Fund Mission Statement
The T2L Debate Fund aims to expand access to competitive debate through micro-grants and scholarships.
The T2L Debate Fund has been established with the purpose of expanding access to debate. We plan on giving out micro-grants to debaters/schools to help cover the cost of traveling and provide scholarships. We are hoping to secure small recurring donations this year, and are developing a long-term fundraising strategy.
We believe the current strategy of “GoFundMe” campaigns is unsustainable in the long run because of a lack of central organization and the inability to approach outside donors. It also disproportionately favors those who have established connections in the community. A fund that individuals and corporations can contribute to will overcome those disadvantages by providing a central location for the management and distribution of community funds.
In choosing members for the committee, we assessed the following three factors: geographic distribution, past contributions to the community, and approachability. In the coming months, we hope to set up the criteria and deadlines for various program and reach out to the community for further support.
- Priten Shah: CEO at Teach to Learn Foundation, New York
- Stefan Bauschard: Director of Debate at Lakeland School District, New York
- Brian Manuel: Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University, California
- Bill Smelko: Head Debate Coach at San Deiguito Academy, California
- Sara Sanchez: Director of Debate at Lexington High School, Massachusetts
- Eric Oddo: Head Debate Coach at Niles West High School, Illinois
- Alex Parkinson: Assistant Debate Coach at Harvard Debate Council, Massachusetts
- Eric Emerson: Debate Coach at The Kinkaid School, Texas
- Christian Lundberg: Professor and Communication Strategies Consultant, North Carolina
- Shunta Jordan: Director of Debate at Pace Academy, Georgia
- Micro-grants for teams to travel to various tournaments
- Scholarships to promote social justice in the debate community
Send a check/money order to:Teach to Learn Foundation
c/o Debate Fund
156 Locust Ave.
Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567
Feel free to reach out to any of our committee members regarding donations at the various tournaments we collectively travel to!
What is the difference between Razoo and GoFundMe?
First, Razoo is tax deductible, because they only allow non-profits to raise money on their website. All transactions made on their site are accompanied by a receipt, which you can present to your accountant. Second, the platform is not the only problem, it is also a question of the management of funds and long-term sustainability of a community giving system.
Will there be overarching criteria for eligibility?
While criteria will be specific to each individual program, all travel grants will be “need-based,” along with other factors.
How will conflicts of interest be handled?
All committee actions are subject to the conflict of interests policy defined in the bylaws of the Teach to Learn Foundation. Committee members will be asked to abstain from voting on any proposal that violates the company policy. We will also enforce a separate conflict of interest policy modeled off of CEDA’s judge conflicts policy.
Are there any of the GoFundMe crowdsourcing efforts that have happened over the 2013-2014 year that the fund would not have supported?
We can say in confidence that of all the campaigns we saw, they all would have been eligible for application. Of course, whether or not we would have funded them would depend on the amount of funding available, and what the committee would have believed is the ideal allocation of the funds.
Does the fund provide any capacity building support or requirements with the funding?
Our primary purpose is to fund short-term competitive and educational opportunities. My answer to the next question answers this better.
Does the fund allow donors to choose which projects they support, or is it all allocated by the committee?
Although, we can not have funds allocated to individuals in order to maintain tax deductibility, we would love to host crowd funded “projects” within our fund. If anyone is interested in doing so, they can email us and we can create a simple interface for said project. You would have to provide clear guidelines for the purpose of the project and what the decision for funding ought to factor in. For example, if someone wanted to create a grant for debaters in the northeast only, they could email us saying so. We would review whatever project you wanted to create to make sure it meets the requirements to maintain our tax exempt status.