Team-Up for Girls

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Team-Up for Girls

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Team-Up for Girls empowers college-age women to volunteer their time as coaches and role models for girls in low-income communities in California.

About You
Contact Information


First name


Last name


Your job title

Associate Director

Name of your organization

Team-Up for Youth

Organization type


Annual budget/currency

$3.4 Million

Mailing address

310 8th Street, Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

Telephone number

(510) 663-9200

F-a-x number
Email address
Alternative email address

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Project Street Address

310 8th Street, Suite 300

Project City


Project Province/State


Project Postal/Zip Code


Project Country
Your idea
Choose your sport: (check all that apply)


If you chose "other" for Sport, please define in 1-2 words below

All of the above

What approach does your initiative incorporate?


Year the initiative began (yyyy)


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Plot your innovation within the discovery framework:

Perception shapes the future


Visibility multiplies participation

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What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Team-Up for Girls empowers college-age women to volunteer their time as coaches and role models for girls in low-income communities in California.

How many people does your innovation serve or plan to serve? Exactly who will benefit?

In the first two years, Team-Up for Girls will recruit 750 new women coaches to lead sports teams in low-income neighborhoods. Many of these new coaches will be women of color who are currently enrolled as college students. We will give them the training and support they need to be successful leaders for their teams.

We estimate that each of these coaches will touch the lives of at least 10 girl athletes. Together, they'll reach an incredible 7,500 girls in urban areas of California.

Do you have any existing partnerships? If so, please list and describe.

We work with universities throughout California and after-school programs in low-income neighborhoods to connect enthusiastic volunteer coaches—especially women—with programs that need their support. Our partners include UC Berkeley, California State Universities, Stanford University, and community colleges. We are excited to bring our program to the University of Southern California in 2009! We partner with over 120 programs that offer sports for low-income youth. Our coaches teach every sport varying from traditional sports like softball to lesser known ones like futsal. In addition to placing coaches, we develop organizations' commitment to girl athletes and their awareness of gender inequities in low-income sports programs.

We also partner with high-profile teams to bring attention to the power of women coaches to affect change in the lives of low-income girl athletes. Current partners include the San Francisco Giants, the Cal Womens' Basketball Team, and Stanford University.

In which sector do these partners work? (Check all that apply)

Citizen sector (non profits, NGOs) .

How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Team-Up for Girls is a special initiative of our Coaching Corps program which recruits, trains, and places volunteer coaches at after-school programs in low-income neighborhoods. The majority of our volunteers are college-age women who are as passionate about kids as they are about sports. We give them the training and resources they need to be successful leaders for their teams and beyond. Through online social media such as Facebook and Twitter, we foster an active community for women coaches to discuss best practices.

To complement our recruitment efforts, we will launch a bilingual, public campaign to change social norms about women and girls in sports. Through local media strategies, we will educate parents about the academic and health benefits that sports can deliver and the potential for women coaches to be role models for their daughters. In partnership with high-profile teams and coaches, our public events will bring much needed attention to women and girls in sports.

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact

Team-Up for Girls will recruit hundreds of new women coaches in California who are committed to changing the lives of girls through sports!

What does impact/success look like? Please list any tangible measures of the impact of your innovation

Team-Up for Girls will recruit 750 new women coaches by 2011. These women will foster supportive athletic environments where girls are inspired to get into the game—regardless of experience or natural ability. By training and placing hundreds of committed coaches, we will impact thousands of girls and give them the potential to incorporate athletics into their self-identity. With the mentorship of women coaches, these girls will build healthy bodies, develop strong minds, and make smarter decisions about their futures.

In addition, we will work to build a field for girls' sports in California. We will provide technical assistance to after-school programs so that their programs are designed with girls in mind. We will give parents the message that their daughters are more likely to succeed if they are encouraged to play sports. Finally, we will educate policymakers on the importance of girls' sports and concrete ways that they can take a stand for gender equity in our society.

Is there a chance that your project could change policy (within an institution or government)?

The new presidential administration is intensely focused on increasing civic involvement and creating new opportunities for Americans to serve their communities. Team-Up for Girls offers a blueprint for how to engage more college students in meaningful service opportunities that dramatically improve the lives of the young people they serve—on and off the playing field. Our campaign will educate policymakers about the value of coaching as a mentorship activity and the critical impact that sports can have on communities. We will use policy levers on federal, state, and local levels so that sports programs and volunteer coaches can access new funding streams for community service.

Aside from financial sustainability, how do you plan to grow the initiative or expand your intended impact?

Team-Up for Girls is a multi-year initiative to engage low-income girls in sports by recruiting more women coaches through our successful Coaching Corps program. While we have been committed to girls since our inception in 2002, in coming years we will focus even closer on girls and coaching. We will intensify our efforts for girls in Northern California – where we are already present – and scale up statewide in 2009, creating model programs that national partners could use in years to come.

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

Our 2009 Funding Sources include Rogers Family Fdn., Jay & Rose Phillips Family Fdn., Hewlett Fdn, Koret Fdn., Haas Jr. Fund, Foss Fdn., Barnum Charitable Trust, U.C. Berkeley Community Grants, and David B. Gold Fdn. among other foundations. We also receive support from individual donors and our committed Board of Trustees. In-kind support includes the services of experts in media relations who we have engaged to develop our girls media campaign and help scale up our Coaching Corps program, as well as from sports teams including the SF Giants and the Cal Women's Basketball Team.

Financing source
Annual budget


Annual revenue generated

Fundraising is underway and we will generate $850,000 annually to match the budget.

Number of staff (full-time, part-time, volunteers)

5 FTE staff, 325 volunteer coaches

What are the main barriers to financing your initiative, and how do you plan to address these barriers?

The economy is directly impacting our fundraising and the communities we serve are being hit hardest—our help is needed now more than ever. Coaches and sports programs are often the first place to cut funding because there is not enough awareness of the importance of sports for low-income girls and the lack of opportunities available. Our scheduled public events will educate policymakers, engage individual donors, and build visibility for this issue, in order to support our fundraising efforts.

What are the major challenges with regards to partnerships?

Our major challenge is finding structured programs since girls' programs often lack the rigor of the programming available to boys. Many programs are drop-in and are not focused on skill-building through consistent participation. We believe that more organized programs with high expectations provide environments where girls can thrive and truly learn life lessons through sports. Placing women coaches who are passionate about sports can improve the structure and quality of a girls' program.

The Story
What stage is your project?

Ongoing project .

What was the motivation or defining moment that led to create this innovation? Tell us the story.

Our experience with youth sports programs has taught us that there is a serious dearth of volunteer coaches—particularly women—in low-income communities. In these neighborhoods, parents often don't have the free time or the flexible work schedules required to commit to on-going volunteer work. We also know that there are scores of motivated college students who seek meaningful volunteer experiences in their communities. College women, in particular, have a track record in giving back through volunteering to important causes, like mentoring youth.

Team-Up for Girls connects the need with the solution: we match committed and trained women volunteer coaches with the after-school programs and girls in low-income communities that need them. Coaching offers these women an opportunity to connect with youth, develop their abilities as leaders, and explore career paths that complement their passion for public service.

The impact they have on the girl athletes they coach is phenomenal! A woman coach is often the determining factor in whether or not a girl enrolls in a sports program and stays involved through adolescence, thereby reaping the benefits of long-term participation in sports. Unfortunately, women coaches only make up 10 – 15% of the youth sports coaches in America. Team-Up for Girls seeks to break down this long-standing barrier to true equity in sports by recruiting 750 new women coaches in the first 2 years so that girls everywhere can get into the game!

Please tell us about the social innovator behind this initiative

Lynne Lee, Associate Director of Team-Up for Youth, is passionate about gender equity and creating opportunities for girls through sports. She brings her expertise on social norm change and public education to the Team-Up for Girls initiative. Previously, Lynne served at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, where she created "Coaching Boys into Men"—a media campaign which invites male coaches to be part of the solution by teaching their players that violence never equals strength.

(Optional) To be eligible for an additional prize, please select age range

13 or younger