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Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
Hi all,

We are working on finding out which of our girls’ team families can secure their funding for the upcoming season. Some of the girls are able to provide their funding right away while some are scrambling and looking for help. I know someone fairly wealthy who is willing to donate to help the girls’ whose families can’t afford the cost. When I brought this up to the gym, I was told no because it wouldn’t be fair to just help the girls in need and that the money should apply to everyone equally. I can understand everyone wanting a lower cost, but I feel like some folks need it more than others.

To me, that would be like saying college scholarships shouldn’t help the low income students with aid, but instead the aid just be given flat to everyone, even those who can afford it so those who truly need it get less aid. I’d love to hear opinions as I know this topic can be sensitive.
 
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LadyJ

Proud Parent
Feb 18, 2022
19
Speaking as someone who doesn't struggle to pay for gymnastics, but absolutely could use help if it was available, I'd be slightly annoyed if I knew teammates had been sponsored. I don't begrudge anyone an opportunity to participate, and I certainly wouldn't complain, but I would be thinking "that's not fair".
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
Speaking as someone who doesn't struggle to pay for gymnastics, but absolutely could use help if it was available, I'd be slightly annoyed if I knew teammates had been sponsored. I don't begrudge anyone an opportunity to participate, and I certainly wouldn't complain, but I would be thinking "that's not fair".
Understandable. I am stuck in a place of trying to be accessible and trying to appeal to wealthy parents. I don’t believe each parent needs to know each other’s financial status and who is sponsored by donations and who isn’t. I think that if a parent needs help and they reach out, the gym should try and offer opportunities to help.

I sympathize with being annoyed at paying full price since it appears as unfair, but I also see how humiliating it can be for some of these parents to ask for help to help their child’s dream come true. I’d love to take donation money and apply it to all the kids, but that isn’t an equitable solution either since it would mean that the kids in need only get a little bit of the money and they kids who don’t need it also get money.

I wish I could make everyone happy.
 

Ty’s Dad

Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2017
515
40
Understandable. I am stuck in a place of trying to be accessible and trying to appeal to wealthy parents. I don’t believe each parent needs to know each other’s financial status and who is sponsored by donations and who isn’t. I think that if a parent needs help and they reach out, the gym should try and offer opportunities to help.

I sympathize with being annoyed at paying full price since it appears as unfair, but I also see how humiliating it can be for some of these parents to ask for help to help their child’s dream come true. I’d love to take donation money and apply it to all the kids, but that isn’t an equitable solution either since it would mean that the kids in need only get a little bit of the money and they kids who don’t need it also get money.

I wish I could make everyone happy.
Have them do fundraisers or a go fund me. But I’d be upset if the gym helped a certain family and not everyone. This is an expensive sport, and it gets more expensive the higher the level. I don’t know what level the family is at now, but if it’s a compulsory level and they can’t do it how would they be able to afford it later on. Sad but that’s the reality.
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
Have them do fundraisers or a go fund me. But I’d be upset if the gym helped a certain family and not everyone. This is an expensive sport, and it gets more expensive the higher the level. I don’t know what level the family is at now, but if it’s a compulsory level and they can’t do it how would they be able to afford it later on. Sad but that’s the reality.

I appreciate the feedback. I’ll admit I think I view things in my own life differently with how I’d see someone else being helped instead of me, but I can respect the perspective of others. These kids are in a tricky situation I can’t detail here sadly, but I do think it would provide more information and context. What I can say, with season just around the corner, they don’t have the time to fundraise suddenly. Perhaps they do, but it will be tough. They weren’t given information on funding until now.

I have been at gyms that had donor funds for kids whose families couldn’t afford it. None of the other kids knew to preserve the self esteem of the child. Some of the parents even donated to the existence of it. I was also told ‘no’ to having a donation bucket for anyone to drop cash into as that was my first idea to lower everyone’s costs but I now have some donors who want to donate to low income kids.
 
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Ty’s Dad

Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2017
515
40
I appreciate the feedback. I’ll admit I think I view things in my own life differently with how I’d see someone else being helped instead of me, but I can respect the perspective of others. These kids are in a tricky situation I can’t detail here sadly, but I do think it would provide more information and context. What I can say, with season just around the corner, they don’t have the time to fundraise suddenly. Perhaps they do, but it will be tough. They weren’t given information on funding until now.

I have been at gyms that had donor funds for kids whose families couldn’t afford it. None of the other kids knew to preserve the self esteem of the child. Some of the parents even donated to the existence of it. I was also told ‘no’ to having a donation bucket for anyone to drop cash into as that was my first idea to lower everyone’s costs but I now have some donors who want to donate to low income kids.
Just give them some money without anyone knowing
 

WV Gym Mom

Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2022
71
49
So, if donations go through a booster organization, they MUST be divided equally among all families...its tax law. So if someone wanted to count it as a charitable donation for their tax purposes, it could not only be given to one person. So that might not be your gym being unfair, if the person is wanting to use this donation as a tax write off.
That being said, if the wealthy donor is not looking for a tax writeoff, and simply wanting to help, they do not need to go through the gym and can just gift directly to the person who they want to help, within the gift giving guidance of the tax law.
In that case, the gym does not have to be involved at all.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
448
Have them do fundraisers or a go fund me. But I’d be upset if the gym helped a certain family and not everyone. This is an expensive sport, and it gets more expensive the higher the level. I don’t know what level the family is at now, but if it’s a compulsory level and they can’t do it how would they be able to afford it later on. Sad but that’s the reality.
While the gesture might be intended to say "we want gymnastics to be available for everyone" what it might be seen as saying is "we care about this kid is so much that we're willing to train her for free." When some people count the number of times a kid gets a turn in each rotation, you know that's going to cause a HUGE problem among the team parents.
 

Lurker

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2022
31
41
Hi all,

We are working on finding out which of our girls’ team families can secure their funding for the upcoming season. Some of the girls are able to provide their funding right away while some are scrambling and looking for help. I know someone fairly wealthy who is willing to donate to help the girls’ whose families can’t afford the cost. When I brought this up to the gym, I was told no because it wouldn’t be fair to just help the girls in need and that the money should apply to everyone equally. I can understand everyone wanting a lower cost, but I feel like some folks need it more than others.

To me, that would be like saying college scholarships shouldn’t help the low income students with aid, but instead the aid just be given flat to everyone, even those who can afford it so those who truly need it get less aid. I’d love to hear opinions as I know this topic can be sensitive.
Can the generous donor set up a non-profit outside of the gym and have athletes families request scholarships? The soccer league we are in everytime you register for a session you can add money towards their scholarship fund, which in turn families apply for, but they do have to provide documentation on need.
 
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JBS

ChalkBucket Founder
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,625
Wisconsin
To me, that would be like saying college scholarships shouldn’t help the low income students with aid, but instead the aid just be given flat to everyone, even those who can afford it so those who truly need it get less aid. I’d love to hear opinions as I know this topic can be sensitive.

I'm confused about the above statement... there are plenty of college scholarships that are not based on income.

As a coach and director of a club... I wouldn't touch this. Too many variables and ultimately someone has to pick who gets the money. I wouldn't want anyone associated with the gym picking.

If the money was transferring though some organization outside of the gym... fine. I wouldn't want the club name on it though.
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
So, if donations go through a booster organization, they MUST be divided equally among all families...its tax law. So if someone wanted to count it as a charitable donation for their tax purposes, it could not only be given to one person. So that might not be your gym being unfair, if the person is wanting to use this donation as a tax write off.
That being said, if the wealthy donor is not looking for a tax writeoff, and simply wanting to help, they do not need to go through the gym and can just gift directly to the person who they want to help, within the gift giving guidance of the tax law.
In that case, the gym does not have to be involved at all.
Thanks for that! We don’t have any formal fundraising or outside help. It’s not through a booster, it’s just a donor that I personally know wanting to specifically help the girls who can’t afford it.
 

Janneke

Proud Parent
Feb 12, 2022
52
It wouldn't bother me too much if I knew some of the other kids would get money and mine didn't. Yes, of course I would like lower fees (who wouldn't?), but ultimately I can afford her gymnastics lessons. I am not sure if a competitive gymnast should be reliant on a scholarship to pay their fees though. Yes, that money is there this year, but what about next? What happens when they are doing 20 hours per week, will there still be money? Would it be better to have a scholarship fund for recreational gymnastics instead? That would potentially help more children for the same money and might offer children that are completely unable to do any sports the chance to get active. And yes, look at the legal side of it!
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
Can the generous donor set up a non-profit outside of the gym and have athletes families request scholarships? The soccer league we are in everytime you register for a session you can add money towards their scholarship fund, which in turn families apply for, but they do have to provide documentation on need.

Good question! It’s likely only a one off of like a “Oh your team needs this? Here ya go”. Another issue: the parents were told waaaay too late about money and the gym wants to collect the funds now.
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
I'm confused about the above statement... there are plenty of college scholarships that are not based on income.

As a coach and director of a club... I wouldn't touch this. Too many variables and ultimately someone has to pick who gets the money. I wouldn't want anyone associated with the gym picking.

If the money was transferring though some organization outside of the gym... fine. I wouldn't want the club name on it though.
True. I was speaking about college scholarships based on income. More like about grants and such given to students given to low income students. For example, I receive one for being poor.

Great guidance, I appreciate it. We were thinking about having the parents submit applications for the money and having some kind of group (unsure of how that would be set up) approve the money. If we got a big enough donation, we’d apply it to all the students. But, I don’t think it’ll be that big. Maybe enough for one or two students who are low income. I live in a generally wealthy area, so most of these kids have plenty of money. I appreciate bringing up the issue of the gym’s name being on the money. I may try and see if the donor would write a check directly to the families.
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
It wouldn't bother me too much if I knew some of the other kids would get money and mine didn't. Yes, of course I would like lower fees (who wouldn't?), but ultimately I can afford her gymnastics lessons. I am not sure if a competitive gymnast should be reliant on a scholarship to pay their fees though. Yes, that money is there this year, but what about next? What happens when they are doing 20 hours per week, will there still be money? Would it be better to have a scholarship fund for recreational gymnastics instead? That would potentially help more children for the same money and might offer children that are completely unable to do any sports the chance to get active. And yes, look at the legal side of it!
I just want to say I’m so grateful for your words. I definitely wouldn’t be mad if other families needed help. Sure I’d love for things to be free or cheaper, but I know some others are in more need than me. I’d be grateful I can afford my child’s dreams without financial aid. I’m a very “Help the next one in line.” person.

The only reason I want money for this group is because they weren’t told the costs until now. If they were told earlier, I’d be less insistent on being helpful. But, the kids were put on team before competition finances were ever discussed with the families and they weren’t given contracts or any clue of the money for meets until now despite XCel season starting next month. I’m trying to find a solution. Now for next year, they will have their contracts significantly earlier and more pricing information ahead of time to better finance their endeavors. This is for meet fees, not practices.

Thanks again!
 

RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
883
This is exactly why I think it's so important for gyms to lay out all of the financial expectations from the time they invite kids to join team. It's awful for families to embark on the excitement of the sport only to find out later in the game just how expensive it is. I admire your determination to help those families and I hope it works out. The sport only gets more expensive as kids move up the levels so hopefully those parents are starting to get a clearer picture of what is to come.
 

catchingupmom

Proud Parent
May 4, 2022
43
I would echo some of the others in saying that, provided they are not needing a charitable donation receipt, the best solution would be to have funds dropped off directly to the people who are in need. A family friend had (not gym related) a "secret santa" who helped them with their holiday present and food budget every year until they got back on their feet. They had an idea where it came from but it was literally cash dropped in their mailbox each year. It was a godsend for them when they were in need and the donor was never identified. You could include a note that says something to the effect of "Heard that you may appreciate a little help so your child can pursue their dreams. Please accept this bit of assistance to offset your costs. - A caring community member" A lot of us scrimp and save to give our children the opportunities we never had ourselves, and it is a genuine hardship. There are sometimes community grants and private scholarships, but those who are on the borderline are often "not quite poor enough" to qualify, or it is such a drop in the bucket that it won't affect the outcome.
 

Srose

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
34
27
I would echo some of the others in saying that, provided they are not needing a charitable donation receipt, the best solution would be to have funds dropped off directly to the people who are in need. A family friend had (not gym related) a "secret santa" who helped them with their holiday present and food budget every year until they got back on their feet. They had an idea where it came from but it was literally cash dropped in their mailbox each year. It was a godsend for them when they were in need and the donor was never identified. You could include a note that says something to the effect of "Heard that you may appreciate a little help so your child can pursue their dreams. Please accept this bit of assistance to offset your costs. - A caring community member" A lot of us scrimp and save to give our children the opportunities we never had ourselves, and it is a genuine hardship. There are sometimes community grants and private scholarships, but those who are on the borderline are often "not quite poor enough" to qualify, or it is such a drop in the bucket that it won't affect the outcome.
These are great ideas! Thanks so much! We are trying to figure everything out. Totally great advice.