its core sports programs, our Unified Strategy for Schools, Global Messengers, Young Athletes™ and Healthy Athletes® initiatives provide Special Olympics athletes and their peers with opportunities for building self-advocacy skills, greater access to employment, community involvement and improved health.With continued financial and volunteer support, Special Olympics Virginia is poised to inspire the first unified generation through the power and joy of sport!
Special Olympics Virginia aims to provide opportunities that lead to a more enriched, accomplished and inclusive life for all persons with intellectual disabilities. At its core, Special Olympics Virginia improves access to sport, recreation and health services which can greatly improve the athletes' health and the quality of their life. Through their sport accomplishments, the athletes also develop confidence and self-advocacy skills which improve their access to services and employment, and lead to greater involvement in their community. Using sport as a vehicle, Special Olympics Virginia provides opportunities for genuine interaction between our athletes and their communities that can transform lives, change attitudes and inspire people to accept and include people with intellectual disabilities. When these socially transformative moments are repeated thousands of times over, the ultimate outcome could be a changed world; a welcome environment of respect, inclusion and unity where people with intellectual disabilities walk not as one among us but as one of us.
Special Olympics Virginia is governed by a Board of Directors of up to 25 persons who may serve two terms of three years each. Representation is statewide, and every effort is made to have a membership that is racially and religiously diverse. The Board of Directors governs the organization, sets policy, approves the budget, and provides oversight of resources and program. The challenge of any statewide Board is the ability of Board members to make the quarterly meetings. SOVA is addressing this through varying the meeting dates and times and by allowing some teleconferencing for members who must travel great distances. The other main challenge is to involve all Board in resource development and connectivity. This has been addressed through the nominating committee and its work to identify mature leaders at the peak of their careers who can provide maximum support.
Mr. Jeffrey is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and received a Master’s in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Special Olympics Virginia, Inc. a program of Special Olympics, Inc., is made up of 300 community and school based programs offering sports training and competition across the state for children and adults with and without intellectual disabilities. More than 20,000 athletes currently benefit from the program, which offers approximately 2,000 competition opportunities per year. Programs at the local, regional and state level are supported by volunteers of all ages.
Diversification and growth of revenue to match rapid program growth (school based programs grew by nearly 75% from 2012 to 2015).
In Central Virginia, we serve
some of our largest grassroots programs in schools and communities across Greater
Richmond and beyond. Our Urban Program, the only one of its kind in the
country, provides targeted support to inner city communities and school in
order to increase participation rates. Our Urban Program collaborates with
Richmond Residential Services, Richmond Public Schools and the medical
community to ensure that eligible athletes and partners receive FREE sports
physicals and access to year-round sports training activities. Our James River
Region boasts some of the largest (and cutest!) Feet Meet activities every
Spring that involve K-12 participants, buddies and volunteers. Regional
competitions are also held throughout the year to encourage athletes to strive
for the best and advance to state, national and world games.
Population Served: Preschool,
K-12, collegiate and community based programs that serve all ages (no upper age
Special Olympics provides
life-changing benefits that transcend the playing field for people with
intellectual disabilities (ID) and transform the attitudes of those without ID.
For the Athlete: Once ignored
and neglected, hidden at home or isolated from the community, people with ID
gain respect and acceptance because of their participation. Changing Lives
through Sports—A Report on the Impact of Special Olympics found consensus among
Special Olympics athletes, coaches and family members of significant improvement
in athletes’ sense of self, social skills and social interaction due to
For Society: Witnessing the
accomplishments and joy of the athletes, millions of non-disabled individuals
find that long standing myths are dispelled, negative attitudes are reversed,
and new opportunities to celebrate the gifts of people with ID are created. As
attitudes change our community becomes more inclusive and accepting.
Special Olympics Virginia is constantly expanding to include new athletes annually into our unique Olympic style sports program; with a special focus on the younger age groups. Special Olympics Virginia, in partnership with the Virginia High School League, is developing school based Unified Sports programs, an integrated model where teams are made up of an equal number of intellectually disabled athletes and nondisabled teammates call Unified partners. Increased funding, at both the state and local levels, is always needed in an effort to reach more persons with intellectual disabilities across the state in the elementary schools (Little Feet model), middle schools (Big Feet model), high schools (Champions Together model), as well as adults with intellectual disabilities in the community based programs. Persons with intellectual disabilities have very few sports and fitness opportunities like their non-disabled counterparts. While they receive some physical education through the schools, and limited recreation opportunities through community parks and recreation departments, only through Special Olympics school and community based programs do they have the opportunity to train and compete in sports like their non-disabled counterparts and with them through the Unified models. It is through these opportunities that Special Olympics athletes interface with individuals in the community and, through genuine interaction, change attitudes about the value of person with a simple human difference. At Special Olympics Virginia, our entire strategic plan is developed around one simple concept: to inspire the first unified generation.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
As more and more athletes train in their home communities, program costs expand. Facility rental, uniforms and equipment, housing and meals, supplies, and other program costs have increased. With 74% growth in school based programs targeting youth (preschool and K-12) since 2012, we have dramatically and rapidly increased the population we serve. As more athletes are training and competing, more volunteers have been recruited and trained to serve them. In 2015, it will cost over 7 million dollars to carry out the program, of which 3 million dollars are donated goods and services. In 2016, it will cost almost 8 million dollars to carry out the program. We must procure more funding by strengthening our revenue streams, increasing out donor base and leveraging new opportunities, while maintaining our present degree of fiscal responsibility. We are very proud that 89% of our funds were spent on program, 4% on administration, and 7% on resource development.
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