In order to achieve the goal of long-term sustainability, SUDL requires a diverse portfolio of funding sources from the public and private sectors.  Sustainability planning for SUDL is in many ways a juggling act between short-term needs and long-term strategies. In the ideal world, sustainability planning will be integrated into SUDL’s regular activities. But in reality, the day-to-day operation of SUDL often pushes long-term financial planning to the back burner. As a result, SUDL in the startup phase focuses on shorter-term strategies to bring in urgently needed resources. With some stability in short-term funding, SUDL can begin the process of creating a diverse, longer-lasting portfolio. SUDL is a nonprofit organization, thus any level of donation or sponsorship is welcomed.

Monthly or One-time Donations

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$500 and over

Sponsors who would like to donate $500 and over can submit a check to our business management office at:

Attn: Sacramento Urban Debate League
2555 Rio de Oro Way
Sacramento, CA  95826


Anyone can contribute to the SUDL simply by shopping at their favorite retailers and restaurants through eScrip – registration is quick and easy.

Donate Local

We have partnered with Donate Local, the premier fundraiser in northern California.

They specialize in using vehicle donations to support local charities, organizations, schools and their programs.  By donating your car, truck, boat, RV or motorcycle you can receive a tax deduction for the full amount of your donation and you also provide greatly appreciated support for the Sacramento Urban Debate League. See the vehicle donation form for more information.

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For SUDL, the thrust of all sustainability efforts will be finding resources quickly. While securing a sustainable funding base takes time—time that SUDL just does not have—SUDL will take several approaches to find short-term resources while a longer-term plan is put into place.

Finding Bridge Funding

SUDL is approaching Board members, wealthy individual supporters, local foundations, and local businesses about the possibility of funding for a limited time. SUDL is emphasizing that our request is for short-term bridge funding to keep SUDL in operation while time is spent looking for more sustainable support.

Seeking Funds for Individual Program Components

Rather than trying to convince funders to support SUDL overall, SUDL will find ongoing support for particular program components. For example, SUDL will reach out to area business and firms to ask them to sponsor a tournament. SUDL will also approach school principals about reallocating literacy funds to cover afterschool practices by arguing that debate teaches critical literacy skills. Funders might be willing to support public debates, curricular debates, or the coaches’ seminars. Similarly, portraying SUDL as leadership skill development or college bridge programming may give access to specialty funds. Unfortunately, the core general operating costs SUDL has (such as the Executive Director’s salary) can be unattractive to funders. SUDL will be able to roll a portion of these costs into each request. For example, if the Director will spend two weeks planning a public debate, we may wish to include two weeks of salary in the full cost of operating these public debates.

Planning Fundraising Activities

Fundraising activities, from lunches at downtown law firms to receptions at tournaments to house parties, can be planned relatively quickly and can be successful if supports are motivated by a specific cause, such as funding for a specific tournament.

Communicating with Our Supporters

SUDL will let parents, Board members, community leaders, and others know about SUDL’s funding needs. Supporters have a stake in seeing SUDL thrive, and have the ability to jumpstart the community to support of SUDL, which merits investment. Although these short-term strategies can help generate needed resources quickly, SUDL is taking some time to think about how these short-term strategies will affect the longer-term prospects. For instance, a fundraiser can be designed to become an annual event that the community will look forward to. If SUDL goes to the school district for emergency relief, that will affect SUDL’s relationship and credibility with the district over the years to come. SUDL is thinking strategically even in the short term.


Securing School System Resources

The most natural partners for the Sacramento Urban Debate League are the schools and the district(s) in which SUDL operates. Having a school system take ownership of SUDL will provide a systematic scope and stable, long-term funding for basic operating costs. While sometimes reluctant partners, a growing number of school officials—from principals to superintendents—are realizing that quality out-of-school time programs (such as SUDL) can and do contribute to academic achievement. SUDL will strive to become institutionalized within school districts, whereby the district embraces the program and handles the core budgetary needs. SUDL will seek additional budget allocations from the district as SUDL grows. It can be difficult to find the right way to convince district administrators of the value of SUDL. When making the case to school officials, SUDL will highlight the important documented contributions out-of-school time programs in general and SUDL in particular can make to the school environment, such as helping improve academic performance and literacy. In addition, SUDL can help schools meet their goals by providing students with additional enrichment and academic opportunities that support the regular school curriculum. Given that most schools face very tight budgets, we will indicate what resources SUDL bring, as well as what it needs.

Building a Broad Base of Community Support

For SUDL to remain sustainable over the long run it must have a well-developed, broad base of community support. For SUDL to succeed over time, the district and the community have to value and want the activities and services that SUDL offers. The more people with a stake in the success of SUDL, the more opportunities there are to succeed.

Broadening the Board

The Board is made up of SUDL’s closest allies and significant stakeholders. SUDL can increase support by recruiting new Board members with diverse interests and connections. Candidates include former debaters, civic and business leaders, lawmakers, district administrators, parents, and educators.