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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

From longtime supporter to staff member: Meet Tony Francavilla

Tony and DC SCORES' new office dog, Dexter.

Written by Tony Francavilla
Major Gifts Officer
202.393.6999 x311

It’s officially week three at DC SCORES for me, and I still can’t convince most people I know that I haven’t been working here for years.

That’s because since the day I learned about the organization five or six years ago, I’ve been a donor, volunteer, and daily advocate. I’ve been to the Poetry Slam!, Jamboree!, and Fall Frenzy many times over. The staff I’m greeting now as coworkers every morning seem like old friends. The board members and donors I’m sitting down with are folks I’ve seen many times over.

It is the oldest new job I’ve ever had.

So why am I so into this place? I’ve actually never worked for an organization I didn’t care deeply about. That’s not a coincidence — when your job is to go around and talk to people all the time and everywhere about the organization you work for, you absolutely, positively must believe in it. But SCORES is personal for me: soccer, writing, and service-learning were the three pillars of my childhood, and I’m still pretty in awe of the fact that there is an organization in my city based on these three things.

Then there’s the staff. My old friends, I never began to understand you until now. No amount of volunteering and cheering from the outside could prepare me for the logistical miracles I’ve seen in the past couple weeks. This staff of 12 is running the only organized sports league for public elementary schools in DC and the largest organized sports league for middle schools, with tournaments in the winter and camps in the summer.

2,000+ kids for 12 months a year. Did I mention the city doesn’t have its own public school bus system? My co-workers take care of that too.

So why am I here now, finally? I’m lucky to live in a city where I could play on seven different soccer teams, seven days a week, easily. I could attend poetry readings and other seminars daily if I wanted to. I want to help the other people who live in this city and play on those teams get involved with SCORES and take ownership in providing those same opportunities to DC’s youth. I want to work with the companies where those people work to make them a part of this program as well.

Ultimately, I want this stretched staff to know that there is a reliable funding stream from individuals and corporations across the city, and that there is a robust cash reserve to fall back on. I don’t want them to have to worry where summer camp funding is coming from, ever. I want them to be able to focus their considerable energy and talents on making sure that we find a way to serve the 11 schools and hundreds of kids on our waitlist, because those kids deserve it.

If you are reading this blog, I assume you are already in it. So now we need your help to introduce other people and companies to the program. I’m going to do my best to speak to everyone who has invested time and energy into SCORES, but I hope you won’t wait for me to reach out. My contact information is above and I am very anxious to speak to you!

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