Following thorough evaluation and development, we are pleased today to share details of our strategic recovery plan with our members. This holistic plan includes products, services and benefits we have successfully already started rolling out, as well as important financial information for clubs regarding the COVID-19 relief grant applications. We are so incredibly proud of the collaborative process we have seen and felt over the last many weeks, and we will take comfort in knowing that together we can help our sport overcome these unprecedented events.
We extend our sincere appreciation to the USA Swimming Board of Directors, the USA Swimming Foundation Board of Directors, and all members who provided valuable input during this time.
As always, your feedback is appreciated. We remain hopeful that we will see each other on pool decks soon.
Your USA Swimming family.
THE FINANCIAL INVESTMENT IN OUR BASE
USA Swimming initially pledges a minimum of $1M in grants to support clubs and members within LSCs with the fewest resources, funded by the USA Swimming Foundation.
Clubs will apply for grants directly to USA Swimming through its COVID-19 Relief Program for Teams. USA Swimming will coordinate a two-phased approach to applications:
· Phase 1: immediate need to clubs in current financial peril
· Phase 2: for clubs to prepare to re-open later this year and restart our sport at the local level
The strong strategic partnership built between the USA Swimming Foundation, USA Swimming and its 59 LSCs is the catalyst for the success of this program.
USA Swimming will look to LSCs to support its commitment to the sport of swimming by creating local grant funding for their local member clubs. Our collective goal is to generate more than $5M in funding across our 59 LSCs and provide grants to those clubs that successfully apply and are approved based on need.
ENHANCED PRODUCTS, SERVICES & BENEFITS TO ALL CLUBS
USA Swimming will continue to focus its efforts on delivering world-class club services at all levels. This includes one-on-one meetings with clubs, coaches and LSCs, enhanced webinars, leveraging Zoom meetings, and converting existing USA Swimming in-person scheduled events to virtual experiences, while still providing the core content and information as planned.
During this challenging time, USA Swimming will identify and find new ways to support our athletes, coaches, clubs and all members. New support programs will include, but not be limited to:
· Providing all uninsured coaches access to USA Swimming’s “EAP” (Employee Assistance Program) to support mental health needs and requests
· Providing access to Zoom to any club or LSC that currently does not have access to this video communication tool for a minimum of 90 days
· Providing access to USA Swimming’s 401K provider OneAmerica (based in Indianapolis, IN) for private financial health counseling sessions over the phone
· Providing referrals to outside legal counsel that can offer guidance to LSCs and clubs, as needed
· Providing governance support from Charney & Associates
· Providing access to our athlete Ambassadors and National Team athletes for individual club virtual “drop-ins” to talk to clubs and athletes
· Creating and delivering a marketing toolkit to all clubs in anticipation of heading “back to the pool”
· Providing strategy sessions for clubs to plan for resuming operation
FUNDRAISING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Like many businesses, USA Swimming and its Foundation have suffered significant financial losses within its investment portfolio. Therefore, it will be critical to continue managing our Annual Fund Campaign to support the financial stability and growth of the NGB and its member clubs. We will also continue to communicate with our top donors who support our “Saving Lives and Building Champions” mission, as our National Team requires investment now more than ever following the one-year postponement of the Olympic Games.
Additionally, we are engaging with our commercial partners on a weekly basis to ensure their continued support of our NGB, while recognizing the challenging business environments each of them face in their own sectors. We will work to find creative solutions to continue these critical relationships throughout 2020 and into 2021.
Finally, as we brainstorm additional ways to support member clubs, we will continue to invest and support Swim-a-Thon as a major national campaign this Fall. Fingers crossed that we are all back in the pool by then, which would make this initiative a significant call to action for swimmers to help their own local clubs financially. USA Swimming commits to not only delivering the same level of national marketing support, promotion and prizes, but will also defer our 5% share in 2020 and 2021 back to our local participating clubs.
REDUCING AND MANAGING OUR NGB EXPENSES
Like all businesses and non-profit organizations, we must start our way forward by reducing all non-essential expenses at home, here in Colorado Springs, which has been underway since early March. The CEO and CFO, in collaboration and with the rest of our Strategy Team and Board of Directors, will continue to identify areas of expense reduction for the organization across all divisions. Nothing is off the table in terms of expense reduction, other than supporting our National Team athletes and member clubs across this great country.