Nine13sports See Success in Grassroots Fundraising After Donor Pledge Announcement

Nine13sports Sees Success in Grassroots Fundraising After Donor Pledge Announcement

Indianapolis, IN ─ August 24, 2012 ─ Lauren and Tom Hanley announced their Nine13sports’ fundraising challenge to the philanthropic community in Central Indiana and throughout the country on July 31, 2012.  The Hanley couple pledged to donate $25,000 to Nine13sports if nine other organizations or private donors will do the same. Their gift-matching challenge supports Nine13sports’ goal to raise a total of $250,000 this year.  The Hanley pledge stemmed from their litigation settlement against the parties responsible for their June 2010 wedding bus accident which killed Tom’s best friend Jim Douglas and seriously injured Tom.

The Hanley pledge quickly garnered media attention with the article written for the Indianapolis Star by Barb Berggoetz and published on August 4, 2012.  The article was then posted to the AP Wire and quickly picked up by the Indianapolis Business Journal and a variety of other news outlets around the country.

Nine13sports’ staff, including Business Development Director Tom Hanley, is working closely with several Foundations and Corporate Donors interested in participating in the fundraising challenge with donations of $25,000.  Additionally, the staff is working to identify the Central Indiana philanthropic entities which focus on programs tailored to combat youth obesity through innovative concepts and a community‑based approach.  It is those philanthropic organizations which will discover that the Nine13sports’ youth exercise programs complement and benefit their own mission.  The Hanley gift-matching challenge allows these organizations to participate as a like-minded and health-conscious community in their support of Nine13sports’ grassroots fundraising.

The staff at Nine13sports is both surprised and elated by the outpouring of support for their mission by the community.  As fundraising efforts gained momentum in the media, individuals began contacting Nine13sports to ask how they could participate and contribute.  Hanley commented, “I recently met with a representative from a local community organization which works with a variety of Foundations and nonprofits.  We had just discussed the concept of grassroots fundraising when my phone chirped with an email—the email was from an individual asking how to donate $20 to Nine13sports.  An hour later, I received another email from someone asking how to donate $250.  We quickly realized that, while our focus to reach our fundraising goal has primarily been through the Hanley $25,000 gift-matching challenge, the community identifies with the family story of Lauren and I and the efforts to combat childhood obesity through the innovative programs provided by Nine13sports.”

In the two weeks following the activation of an online donation program on the organization’s website, Nine13sports has received almost $3,000 from individuals in the community.  Operations Director John Singleton said, “The effort we make to get kids exercising and to provide opportunities that help combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity have not gone unnoticed by the community.  As donations continue to come in, we are truly touched by people donating whatever amount they can afford to help support our efforts.”

The $25,000/$225,000 challenge caught the attention of many, and in the coming days Nine13sports hopes to announce the first organizations participating in the challenge with $25,000 contributions.  Hanley added, “We have had great interest from several organizations and are currently working through their philanthropic process, but we still have a ways to go to meet our fundraising goal.  The impact Nine13sports has on Central Indiana and our ability to provide curriculum that benefits many of the most significant youth organizations serving our community shows our efforts have merit.  The marketability of branding options and being part of this outside-the-box approach in fundraising allows us to continue pushing forward to successfully raise the $250,000 by year-end.”

 About Nine13sports:

Indy Velo (dba Nine13sports) is a Central Indiana 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes health, wellness and exercise for local youth between the ages of 8 and 18, using bicycling as the gateway. We have created a unique program in which we have integrated the traditional bicycle with technology to provide a turnkey product for youth programs, schools and other community organizations at no cost to them. In addition to individual betterment of health and fitness, our programs promote community, teamwork and mutual respect for one another. Our vision is to use the art and sport of cycling to teach and positively influence our participants and leave a lasting impact.  For additional information please visit or email

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