Goals For Good Pairs Charity with Sports Performance

Imagine if every time your favorite team scored, you were not only hollering about the game, but also cheering on a donation to your community’s dearest cause. Thanks to Goals for Good, the brainchild of Colgate men’s ice hockey captain senior Kevin McNamara, the team’s fans will see this unlikely combination play out in every game this season.

Goals for Good is a charitable initiative that was spearheaded by McNamara last spring. Each Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) hockey team has paired itself with a particular charity, chosen based on the organization’s significance to their team, school or community. Fans are invited to go online to www.goalsforgood.org, where they are able to select the team to which they wish to donate. Through this website, donors are given the option to choose the magnitude of their donation, and to decide whether it will be added to the lump sum every time their team scores, or for every team win. Now donations are ongoing, and for the remainder of the season the website will keep a running tally of the total based on the results of each game.

“In memory of Vic Krivitski, Colgate’s hockey teams have decided to partner with The Brendan Borek High Tides Memorial Fund…they helped the Krivitskis throughout Vic’s battle with cancer, and through our goals and wins this year, we hope to help raise money for Brendan’s Fund so that they can continue to help families in need,” McNamara said. For him, this community-based approach to selecting a charity is a way for teams to say thank you to the people who have been supporting their hockey programs.

The planning process for this initiative began several months ago.

“Last spring is when I started laying the groundwork – making sure that the right people were on board, like my coach and the people in the athletic department,” McNamara said. “After that, I used some of my resources, and a family friend at home helped me get the website started. Most of the summer was spent branching out, getting a hold of the other teams and figuring out what teams would partner with what charities.”

McNamara began by recruiting the other ECAC men’s teams, reaching out to players through personal connections and social networking sites. Many answered right away, but when he made the move to include the Colgate women’s team and asked for their help, they were actually able to reach out to those schools whose men’s teams never responded.

“I think Goals for Good is going to be a great addition to our season,” Colgate women’s ice hockey captain senior Heidi Peterson said. “As a team, we are always trying to support and donate to different organizations but finding the time to do so isn’t always easy. However, Goals for Good makes it simple. We hope to score several goals this season and as a result raise a lot of money. As part of the women’s ice hockey team, I know I can speak for my teammates when I say we are really looking forward to scoring for…Brendan’s Fund.”

In order to realize his idea of achievement-based donations, McNamara needed to find an online platform that would make the web-based pledges possible. For this, he sought out Scott Arneill, Colgate alumnus and creator of PinkDingo.com.

“Kevin reached out [to me] via the Colgate group on LinkedIn and explained what his vision was for Goals for Good,” Arneill said. “I loved the concept immediately, and it was a natural fit given that our technology was designed to do exactly what he was describing. I’m a huge fan of collaborative giving and love the idea of tying donations to performance. I think Goals for Good is an awesome initiative.”

The technology refined for PinkDingo.com is a platform designed to give donors a new way to give to charity by making the process both easier and less ‘one-time.’ Ultimately PinkDingo.com will be providing the web-based software to charities.

“I love the idea of having a student from my alma mater use [the technology] for something as awesome as Goals for Good,” Arneill said.  “The beauty of the model is that it enables constant, automated collaboration without people having to go back to a website and enter more information every time they want to act. Every time Colgate scores right now, for example, 36 different people are making donations, and they don’t have to come fill anything out to make those gifts happen. They set the gifts up once and now they keep happening. It’s fun to watch the teams have a good weekend and see how the gifts compound.”

McNamara has had a lot of support from the Colgate Athletic Department for his project. Specifically, Associate Director of Athletics Shaun Richard has helped with marketing, Assistant Sports Information Director (SID) Matt Faulkner with media contacts and publicity and Associate Director of Athletics Ann-Marie Guglieri with compliance related questions. Senior Emily Bell, a Colgate women’s lacrosse player, was responsible for designing the logo. McNamara’s teammates have also helped to get the word out, and even starred in a short YouTube commercial, described by Colgate Hockey’s radio announcer John McGraw as “so bad, it’s good.” But McNamara is still doing a large portion of the work, and is currently working on ways to increase the initiative’s publicity.

“Currently, we have had more support for Goals for Good here than from other ECAC fan bases. Because it’s a Colgate-run project, it makes sense that Colgate donors caught on faster, but now we’re just waiting for the other schools to catch up,” McNamara said. Colgate men’s ice hockey has garnered far and away the most donation dollars in the league, with a total of $854 – and as they succeed this season they will continue their ascent, with $40 promised for every goal and $138 for every win. 

“I personally think it will take off and be a great thing. I know Kevin was hoping for a bigger response and more money donated so far, but it’s a long process and the first year will take some time to get going,” Richard said. “It’s a great idea and the biggest thing the charities have been saying is that they enjoy the additional exposure and recognition from the hockey community.”

Contact Rebekah Ward at [email protected]