Dick’s Sporting Good Foundation has awarded a $158,000 grant to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) after the organization raised $75,000 in matching funds from the bicycle industry.
In what was NICA’s most successful fundraising campaign to date, the industry not only came together but superseded all expectations by contributing approximately 75 percent of the needed goal and enabling NICA to collect a check in excess of $158,000 from Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation.
With only five weeks to raise $75,000 and a track record of having raised only half that amount during a previous campaign with similar timelines, NICA sought increments of either $500 or $1000 from the bike industry. NICA made a point, specifically, to not tap current endemic sponsors including founding sponsor Specialized Bicycles and platinum level sponsors, SRAM and Trek – who have largely carried the non-profit from its inception in 2009.
“Our entire industry benefits from getting more kids on bikes,” said NICA Development Director, Suzette Ayotte, “NICA is a family affair and there wasn’t one person with whom I spoke that didn’t understand that. Ninety-nine percent of those we asked replied with, ‘Where do I donate?’”
The funds raised will enable NICA to continue to expand its efforts both within the existing thirteen regional leagues as well as expand into new regions.
“It’s not just about high school students training after school and racing on the weekends,” explained NICA Executive Director Austin McInerny. “It’s about teenagers getting hooked on cycling and becoming lifelong customers of the bike industry. It's about their friends, in turn, getting engaged and their parents also getting involved. When a student joins a high school cycling team, the next thing you know, parents are not only buying mountain bikes and accessories for themselves and their other children, but they’re buying road bikes too. This scenario is not uncommon. NICA is creating cycling families.”
NICA’s matching grant campaign got an immediate confidence boost with Shimano and Pearl Izumi’s opening pledge of $20,000 and mid-way through, an additional $5000 shot from Diamondback. Quality Bicycle Products, a current NICA supporter, agreed to match any of their vendors up to $5000. Since NICA made its goal and thus earned the match without that contribution, QBP closed out the campaign anyway with what proved to be an added bonus.
“We can only thank those by name who opted in to provide their donor info and realize we may be omitting some companies,” Ayotte said. “We’ve recognized these donors on our website and would also like to recognize these supporters as Booster Club members. To that end, we ask those who donated (industry) who are not listed below to let us know so that we can credit them as well.”
NICA honors the following and looks forward to hearing from those that contributed, but are not listed here:
Shimano Pearl Izumi
Quality Bicycle Products
Pure Fix Cycles