How We Use Your Donations

Posted by Maggie in on Tue 12/22/2015 4:39

Emilie Fan, Girls on the Run St. Louis Development Director, is excited to share and help make sense of what we do with your donations. Throughout the year, but especially in December, Girls on the Run St. Louis asks for your monetary support and today, we want to share what your support means for a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization like us! If you only take one thing away from today’s blog post, just remember that any gift makes an impact. $25 helps purchases running shoes for a girl who may not be able to afford them, $50 helps provide healthy snacks for a team of Girls on the Run St. Louis participants, and $150 supports a scholarship for one girl to participate in the program, regardless of financial need.

See – any amount does make a difference!

Earlier this month was #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, to encourage people to give thoughtfully and learn about the importance of philanthropy. Currently, we are in the middle of our Annual Campaign and are excited to be able to meet all demonstrated need, so that every girl can be a Girl on the Run.

Girls on the Run St. Louis serves more than 6,000 girls each year – across 23 counties, at more than 300 sites and with at least 1,000 volunteer coaches each season. 

Each year, we hope to be able to provide more girls with the life changing experience of facing their fears, supporting their teams and living their dreams and that is why you see us asking for your support - YOU help make it possible for the 70% of girls on scholarship to participate and YOU help us give more than $355,000 in annual scholarships.

So, what do we do with your donations?

We Provide Scholarships!
Funds are used to support subsidies and scholarships for the Girls on the Run St. Louis program, across the 23 counties we serve. The full cost of the program is $170 per girl.  This covers curriculum materials, healthy snacks, volunteer training and background checks, program t-shirts and sometimes even running shoes for the girls. 

To keep the program affordable; however, Girls on the Run St. Louis does not charge the full cost for girls to participate. We set the cost to each girl based upon the profile of her school.  In addition to school-based subsidies, girls who still can’t afford the program are offered scholarships so that there is no financial barrier to participating.

We train our volunteers!
As you may know, Girls on the Run St. Louis is a volunteer-based organization.  Our program is made possible because of the amazing volunteers who donate their time and talent, and provide invaluable support to program participants. Volunteer Coaches lead the girls through the 10-week curriculum while helping them prepare for the Girls on the Run 5k event at the end of the season. Each year, we have more than 2,000 volunteer coaches who give their time and energy to support the amazing girls in Girls on the Run St. Louis.

Because our volunteer coaches lead the Girls on the Run program, it is important to ensure they are properly trained! Before each season begins, we require that each volunteer coach go through our 3-hour, in-person training. Our program coordinators train on the lessons, administration, program events and the overall Girls on the Run program.

We love that our volunteer coaches not only lead practices for the GOTR-STL girls, but they also learn to embrace our mission and core values in their own lives. We see adult coaches (women and men) become empowered through the program, expressing joy and gratitude in their thoughts and actions, lead with and open heart and assume positive intent, and embrace differences and find strength in our connectedness.

We Evaluate the Program!

Girls on the Run St. Louis is unique because we use a research-based curriculum at all of our sites and practices. A survey is given to Girls on the Run St. Louis sites, including all sites receiving grant funding. Coaches are given a pre-test to administer the first week of practice, and a post-test for the last week of practice. The purpose of the evaluation survey is to measure the social, emotional, mental and physical development and enhancement on program participants. The survey included questions on life skills, self-awareness, self-confidence, emotion management, teamwork and community contribution.

The survey given to the program participants was created in conjunction with the Prevention Research Center at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and the evaluation of pre and post data was done by researchers at the Prevention Research Center. We do not have the results of this season’s evaluations yet, but below you will see the report from last season, and that the overall goals were met and exceeded. This has been the consistent pattern with our research-based curriculum, and we expect the same results for this season. These results did not differ across socio-economic status of sites indicating all girls benefitted from participation in the program.

93% of participants improved their attitude toward healthy behaviors, self-awareness, self-confidence, and emotion management.

96% of participants improved understanding of life skills to include conflict resolution, goal-setting, managing emotions, leadership, cooperation, listening, and managing bullies.

95% of participants had a measurable improvement in understanding about the value of teamwork, respect, sportsmanship and the importance of contributing to the community at large.

So, to summarize...

We ensure all girls are able to participate in Girls on the Run St. Louis.

We train all of our volunteer coaches so that they can confidently administer the Girls on the Run program!

We evaluate and ensure our program is doing what we say it is (and more)!

Thank you for making this program possible with your support!