Would you believe that planning for the Tin Cup Challenge begins in December! In the cold, dark moths of winter, the Community Foundation of Teton Valley begins to strategize for the hopefully sunny, 3rd Saturday in July. Tin Cup budget approval, event changes, strategic planning, and reserving event-related dates and venues gets the Tin Cup ball rolling before the year is out.
In the new year things begin to simmer as vacant Tin Cup Captain positions are identified. Tin Cup Captains are a select group of volunteers that generously head up one of more than a dozen necessary aspects of the event and their own volunteers – covering everything from banner placement before the race to aid stations during the celebratory run. Additionally, the race day timing company is contracted and save-the-dates are sent out.
February focuses on preparation of Tin Cup applications and the nonprofits’ Kick-Off Meeting, as well as preliminary commitments to Tin Cup Challengers – including securing a venue for the coveted Challenger’s Dinner! Of course, the community would be left in the lurch of what to wear on event day if t-shirts weren’t designed and ordered at this time too.
In March and April things begin to heat up with the official Kick-Off Meeting and application process for nonprofits. Nonprofits apply and are approved against specific guidelines that ensure they’re in good standing as a 501c3. Once approved, the Community Foundation of Teton Valley collects and assembles the participating nonprofit mission statements into a single brochure for production and distribution during the Tin Cup Challenge giving period. Additionally, the marketing schedule is set and ads are purchased to raise awareness throughout the 9-week giving period.
In the meantime, the Donor Relations committee in full swing as they contact Challengers, a special group of corporations and individuals who give $1,000 or more to the Challenger Fund each year. Challengers provide the funding to host the Annual Tin Cup Challenge and provide a matching grant to participating nonprofits. Tin Cup Challengers are community leaders who promote charitable giving and are key to the success of the program.
It’s a rolling boil before the end of May as a multitude of volunteer opportunities are posted, nonprofits are notified if they were allotted limited booth space and 5,000 brochures are stuffed and mailed to local box holders. Hundreds more brochures are distributed via the nonprofits personal out-of-town mailing lists and throughout the community thanks to our Community Outreach Captain and their volunteers. Additionally, the giving period and race registration open simultaneously and advertising goes out in full force.
It’s as if the tea whistle is blowing as we approach event day. There are a number of venue and day-of logistics that involve everything from closing the highway and ensuring emergency services to inventorying Captains’ supplies and working with Teton Arts Council to create awards for race winners. These tasks paired with marketing the limited giving period, enlisting Challengers and spreading the word of generosity fills the month of June.
In July the puzzle pieces fall together as the event layout, run of the show and assigned duties are confirmed – it’s finally time to take the kettle off and call in the press for the culmination of Teton Valley’s generous efforts in fundraising, volunteering and participating. Join the community in celebrating this year’s 10th Anniversary Tin Cup Challenge on July 15, 2017.
However, it’s not quite time to enjoy our tea just yet – we’ll let it steep until the end of the giving period on July 21st. Then it’s time to thank all of the amazing volunteers for their efforts to bring the Tin Cup to fruition each year! After the last hand-written thank you goes out to the Challengers, Captains and In-Kind Donors, the funds can be totaled and the matching funds granted to participating nonprofits at the Awards Party Presentation. Then we can lift our Tin Cup high and enjoy a hear-warming sip of community spirit and generosity cultivated over a decade. Join the momentum that is the Tin Cup Challenge and donate any time during the giving period at www.tincupchallenge.org.