July 11, 2018

Over the past year, we have been meeting with Madison resources and experts about our plan to secure our own space - to learn all of the ins and outs of what it will take to get us there.  We have so much potential to do more - more games, more community support, a Junior program, and other great initiatives such as a derby scholarship program.  But we're hampered by our current space: we lack sufficient time and access to facilities to do more.  And the future of our practice space is in question. 

We found three paths available to us:  We could find a new place to rent, partner with a local developer to build a new space that fits our needs and rent it from them, or be full owners of our destiny.

If you know roller derby, you can probably guess the path we are working toward: #RollerDerbyDIY.  We were born of a collective community of strong women who wanted a space of their own, so they created it.  Since then, we have seen our community grow every year with hard work and the love and support from our family, our friends, and our fans.  And that is how we want to continue moving forward.

Asking people for money is hard, but when you're fundraising for a truly good cause, it's easy to calm the nerves and take the leap.  It's even easier to ask others to pitch in when you believe in what you're doing so much that you're willing to donate funds to your own cause, on top of the sweat equity you're already putting in.

So today, on our fourteenth birthday, we launched our capital fundraising campaign within our own league.   I couldn't be more excited.  Skaters, who already pay membership dues, are pitching in a little more every month where they can.  Volunteers now have an opportunity to provide funding support to the league if they wish, in addition to all of their selfless hard work.

We're taking a grassroots, aggregate approach:  a little bit from many adds up to a strong base of support to work from.  Think of the gravel base you start with in any construction project:  you firm up the ground to pour the foundation.  A sustaining network of donors is our gravel base. Each monthly or annual sustaining donation is a gravel rock that aggregates with all of the other sustaining donation gravel rocks to create a strong foundation to build a Home to Hang Our Skates.  And once it's built, donor funding can be redirected into new community outreach and programs.

In the next weeks, we will perfect our campaign and share it with the public.  We'll ask our family and friends to become Founding Donors, and then we'll ask local businesses that align with our vision to become Founding Sponsors. If you know a local business that would be a great partner for us, please share their information with us at this link.

I’ll be sharing updates here as we move forward in this grand adventure, so keep your eyes peeled for news and announcements.

Thank you joining us in our grand adventure and for all you do for Madison Roller Derby.

Talk soon!

Gaile Schwickrath

Executive Director