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State-Based Ultimate Organizations: FAQ


National Infrastructure Diagram   State Orgs and Foundation

Q: What is the basic plan for adding state-based ultimate organizations to the sport's national infrastructure?

A: To work with local leaders to incorporate brand new organizations that have a broader focus than a typical Affiliate that focuses on a single greater metro area (like Triangle Ultimate), but with a much more narrow focus than a national governing body that represents all 50 states and hundreds of local metro areas (like USA Ultimate).  These state-based organizations will be able to better serve, develop & grow a state or region's entire community of players, parents, coaches, teams/clubs, groups, affiliates/organizations & metro areas than a national body like USAU is positioned to be able to do effectively.  We've announced the first 3 state-based organizations to begin operations in 2016, North Carolina Ultimate, Minnesota Ultimate and New England Ultimate (serving a tri-state area of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island).

Q: Why not just change/expand the focus of current, established disc organizations to reorganize and become state-level organizations?

A: The goal is not to negatively disrupt any existing organizations' progress, focus, and/or current stability, but to instead mimic the success of other sports by adding new regional bodies at the mid-level of geographic & demographic focus.  The state-based organizations will serve existing USAU Affiliates and have been planned with the Affiliate Program in mind to provide similar services that USAU HQ currently provides in a more focused & effective long-term structure. That said, if an existing Affiliate organization has interest in the expansion to become a state-based organization, USAU is very open to that idea.

Q: Will each of the 50 states get its own state-based organization?

A: There will be a mix of organizations focused on single states as well as others focused on one or more contiguous (sharing a border) states, based on a variety of factors.  Especially in states where population, sport activity/development, and membership numbers are too low to justify the resources allocated to an organization that only serves a small number of constituents, multi-state organizations will be incorporated to serve a combined region comprised of those small states with other adjacent states.  These regional multi-state organizations will, in turn, receive a share of the membership dues from all members residing in all of the states being served.

Q: Will the state-based organizations be run by paid staff or will they rely on volunteers?

A: While we'd love for state-based organizations to immediately be led by full-time or even part-time employed directors (for maximum impact & sustainability) rather than only volunteers who are typically more limited in time/capacity, that will be left up to each state-based organization's leadership to determine if/when they can support paid staff.  Long-term, however, the goal is to empower dedicated, professional staff to the sport at the local level.

Q: How much funding will be provided to state-based organizations?

A: Startup grant funds that total $40,000 per organization will be provided over the first 3 years of operation, in order to allow organizations to have operating revenue to ideally hire staff, even if just part-time, in order to begin making immediate programmatic impact on their state's communities and members. The startup grants will be disbursed in amounts of $15,000 during year one, another $15,000 during year two, and the final $10,000 during year three, thereby hopefully allowing organizations several years to identify and begin developing other direct revenue streams to replace the startup grant funding by year four.  

Additionally and in an ongoing fashion, during each & every year of operations, all state-based organizations will receive a portion of the membership dues paid by the members that participate and/or reside in the state.  Essentially, becoming a supporting member of the national body (USA Ultimate) will mean simultaneously becoming a supporting member of the corresponding State-Based Organization also!  The share for 2018 membership dues is $4 per Coach & Player, $3 per Adult/College/Youth, $2 per Coach/Organizational, $1 per Affiliate/Friends & Family/Intro/Rec Event.  As membership numbers grow in each state, the revenue to the state-based organizations will grow proportionately!

Q: What additional revenue streams should a state-based organization consider planning to develop, to be ready when the startup grant expires?

A: Click here for some ideas of programs and events that a state-based organization might consider implementing.  These organizations will be positioned to serve multiple metro areas within their state territory and to oversee the development and implementation of all levels of play, working with local USAU Affiliates whenever possible to facilitate city &/or district programs.  In metro areas without a local USAU Affiliate, a state-based organization may run programs directly with the goal of eventually transitioning them to a dedicated Affiliate who can focus specifically on that metro area in the long term.  At the state or regional level, a state organization could implement permanent programs that serve multiple metro areas (e.g., a regional or state-level competition structure). Here is a budgeting tool/spreadsheet (developed as part of our Affiliate Program resources) that might be helpful for planning & projecting revenue from programs & events.

Q: What is the timing for incorporating all state-based organizations and realizing a fully national infrastructure?

A: Our budgeted plan is to start fairly slowly by incorporating just 3 organizations/states in 2016, adding about 3 per year after that.  Some states will inevitably be combined under a single multi-state organization, where population and sport activity make sense, so we're looking at about a 10-year plan to incorporate 25-30 total organizations.  Ideally we'll learn a lot during each year of the inititative, in order to improve the stability & growth of the sport across the entire country. 

Q: When will my state get a state-based organization to serve its membership?

A: In order to allocate our resources, which largely come directly from membership dues, we will be prioritizing the largest states in terms of current membership size to receive state-based organizations before smaller states.  See the "Detailed Breakdown" sheets linked on the Membership Trends page for membership counts and details for recent years (by state, gender, age and level) to get a sense of a rough estimate of where each state lies in terms of membership size.  Identify how many sets of 3 states are higher in membership than your state, and that is the approximate number of years before our budget can fund an organization in your state.  For example, if you're focused on the 10th largest state, then expect that the 9 larger states larger will be incorporated during during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of the initiative (2016-2018) and in approximately the 4th year (2019), the 10th largest state should be ready to receive budgetary capacity for a state-based organization.  Of course, those numbers are not hard and fast nor set in stone.  The key factor will really be identifying the right people with a combination of good experience, vision, and capacity to lead and serve a state-based organizations, in order to position organizations for success with demonstrated support from local organizers and constituent groups.


Are you interested in potentially leading a State-Based Organization?

We are currently seeking individuals in specific states to begin state-based operations in the next one to two years.  See the position descriptions posted on our Get Involved (Jobs) page under the "State Organizers" section for details. 

If you or someone you know is interested in being directly involved in creating a state-based ultimate organization for other states, please fill out this online interest form to share more about yourself and your capacity to be involved.

We look forward to growing the ultimate sport with you!