Ever since I was a young child l have been fundraising. Elementary school was all about selling books, magazine subscriptions, holiday pies, and toys. In middle school it was selling candy bars and candles door to door before the holidays. Recreational sports leagues throughout the years had me outside of our local supermarkets engaged in tag days. I was very competitive, most likely due to being so active in sports.
As you can imagine, the competitiveness carried over from the field. When I entered my senior year of high school, each student was given an opportunity to run his or her own fundraiser in hopes of raising enough money to go on the senior class trip. In collaboration with Domino’s Pizza, I created the school’s largest single student fundraiser. By hosting an “all you can eat” pizza party, students could opt out of the school lunch for delicious Dominos pizza. It was a hit! $1,500 later I was off to Disney, not having to burden my parents with an extra expense and I was able to give a few hundred dollars to another student who may not have otherwise been able to go. The reason behind my fundraising was clearly for my own benefit.
I never really had a specific heartfelt “reason, or cause” to raise money. The organizations I had been involved with required the students or athletes to participate in fundraising to be able to continue certain programs. There was usually an incentive to sell the most and I always wanted to be that top seller. It was mostly about “ME” in my younger years; as it was for many kids not knowing the real reason behind the charitable revenue generating scheme we call “Fundraising.”
If there is one example that highlights a time I displayed, selflessness, dedication, time, energy, and resources for no personal gain, it was when I created “The Dodgeballin’ For Kids Foundation”. It all started as a class assignment my junior year of college. We were tasked with creating a sports themed fundraising event in our community to raise money for a non-profit organization.
I wanted to create the largest dodge ball tournament in the area offering it to multiple age divisions to expand the participation. Branding. No limits. No ceilings. Let’s get this as big as we can. Here is the kicker… we had a $0 budget that first year. College doesn’t pay you –ha! It was really the epitome of an entrepreneurial startup.
With “Passion and a Plan” you can be very impactful in almost anything you do. You can reach any goal you set before you. As the president of “The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising”, Larry Johnson says, “Fundraising is about people, not money.” This could not be truer. I needed to utilize every resource and relationship I had to make this a project that people would not forget. That first year we raised $5,000 spending only $300. Within 4 years of the organization’s inception, we incorporated as a 501(c)3 in Massachusetts. We have had thousands of people involved: players, volunteers, spectators, and even professional NFL football players have taken part. Over $40,000 had been raised and given to various children’s charities in the Southcoast, MA area.
As I look back, I realize the power of multiple people working together towards one common goal is incredible. With a definiteness of purpose, passion, and a plan “The Dodgeballin’ For Kids Foundation” was created. We utilized our resources to their fullest potential to financially support programs within various children’s charities, and bring another layer of awareness to the causes we support. I don’t know about you, but when there’s a glimmer of success on the horizon, I tend to do everything I can to get there.
On and off the court I continue to want to do more, and do it better.
About Robert Costa Jr.
Robert Costa Jr is a Risk Advisor with FBinsure out of their HQ office, Taunton, MA. He works closely with medium and large market businesses on their risk management and commercial insurance. The proprietary process he implements… in identifying, controlling and mitigating risks beyond what organizations are aware of, is second to none. As a Risk Advisor this gives him the opportunity to make more of a direct impact on their organizations; in return provide solutions for them to be more productive and more profitable. “There is no better feeling, than to contribute your experience to an organization to which in turn helps them become more sustainable.”
Prior to FBinsure Robert was the sales manager for MBNED, a start-up distribution company serving the gas station, liquor, and c-store industries in New England. As sales manager he developed their sales program: Team, Strategies, and Revenue Stream Diversification. In the time he was there, just a little over 2 years, MBNED went from 100 customers and $500,000 in revenue to nearly 2,000 accounts bringing in over $9,000,000.
Currently: Robert serves as the Director of Business Development for “The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.” Robert brings his sales experience to make a direct, positive impact that leads to sustainable growth. He is also the Founder and Executive Director to the non-profit 501c(3) “The Dodgeballin’ For Kids, Foundation” His organization hosts community dodge ball events to raise money for children’s organizations. Various beneficiaries are chosen each year. They are a positive impact both on and off the court to hundreds of children each year.
Robert is very involved with various non-profit organizations across New England as he has served on various committees and boards; including The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River, Charlton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary (to implement The South Coast Hospital’s Group largest fundraiser – Annual Gala) as well as his own Dodgeballin’ For Kids.
Robert Costa Jr is from Fall River, MA where he currently resides today. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business. In his spare time, Robert enjoys football, jet skiing, physical fitness, and vacationing at his house on Cape Cod. He is a lifelong resident of Fall River.
As he believes credibility is key, Robert looks forward to doing more, doing it better and making a bigger contribution.
Other notable achievements:
* While in college he received various awards, such as: The SouthCoast’s “Best & Brightest” as well as the Fall River Educational School Committee award for “Giving Back” to his community.
* Within the first year out of college he was brought in to co-coordinate the SouthCoast’s FIRST ever TED Talk, TEDxNewBedford around the theme “Overcoming: Complexity, Value, and Time. “
* Robert delivered the key note motivational address at the Fall River Educators Seminar in 2012.