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FAQ

ABOUT US

Where in the world does ISWS work?

We’re an adventurous group, so no country is out of the question. Our primary work is in Africa and so far we’ve completed projects in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ghana. We also work locally in Austin, Texas where we sponsor and coach Special Olympics soccer.

What is the goal of ISWS?

We work with impoverished schools and orphanages in Africa, with the goal of helping under-served children break out of the cycle of poverty.

How do you achieve your goal?

Poverty can be caused by many variables, so we use many approaches to fight it. To achieve our goal, we use a two-part strategy that we describe as what we do on the field of play and off the field of play. On the field, we use soccer clinics to educate children about life through sport. Off the field of play we seek to tangibly improve the daily living conditions of the children, thru water, solar, education, medical, and construction / renovation projects.

How does ISWS use soccer to fight poverty in Africa?

We believe education is fundamental to success in life. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and especially in Africa. We use soccer clinics and tournaments to educate children about life through sport, using drills and exercises to underline the importance of getting a good education and making good decisions in and out of school.

How does ISWS use 100% of donations to fund its projects in Africa?

We depend on private donors, foundations and sponsors to cover any costs that are not project related, such as website management and marketing materials, so that we can continue to use all public donations to fund our projects in Africa.

Are there any paid employees of ISWS?

No. ISWS is 100% volunteer run and our board members donate annually to the organization and are some of the biggest contributors to our projects in Africa. This is our passion. Not our job.

Does ISWS do any projects in the US?

Yes! ISWS hosts an annual soccer tournament for children and adults with special needs in Austin, Texas.  The tournament takes place in April and participants/teams are from (but not limited to) area Special Olympics delegations.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

How can I fundraise for ISWS?

  1. Sign up and start a campaign: It’s a simple process. Choose a project, choose a fundraising goal, and write a mission statement. Once you hit submit, we will create a fundraising page for you.
  2. Fundraise: Now it’s time to start fundraising! Your campaign will be open for 90 days. Once your campaign closes, we’ll use 100% of the money to directly fund your project in Africa. As soon as your project is complete, we will show you exactly how you impacted the lives of the children.

Want to know more about how to start a campaign? Take the tour!

Does ISWS personally oversee its projects in Africa?

Yes! We’re a hands-on organization, meaning we are on location for all of our projects in Africa. In addition to putting on our soccer clinics and tournaments, being on location is important so that we can ensure that all donated funds are utilized appropriately and effectively and project work is completed as planned.

What’s included in an ISWS project?

In general, our soccer clinics and tournaments are organized in advance of our arrival. Once we arrive, we begin our work by overseeing the purchase of any necessary supplies or materials. Once supplies and materials are purchased, we oversee and often participate in the actual project work at the schools and orphanages. Our soccer clinics and tournaments take place simultaneously, with our clinics often taking place after school on weekdays and our tournaments taking place on the weekends.

ON LOCATION IN AFRICA

How do you find orphanages and schools in Africa to help?

We’ve been introduced to schools and orphanages in Africa many different ways, including personal contacts in Africa, recommendations from friends, US Embassy requests, and good ole fashion research.

Does ISWS personally oversee its projects in Africa?

Yes! We’re a hands-on organization, meaning we are on location for all of our projects in Africa. In addition to putting on our soccer clinics and tournaments, being on location is important so that we can ensure that all donated funds are utilized appropriately and effectively and project work is completed as planned.

What’s included in an ISWS project?

In general, our soccer clinics and tournaments are organized in advance of our arrival. Once we arrive, we begin our work by overseeing the purchase of any necessary supplies or materials. Once supplies and materials are purchased, we oversee and often participate in the actual project work at the schools and orphanages. Our soccer clinics and tournaments take place simultaneously, with our clinics often taking place after school on weekdays and our tournaments taking place on the weekends.

PRIVACY POLICY

Does ISWS give out personal information?

Absolutely not! We only use your personal information (name, email address, phone number) to reply to your inquiries and to send you newsletters and project updates. Our website is not set up to track, collect or distribute personal information. Our site logs do generate certain kinds of non-identifying site usage data, such as the number of hits and visits to our sites. This information is used for internal purposes to provide better services to the public.

DONATING TO ISWS

What ways can I donate to ISWS?

Online: Donating online is the easiest option. You can donate using any major credit card or your PayPal account here.
Security for Online donation: We use PayPal, the largest online global payment processor, to securely process all online donations. Don’t Worry – you don’t need a PayPal account to donate to ISWS and we’ll never share your information with anyone.

By Check: Send checks for general donation to:

It Starts With Soccer
613-B Rocky Ledge Road
Austin, Texas, 78746

Fundraising Campaign donations: Want to donate to a friend’s ISWS campaign? You can do this by using your credit card and making a donation directly on their campaign page or by mailing us a check.

To donate online: Go to their campaign page and click on “donate”.
To donate by check: Mail us your check with the Campaign name in the memo line.

How do I get a tax receipt for my donation?

For donations made online, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a few minutes of donating. Within 24 hours, you’ll also receive a tax receipt by email for your records.

For checks or money orders you’ll receive a receipt by mail within 2 months of your donation. If you haven’t received either, please email us at contact@itstartswithsoccer.org.

Do you accept in-kind gifts?

Yes! We accept donated supplies, including soccer gear, medical and educational supplies. If you have something you want to donate, email us at contact@itstartswithsoccer.org and tell us what you’ve got! From there we can figure out the best option for delivery.

What types of soccer gear do you need?

We need all types of soccer gear for our clinics and tournaments in Africa; however soccer jersey tops, shorts and balls are needed more than anything else. We particularly need full sets of jerseys, but we will accept anything we can get.

Is it ok if our soccer gear is used?

Of course! Most of the soccer gear we take to Africa is used. However, we would appreciate it if you only send gently used gear. We understand that something might seem better than nothing, but the children we serve already have clothes that are stained or full of holes. The jerseys and gear that we give these children are more than material goods to them. They are a source of pride and a symbol of hope.

Where do we send our soccer donations?

It Starts With Soccer
613-B Rocky Ledge Road
Austin, Texas, 78746