Photo by: Isabella Gong

LETTER FROM THE ED

Dear members,

First of all, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. Everyone on USQ staff wishes that we were with you this weekend in Charleston, WV, getting ready for what was sure to be a phenomenal weekend of competition.

In our update two weeks ago, we mentioned that we’re raising money so that we can continue to provide services for members and the broader quidditch community. To those that have already donated or purchased a membership, thank you so much.

You may have heard of the Payroll Protection Program, a new federal loan program for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. USQ applied for it, but unfortunately, funding for the program ran out before our application could be approved. At this point, there hasn’t been communication as to when more funds will be made available or when USQ will have another update about the status of our application. Unless we raise more money by next week, we will have to lay off nearly all our employees and drastically reduce services for the foreseeable future.

We need your help. Our goal is to raise $30,000 by Thursday, April 23. That amount will cover our operating expenses for the next couple months.

By helping us now, you are contributing to a more stable future for quidditch. USQ can complete substantial projects in this extended off season to set up our teams and future events for success: raising awareness of our sport through social media and video projects, collecting feedback from current members on their experience this season, creating resources to help teams through the registration and season planning process, planning logistics for USQ events, and more. We can’t do that, though, without our employees.

Employees oversee and are involved in every single program this organization offers. They provide leadership and do project management. They oversee volunteers and communicate with external partners and members. Here are some examples of key projects that happen this time of year that would be delayed or halted without employees:

  • Next edition of the rulebook
  • Strategic plan goals
  • Membership customer service
  • Outreach with cities who might want to bid on future USQ events
  • Policy changes for next season
  • Certification programs for next season
  • End of season member and staff surveys
  • Financial reconciliation from this season
  • Ongoing federal and state law compliance

Below is a list of the ways you can support USQ. Thank you for being a part of this community. If you’ve been to one of my captain’s meetings, then you might be able to guess what I’m going to say next: You all are great! The staff and I hear stories every time we host an event about how kind and respectful players are, about how much fun it was to be on the sidelines of a game. You have made a lasting impression on so many people around this country and I am so proud of everything you all have accomplished this season. The staff, board, and I appreciate all you have done thus far and anything you can do during this uncertain time.

Warmly,
Mary Kimball
Executive Director

HOW TO HELP

Here’s how you can support USQ. While this is a fundraising campaign, you don’t have to give money to be involved! Your time and enthusiasm are also valuable.

The information below is also available on our website here.

MAKE A DONATION

The USQ Board of Directors is matching the first $2,500 in donations. Donate online here. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Under the new CARES Act, up to $300 in charitable contributions may be an above-the-line deduction, meaning you don’t have to itemize to claim the deduction.

PURCHASE MEMBERSHIP

To register for next season, fill out this form and staff will send you an invoice to pay online. Full details on membership prices for next season are available here. If you aren’t playing, consider purchasing a fan membership! We’re revamping the program to make it more worthwhile for people who don’t currently play but still want to stay engaged.

MEMBERSHIP LEVEL

COST

Fan $50
Team $250
Adult Player $60 until June 30; $70 thereafter
Trial Player $10
Non-Playing Referee $20

To encourage more registration, USQ Board Chair Hank Dugie is sponsoring a contest: “As added incentive, I will reimburse the $250 team registration fee to the registered team with the most registered players by April 30.”

PURCHASE MERCHANDISE

You can purchase shirts, trading cards, and more at our store. Note that orders are shipping out slower than normal.

SHARE YOUR STORIES

If quidditch has had a tremendous impact on your life and you’d be open to sharing your story, either attributed or anonymously, we want to hear from you. Please fill out this form and someone on staff will follow up with you to get more information.

We’ve created graphics that you can share on social media, to spread the word about our donation campaign. They are all available in this Dropbox folder here. We also made sample social media copy, which you can view here. A PDF version of this doc is also in the Dropbox folder.

Lastly, this would normally be a huge weekend for USQ and our sport in terms of publicity. Nationals comes with more media coverage than the rest of the season normally receives. To that end, we’ll be spending time online this weekend highlighting what makes our sport great. If you see a post from USQ, it would be helpful if you would like it, favorite it, and/or share it in order to increase visibility within and outside the community.

VOLUNTEER

This season, USQ has significantly expanded the core of volunteers who help either on a project basis or as year-round volunteers. If you want to join the more than 70 people who help support this league with their time, fill out the interest form here. The list of open, long-term positions is available here.