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Cal Basketball

Following Announcement of Move to ACC, Cal's NIL Program Raises $1.2M in 4 days

September 6, 2023
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Late yesterday evening, the California Legends Collective announced the successful conclusion to their 500k matching challenge following Thursday’s announcement that Cal would be moving to the ACC Conference starting next season in 2024. The effort blew through the initial $1M target with additional donations totaling over $1.2 M overall with targeted donations to 21 sports overall.

In promising fashion, not only did CalLegends meet and exceed their 500k giving goal which was paired with generous matching donations from Ron and Stephanie Riivera, Cal’s head of NIL Kevin Kennedy and alum and donor Lance Cooper up to 500k, but they did so in a broad-based fashion, with over 1,100 contributing to the cause, including many first time donors towards Cal Athletics of any kind. Rather than a couple of wealthy alums stepping in to largely meet the goal, the sheer volume of Cal fans and alums being involved in the cause bodes well for future support of Cal’s critical NIL program and Cal Athletics in general. Donating to Cal Legends Collective gives Cal Athletics supporters more bang for their buck than virtually any charitable donation they could give towards as the California Legends Collective has virtually no overhead, with those running the collective taking no compensation for their efforts.

“I am thrilled to report that not only did the Cal community meet our challenge grant goal to collectively raise $1m for the California Legends Collective over the Labor Day weekend but they exceeded it!,” said Kevin Kennedy, who runs the California Legends Collective. As a group, we managed to raise over $1.2 million including matching funds for 21 sports in less than two full business days! You all are the best!

“Let me take a minute to highlight what made this so incredible. First, as many of us who have been around charitable organizations know, challenges grants are usually highly scripted, by which I mean that the vast majority of the money in a typical challenge grant is lined up to be donated before the challenge is even launched. Well, not this one. Partially as the result of the chaos surrounding the ACC admission process and partially just because the Riveras, Lance Cooper and myself were inspired to come together to do this somewhat at the last minute, we didn't have a single dime in donations lined up before launch. In fact, we weren't sure if we were going to raise any money at all.



“Over 1100 separate donations received in three days. 1100! Multiple people donating to multiple sports (often multiple times). Many of our most generous donors who have been instrumental in helping to fund our efforts to date coming in yet again with new major contributions. And several five-figure checks from individuals who not only have not given to the Collective before but really have not donated to Cal Athletics in any capacity before. It is so amazing and gratifying to start tapping into this large portion of our alumni base, who clearly have the means but until recently have lacked the impetus to get involved. We are now seeing that change.



“So thanks to Stephanie and Ron Rivera and Lance Cooper and to my wife for not divorcing me for helping fund this. With special thanks to the Riveras for using their large social media presence to help promote it. All of us are poorer this evening because of what the Cal community accomplished but we are all nevertheless delighted. The success of the challenge grant exceeded our wildest expectations.

“Thanks as well to Justin Wilcox for smashing North Texas and Mark Madsen for being an indefatigable fundraising/coaching machine. And of course, all the other Cal coaches and administrative personnel who pitched in on behalf of the students.



“But last, and most importantly, thanks to you all. You all did this. You were able to create a tremendous level of engagement incredibly quickly given the backdrop of an athletic department that has struggled in its revenue sports for far too long. As tradition and history seemingly crumbled around us, you were able to divorce yourselves from the negativity and embrace the opportunities this new world presented. You helped rebut the national narrative that Cal fans were disinterested in the success of their athletic department. You were able to show our new partners in the ACC that they made a wise business decision in looking through our recent struggles and focusing on our potential as both a premiere academic institution and a major athletics power. And you were able to conclusively prove that THE BEAR WILL NOT QUIT!!!

Let's keep it going! Donate here

Go Bears!

 

Discussion from...

Following Announcement of Move to ACC, Cal's NIL Program Raises $1.2M in 4 days

6,648 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 8 mo ago by EastCoastCalBear
Sebastabear
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Thanks MB. Really appreciate you writing that up. Sing the On3 article now and others picking up the story.
91Cal
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Great stuff! The Bear will not die! The Bear will not quit! The Bear will THRIVE! Go Bears!
Cal Junkie
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This is truly fantastic news, we have joined a lively new conference and demonstrated that we are adept at guerilla fundraising.. It's the metaphoric equivalent of showering off the grime of futility. As one of my coaching mentors once said: "straight ahead!"

Fiat Lux and GO BEARS!
MoragaBear
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Staff
Everyone who has a twitter account, please retweet the story and make it go viral. And please copy it and email it to your friends and family and ask them to give. The give link is given several times throughout the story. Thanks!
cal93
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Maybe we can all become united like to this to demand a change in the leadership within the Athletic Department. God forbid Know-nothing actually takes credit for this!
EastCoastCalBear
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I think this NIL effort is really fantastic. But I will say that as a first time donor that I am disappointed I did not receive any email confirmation about my donations. I don't think I have ever donated to any organization without receiving at least an automated receipt. It is not confidence inspiring at all. My takeaway is that it may be wiser to find other avenues to contribute to the program.
MoragaBear
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Staff
I received my confirmation email @5 days after donating. But NIL donations aren't tax deductible so it's largely just ceremonial.
EastCoastCalBear
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Glad to hear someone received confirmation of their donations. This is something the administrators of the Legends fund should probably figure out pretty soon. It is not comforting to blindly send money to a fund without receiving an email confirmation, whether or not the donation is tax deductible. It is really both a courtesy and competence issue. It would be irresponsible to entrust a material amount of money in the future for the program to an organization that doesn't know the basics of managing donations. If they can't even send me a receipt, what the heck are they going to do with the money I sent?
75bear
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EastCoastCalBear said:

Glad to hear someone received confirmation of their donations. This is something the administrators of the Legends fund should probably figure out pretty soon. It is not comforting to blindly send money to a fund without receiving an email confirmation, whether or not the donation is tax deductible. It is really both a courtesy and competence issue. It would be irresponsible to entrust a material amount of money in the future for the program to an organization that doesn't know the basics of managing donations. If they can't even send me a receipt, what the heck are they going to do with the money I sent?
I received an email confirmation yesterday, so 6 or 7 days after donating.

This is all very new territory, so there will be hiccups along the way. Of course we all should have received email confirmations as you state, but this is one of those times we should show grace and be thankful there are people putting themselves out there on our behalf to try and do something to save and help the program.
UrsineMaximus
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EastCoastCalBear said:

Glad to hear someone received confirmation of their donations. This is something the administrators of the Legends fund should probably figure out pretty soon. It is not comforting to blindly send money to a fund without receiving an email confirmation, whether or not the donation is tax deductible. It is really both a courtesy and competence issue. It would be irresponsible to entrust a material amount of money in the future for the program to an organization that doesn't know the basics of managing donations. If they can't even send me a receipt, what the heck are they going to do with the money I sent?
Slow your roll, mate.
EastCoastCalBear
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The Legends fund has been around for a little over a year. I understand that the recent spike in giving may have caught the fund administrators off guard. But Legends needs to know that this kind of thing is a major turnoff for many first time donors that is going to hurt the fund going forward. I am calling this out because I want this NIL effort and Cal football to succeed.
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