By Colby Proffitt
At the 1993 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Award Ceremony, the late Jimmy Valvano, former N.C. State basketball coach, delivered his famous “Don’t give up!” speech, encouraging all to laugh, think, and cry every day of their lives and to also remember where they once were, where they are now, and where they want to be in the future. At the conclusion of Valvano’s humorous, yet moving speech, he announced the formation of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Valvano and ESPN partnered to form The V Foundation to raise money for cancer research and find a cure.
A number of charity events and fundraisers started after the announcement, including The Virginia Vine, the TCS New York City Marathon, Run 4 V, The Jimmy V Basketball Classic, and The ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic. Within a few years of running the fundraisers, organizers realized the challenges, and significant time and effort required to promote, organize, track, and facilitate the fundraisers that were rapidly growing in popularity and attendance. For the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic alone, there were 300 golfers, more than 1,200 attendees, and 500 volunteers. Having to track everything from dinner selections and celebrity itineraries to accommodations and contributions, the organizers were looking for ways to manage the event smoothly and efficiently.
In 2004, NetCentrics was asked to join the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic to help with the organization and planning for the event and immediately saw the opportunity to give back. Seeing the level of effort that went into the event every year, NetCentrics offered the Golf Classic several options for improvement, as well as ways to automate and simplify the processes and steps required to run the event and manage the data. NetCentrics built a centrally managed, cloud-based, database with multi-tiered security that allowed organizers to track everything they needed – not just from one day to the next, but across events and across years. No more spreadsheets and no more emailing the latest versions back and forth to each other. Organizers previously had to manually compare data to track donations and donor data; now, trends and data could be tracked with the click of a button. NetCentrics was able to reduce planning time by 65%, allowing organizers to focus more on the strategic planning of the event and to be more creative with fundraising ideas and efforts. To thank NetCentrics for more than 400 hours of donated time each year, NetCentrics was designated a Gold Level Sponsor and given the opportunity to play in the tournament, which NetCentrics donated back to the event to raise more money for cancer research. For 11 years, NetCentrics worked with the Golf Classic, which leveraged a relationship with the ESPY Golf Classic and ESPN ESPY awards, which NetCentrics has been supporting since 2011 and continues to support today.
To date, The V Foundation has awarded more than $150 million to more than 120 facilities nationwide and proudly awards 100% of direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Every day, thanks to generous support and the tireless efforts of those who will “never give up,” we are closer to finding a cure for cancer. To learn more about The V Foundation or to make a donation, visit http://www.jimmyv.org/. To learn more about how NetCentrics can help your organization operate more efficiently and effectively, visit www.netcentrics.wpengine.com.