- I want to support the Steve's Club National Program (SCNP) I’m interested in donating money, how can I do that?
You can donate online or by check, made payable to: Steve's Club National Program, 7800 Airport Highway, Pennsauken, NJ 08109.
- Can I donate to a specific Local Club?
Yes, it is easiest to reach out directly to that Local Club (but if you want to send us a check we can make sure the funds are properly allocated). Be sure to ask the Local Club how to make the donation online or who to make the check out to (this will vary by Club).
- Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, SCNP is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. When you donate online, by check, or in person, you should receive a receipt that acknowledges your contribution and is valid for tax purposes.
- What else can I donate?
PLEASE DO NOT DONATE EQUIPMENT (see below). You can donate supplies, products, or services at any time. Contact SCNP or the Local Club for guidance on what is needed.
You might consider donating in conjunction with the annual Beat the Streets Fundraiser. This is a great opportunity to reward local competitors with products, services, gift certificates, sponsorships, etc.
- Why can't I donate equipment?
If something is donated to the Local Club or the Local Club buys something with their non-profit funds, it must only be used by the kids in the Local Club. If your Local Club is co-located in a CF Affiliate, clients can't use equipment that was donated specifically to the Local Club. Legally speaking, the assets of a non-profit cannot be used for the benefit of anyone outside of the non-profit. This is difficult to enforce if the Local Club is sharing space with a CF Affiliate.
SCNP will be vigilant about this issue because if the IRS suspects improper use of funds or assets, it could jeopardize the 501(c)(3) status of the National Program and the rest of the Local Clubs nation-wide.
If the Local Club is not sharing space with an Affiliate and it can ensure that only the kids from the Local Club would be using that equipment, technically they could accept an equipment donation or buy equipment from their non-profit funds. The Local Club should contact the National Program to make sure it's appropriate.
If someone really wants to donate equipment to a Local Club that operates in a CF Affiliate, they can do so but it would not considered tax-deductible (it would be a gift and could not be claimed as a deduction). For accounting purposes, it would be easiest if they gifted the equipment to the CF Affiliate. The Local Club should contact the National Program to make sure it's appropriate.
- Can I volunteer my time or expertise in some way?
Yes, we suggest you reach out to a Local Club to offer your services as a mentor, trainer, administrator, event coordinator, or volunteer for fundraisers. You can also volunteer your professional expertise (grant writer, graphic design, lawyer, accountant, physical therapist, etc.) to the Local Club.
We apologize that SCNP cannot take volunteers at the national level at this moment, nor are we hiring.
- I'm hosting a competition/event/CF Throwdown and I want to donate a portion of the proceeds to SCNP. Can I do this, and how does it work?
Yes, we're all for it! If you want to do something like this, please let us know and we'll send over marketing material, banners, etc. We recommend publicizing it as part of your marketing because attendees like knowing that the funds are going to a worthwhile cause.
- I am the owner (or key stakeholder) of a company/organization and want to make an official donation from my business (i.e. my firm, the CF Affiliate I own, my church). Is this contribution tax-deductible on our business taxes?
It depends on how your business is set up; please check with your accountant.
- How does employee matching for charitable contributions work?
Ask your employer if they offer employee matching for charitable contributions (this is typically more common at large organizations). If they do, ask your HR department for the appropriate forms and your company will "match" what you donate (if you donate $100, they will also donate $100). Definitely take advantage of this if possible.
- Can I donate through the United Way?
Yes, please contact your local United Way and the Steve's Club National Program.
- How do Local Clubs allocate the funding they receive? What is the funding used for specifically?
Local Clubs sponsor/subsidize the kids so they can train for free. The primary expenses for Local Clubs are program costs (things that most directly impact the kids) - like trainer costs, fees to attend events and competitions, gear/apparel/equipment for kids, transportation for the kids, providing nutritious food, etc.
Funding can also be used for paying administrators, CF Kids certification for the trainers, professional services (design, bookkeeping, legal, etc.), etc.
The Local Clubs can designate how they use their funding (according to guidelines set by SCNP), with oversight from the National Program (they are required to submit a 6-month report on their operations and finances).
Please see the SCNP Accounting Guidelines for detailed information on appropriate expenses.
- How does the National Program allocate the funding they receive? What is the funding used for specifically?
SCNP allocates funding to projects that help grow and support the Local Clubs across the country. This includes: legal fees associated with setting up and maintaining the 501(c)(3), accountant fees, graphic design and marketing materials, website/software/technology costs, and salary of staff (commensurate with fair-market value). Our goal is to build a program that makes a difference, and we strongly believe in integrity and transparency.
- What are the steps for being a Local Club?
Please see Starting a Club
- Do I have to be a CrossFit Affiliate to join the Steve’s Club National Program?
No, you don't have to be a CrossFit Affiliate but you must be CrossFit Level 1 Certified (and if you become a Local Club, you have 1 year to obtain your CF Kids Certification).
We highly recommend partnering with a CrossFit Affiliate to support your Local Club (this allows you to share resources like insurance, equipment, coaches etc.).
We are not part of CrossFit HQ or CF Kids, but both are very supportive of the Steve's Club National Program.
- What are the fees associated with being a Local Club in SCNP?
There are no fees required to be a Local Club in SCNP.
Please check with your local authorities for fees associated with becoming a legally recognized organization in your state. These are typically one-time administrative fees to file your Articles of Incorporation.
- Will SCNP give me funding to set up a Local Club?
Our approach is to provide the necessary administrative support to help a Local Club get started, but require them to find funding to support their Club.
SCNP works to obtain funding from major donors, corporate sponsors, federal grants, etc. with the intention of allocating funds appropriately. SCNP offers scholarships and programs to atheltes from all Local Clubs, and hopes to offer grants to Local Clubs in the National Program that want to grow.
- I'm part of a CrossFit Affiliate that would like to start a Local Club, but we're not located in an at-risk neighborhood. What do you suggest?
It depends on how far away you are from an at-risk neighborhood.
If you are close enough to transport the kids to your Affiliate, or have a trainer offer classes somewhere in the neighborhood, you can start a Local Club.
If you're located farther away, you can help to support a nearby Local Club. Please contact the Local Club directly for ways you can support their program.
- I plan to start a Local Club and am on the outskirts of an at-risk neighborhood. How can I get the kids to the Club?
Encourage them to use public transportation or see if they can carpool to your Affiliate.
If you need to arrange transportation, you can have a volunteer/administrator with a van pick them up, making a few stops in the neighborhood. If you plan to offer transportation, make sure there is never only just the driver and one kid (violation of the SCNP Code of Ethics).
Travel/transportation costs are considered a valid expense for use of non-profit funds.
- What if I want to open a Local Club with a MMA/boxing/gymnastics/etc. component to the program?
As a Local Club, you have committed to upholding Our Mission, which specifies fitness for at-risk youth, helping them to join the CrossFit community. CrossFit activities should account for at least 75% of your "fitness" program.
You should not start a Local Club with the goal of teaching kids another sport. Certainly, sports are considered fitness but it doesn't match the intent of the National Program. If the focus of your program no longer matches our mission, your Local Club status will be reviewed.
- I'm a L1 CrossFit Certified trainer (but don't own an Affiliate) and want to work with at-risk kids. Can I approach local community groups or rec centers to offer free training?
Yes, but you need to have general liability and professional liability insurance to protect yourself (although you may be covered by that facility, so be sure to ask). You can volunteer for as long as you like, but if you want to raise money to grow the program or pay yourself as a trainer, you should become a Local Club.
- I teach at a school in an underserved neighborhood, what are the opportunities for collaborating with SCNP?
We recommend reaching out to the nearest Local Club or CF Affiliate to see if they want to be involved. Trainers can work with kids at the school during/after school hours (sports teams, phys-ed classes, bootcamps) or the school/sports team can send the kids to your Local Club or CF Affiliate for a few classes per week.
- I'm part of a non-profit that works with at-risk youth in other ways (education, mentoring, sports, church, leadership); what are the opportunities for collaborating with Steve's Club?
Reach out to the nearest Local Club to see what could be possible based on their resources. Trainers from the Local Club might be able to offer a few classes per week or a few workshops at that location or be able to train them at the Local Club if transportation is available.
- I'm a CrossFit L1 Certified trainer and have already been volunteering as a coach for some time (i.e. at a community center, school, half-way house, local Boys and Girls Club) and they have offered to pay me and/or purchase equipment for the kids I'm training. What do you recommend?
You should become an official SCNP Local Club, and then ask them to make a monetary contribution to your Club. If this is going to be an ongoing relationship, you can ask them to donate annually or every 6 months, and it's the responsibility of the Local Club to manage the funds responsibly.
If they want to donate equipment, ask them to make a monetary donation instead, allowing you to purchase the equipment (so it would technically be property of your Local Club). Please read the FAQ regarding donating equipment in the "Donations" section.
- A donor wants to make a contribution to our Local Club by check; who should they make it out to?
Local Clubs are able to process donations directly, and should make checks payable to your program (the name used on your program bank account).
- As a Local Club, how do we set up online donations for our program?
SCNP uses Razoo (www.razoo.com) for online donations. Local Clubs are able to use any fundraising platform they wish, but keep in mind that they will take a small % processing fee (usually around 3%). Make sure the online page you create is linked to your non-profit bank account.
If you wish to use Razoo, please email Tiffany for help getting set-up.
- Can I do other fundraisers in addition to Beat the Streets?
Yes, and we strongly encourage this! You can do whatever fundraisers you'd like, as long as the primary focus continues to be training kids. Please see the SCNP Accounting Guidelines (on our Member Resources page) for examples of fundraising methods your Local Club can use.
- I'm a Local Club and want to begin pursuing grants. What do you suggest?
As a Local Club, you can apply for grants on the state and local level (SCNP will apply on the national level). However, many grant applications require several years of financial and operational data, so we recommend waiting until your program is more established before going after grants.
- Can we sell PaleoKits as a fundraiser?
Yes, but there are probably easier and more effective ways to fundraise. Selling PaleoKits requires that you purchase inventory, and then make sure you track everything you sell (and you'll have to sell quite a lot of PaleoKits to make a substantial amount). We find that hosting a Suggested Donation WOD or event at a CrossFit gym is the most successful (in terms of amount of funds raised and awareness).
If you do plan to sell PaleoKits to raise funds for your club, you must purchase them up from with your non-profit funds, and then as you sell them, that becomes "income" for your program. You will need to list "PaleoKit income" as a separate line item in your financial records.
For more information, please email Tiffany.
- Can we get a discount on PaleoKits since we're a Local Club or if we're giving them to kids for healthier lunches?
Local Clubs are able to purchase PaleoKits and other PaleoGoods at a discounted rate. You can receive 30% off an order of 100 or more items.
- What is the relationship between the Steve's Club National Program and Steve's PaleoGoods (makers of PaleoKits)?
Steve Liberati made the first PaleoKit to help the kids from the first Steve's Club (Camden, NJ) eat better. PaleoKits found a following and became a source of funding for Steve's Club Camden. As PaleoKits became more popular, Steve's PaleoGoods LLC was set up as a separate for-profit company for legal reasons (food sales were not consistent with the Steve's Club mission statement).
Proceeds from Steve's PaleoGoods LLC continues to be the primary source of funding for Steve’s Club National Program, covering administrative and infrastructure costs, and allowing SCNP to develop new initiatives and programs for Local Clubs.
Steve plans to continue the strong relationship that exists between the two, with his primary passion being training at-risk kids.
- As a Local Club, what am I expected to do on my own?
At a basic level, you're expected to:
1. Foster a safe and nurturing environment>
2. Create a community of caring – encourage mentoring and positive interactions with coaches and other members of the community.
3. Offer a variety of opportunities for youth to learn about fitness, nutrition, and personal development.
4. Fundraise to support the needs of the Local Club.
5. Be good stewards of the mission and make sure the program is running effectively.
- How much oversight will there be from the National Program over the Local Clubs?
The National Program is legally responsible for overseeing the Local Clubs in order to maintain the national 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. We ask for operational/financial updates twice per year (for our yearly tax filing with the IRS and our Annual Report; we'll give you a template to fill in), and whenever necessary.
As a Local Club you are required to meet the requirements outlined in the Affiliation Agreement (can be found on our Member Resources page) to remain in good standing with the National Program. If we find that you are operating outside of those requirements, we will bring it to your attention and ask that you rectify it immediately or risk losing your non-profit status as a Local Club within SCNP.
We want to empower the Local Clubs to operate how they see fit, giving them the flexibility to customize the program to the needs of their community. The National Program does not want to control the direction of the Local Clubs, rather provide the necessary guidance and oversight required by the IRS.
- How often can our Local Club contact the National Program?
You can contact us whenever you have a question, we're here to help support you and make it easier for you to train kids. Please direct your questions to Program Director, Tiffany Dalagelis.
SCNP often reaches out to Local Clubs through email to notify of new initiatives, requirements, and reminders as things happen. SCNP also emails a Program Update to all Local Clubs every 6 months. This includes administrative updates, reminders, news, etc.
Remember to continue using the Member Resources page of our website. There we will post updated documents, as well as new resources and templates for your Local Club (under the heading “Other Resources for Your Local Club”).
- I'd like our Local Club to appear on the SCNP website (and possibly CrossFit.com), how can I do that?
We encourage Local Clubs to send videos, pictures, interviews, latest news, etc. to the National Program so we can help to promote your Local Club. We love to highlight Local Club athletes, events, and programs on the SCNP blog. You can use the Content templates under the "Submit a Story" section of the Member Resources page. Send any highlights you wish to share to Tiffany.
Actively use social media. This is mainly how SCNP scouts for Local Club highlights (anything from athlete successes to hosting an event) to feature on the blog.
Your Local Club will be listed on the Local Club page of our website. Please provide SCNP with the following to get your Club on the web:
1. Program Logo
2. Names of coaches and administrators
3. Links to your website and/or social media
4. A short introduction to your program.
The CrossFit Journal is a strong supporter of SCNP. SCNP submits articles to the CrossFit Journal when it will benefit all Local Clubs, but we are not guaranteed that it will be published.
- Can we connect with other Local Clubs in the SCNP network?
Yes, we encourage you connecting with other Local Clubs. One benefit of being a Local Club with SCNP is the network of other CrossFit Affiliates and Coaches that share the mission to bring fitness to at-risk youth.
Local Clubs are a great resource for each other to share best practices, lessons learned, and ask for guidance. We currently do this through a closed Facebook group (Steve’s Club National Program Forum for Local Clubs). This is a great tool for new Local Clubs to learn from experienced Local Club leaders.
If you are a Local Club, contact Tiffany to access our Facebook group.
- What is the definition of "at-risk" or "disadvantaged"?
The Steve's Club National Program uses at-risk, underserved, and disadvantaged interchangeably. Here is our working definition of "disadvantaged" or "at-risk."
Youth who are economically disadvantaged or 1 or more of the following:
- Out-of-school, including unemployed out-of-school youth
- In or aging out of foster care
- Homeless or runaway
- At-risk to leave secondary school without a diploma
- Former juvenile offenders or at risk of delinquency
- How would a Local Club determine if a kid is eligible?
It's up to the Local Club to establish guidelines for selecting the appropriate kids.
A few metrics might be if they qualify for for subsidized school lunches, the neighborhood they live it, if they use food stamps, if they are covered by Medicare, combined household income, etc.
SCNP provides a series of questions on our application template (on our Member Resources). Local Clubs are strongly encouraged to have an application process for new athletes that are interested or start coming consistently.
Please note it is very important that we ensure we are working with at-risk or disadvantaged youth (as per our definition above) in order to remain in-line with our mission statement.
- How do we find kids in our community to work with?
It is your responsibility as a Local Club to reach out to the community to find kids to work with.
A good place to start is partnering with existing local groups/organizations that already work with disadvantaged kids (other non-profits, boys and girls club, state/city social services, community center, etc.) or athletic directors and sports coaches in the area.
Members from local CrossFit gyms can be valuable; some work with your target population (teachers, social workers, law enforcement, etc.) or have contacts within the community that could be helpful.
- What should I be careful of when training minors?
The most important things to remember when working with youth:
Never be alone with a child, nor allow any trainer or volunteer to do so. If there is only one youth present, you must find someone else to be here with you (trainer, friend, parent, etc.). This is true for any situation (in the gym, outside, in a car, etc.).
You will be very careful when spotting kids; if you must spot or touch a kid for the purposes of safety or to adjust technique, it must be out of necessity and clearly in the open for everyone to see.
When posting pictures or information about kids onto your website, be careful not to reveal too much about that athlete for the sake of internet and child privacy. Please only use their first name, and do not list any additional information like their school, address, exact birthdate, etc.
Also, when taking pictures of your athletes (which is very much encouraged!), please make sure they have their shirts on.
To read more on working with minors, please see the SCNP Code of Ethics (on our Member Resources page).
- When do kids need to sign a waiver/consent form?
Kids must sign a waiver before their first training session (SCNP offers a waiver template). It is often difficult to get signatures from parents and legal guardians, but it is required for insurance purposes.
If you are training kids off-site at a location in the community(community center, other non-profit, park, school, etc.), you will still need them to sign waivers. If you're training at a facility that is not a CrossFit gym, ask your host if another waiver is required in addition to the standard training waiver.
Remember that part of the waiver is also a media-release form, which is necessary to get their permission to take photos/videos of their training.
Kids must also sign a waiver if they plan to attend an event or trip outside of or at a different location from regular training sessions. SCNP also offers an off-site training waiver here (on our Member Resources page).
If you are taking your athletes to compete at an event you must have your athletes submit an off-site waiver for your program, and also the waiver for the event you are attending.
- Do kids need to have health insurance?
No, but every kid must fill out a waiver. It would also be a good idea to have an emergency contact card for each kid.
- Should I have the kids at my Local Club fill out an emergency contact card?
Yes. If something were to happen, it is critical to know who to call (especially because the child is a minor).
- What else does SCNP recommend in terms of encouraging commitment and accountability among the kids in the program?
It's up to the Local Clubs to create an effective program. You would probably want to track the results of benchmark workouts, body composition results over time, attendance, school performance, etc.
You may also consider having the kids keep a training and/or food journal, setting goals, writing a personal statement every 6 months, etc. SCNP will soon be implementing an assessment initiative to help Local Clubs track some of these metrics.
Some of our Local Clubs have also implemented a points/reward system, which creates incentives for commitment to the program.
- Should our Local Club ask the kids pay a small amount each month to show they are committed to training?
This is not recommended; it would be more effective to have them barter their time/services (straightening up the gym, mentoring other kids, etc.). Also, the accounting is easier if you barter.
- Does our Local Club have to file with the IRS to become a 501(c)(3)?
SCNP is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization (this is done at the federal level). Once you finish the paperwork to become a Local Club within SCNP, your Local Club is considered a "chapter" of SCNP and SCNP's 501(c)(3) status is extended to you (this means you have 501(c)(3) status as long as you are a part of SCNP). If you were no longer a Local Club of SCNP, you would no longer be a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status (required by the government).
SCNP is allowed to accept new Local Club ("chapters") because we have a "Group Exemption" with the IRS. Please see your Official Welcome Letter if you need our 501(c)(3) number or Group Exemption Number (GEN).
- When did the National Program receive its 501(c)(3) status?
Steve's Club National Program received its 501(c)(3) status on September 21, 2010.
- What is the SCNP EIN number?
SCNP tax EIN #: 27-2552989.
- What does 501(c)(3) mean?
Your organization can accept charitable contributions, and the donations can be claimed at tax-exempt by the donors when they file their taxes.
- What does that GROUP EXEMPTION refer to?
The Group Exemption is what SCNP had to file with the IRS to be able to officially accept Local Clubs ("chapters") under our umbrella organization. For every new Local Club added, SCNP must send information about the new Local Club and an official request to the IRS for them to be added to the Group Exemption.
Being under the SCNP Group Exemption is what allows the Local Club to "share" the 501(c)(3) status. Once a Local Club is officially recognized as part of the SCNP Group Exemption, the Local Club can receive donations directly (instead of having to process them through SCNP). This is the final step in setting up your Local Club.
- Can the Local Club have access to your accountant, legal team, marketing team, etc.?
The SCNP accountant will file all the Local Clubs annual federal tax forms (IRS Form 990). If you prefer to have your accountant file it instead, please let us know.
If you have a specific legal and/or financial question, please contact Tiffany and we'll be happy to help.
- Will I have to hire an accountant or bookkeeper?
Someone within your Local Club must be responsible for managing your books. This can be your Treasurer, a bookkeeper, or an external bookkeeper/accountant.
SCNP will provide guidelines, templates, and samples to help you set up your books, but you must track your funding and expenses. Most Local Clubs use a simple spreadsheet to manage incoming funds and outgoing expenses.
Please keep accurate and complete records. SCNP will ask you for a copy of your financial data twice per year (first to file annual tax information with the IRS, the second for our Annual Report).
- How do I file become incorporated in my state and/or obtain non-profit status?
Please see "Starting Your Program." Be sure to check your state and local requirements for any additional permits, certifications, or licenses that you may need.
Again, you do not need to obtain 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, as SCNP has already done this as the parent organization. Your Local Club is granted non-profit, tax-exempt status as a "chapter" or "subordinate" of SCNP under our Group Exemption.
- Does our Local Club need our own EIN #?
Yes, you need to apply to get your own EIN from the IRS.
- Does the National Program require background checks?
Yes. Currently, the way we recommend doing this is by having your trainers be L1 and CF Kids certified. As part of the CF Kids certification, you are required to do a background check. SCNP is currently researching ways to do stand-alone background checks in the future.
Although you only need to be CrossFit Level 1 certified to start a Local Club, we require that you obtain your CrossFit Kids certification within 1 year of becoming a Local Club (but recommend you obtain your CrossFit Kids certification as soon as possible).
Please send a copy of your CrossFit Kids Certificate, and if the trainer(s) for your Local Club already have background checks (through a vendor other than CrossFit Kids), please send a copy to the National Program.
If you have not yet gone through the CrossFit Kids Certification, please keep us updated on when you will attend, and send us a copy of your certificate once complete.
- How do we choose members for our Board of Trustees? Is there a suggested number?
Your Board of Trustees can be of any size, and we recommend that you ask long-standing members of your CF Affiliate or people that you trust to help your Local Club stay true to the mission.
Resist the temptation to name someone to the Board who has made a big donation, or solely for the purposes of networking, or someone who has limited time, or their own agenda.
- What type of insurance does our Local Club need?
Please see SCNP Insurance Requirements (available on our Member Resources page) for all matters related to insurance.
- Does our Local Club need to adopt a Conflict of Interest Policy?
Yes, it is required to have everyone in your Local Club read and sign off on the SCNP Conflict of Interest Policy (available on our Member Resources page).
This states that you will not use funds (or the operations of the Local Club) for personal gain or unjust benefit. The Board of Trustees are required to safeguard against Conflict of Interest situations.
- What else do we need, from a legal standpoint, to set up our Local Club?
See Start a Local Club for the complete list of steps to start a Local Club.
See the Affiliation Agreement (available on our Member Resources page) for other requirements as part of the National Program.
- Does our Local Club have to file taxes with the IRS?
SCNP will request your complete annual financial information in January for the previous year (January - December) and from that SCNP will file your federal taxes with the IRS. You can choose to file on your own if you like (please contact Tiffany if you prefer to do this).
- Does our Local Club have to file State taxes?
Yes. You are still required to file with your state (SCNP can't do state filing for each Local Club). The financial information you submit to SCNP will likely be the same information you are likely to need to submit for your state taxes, so it should be fairly straightforward.
- We've heard that some non-profits are exempt from paying sales tax, is this true for our Local Club?
Yes, you may be exempt but it depends on your state. You should research if this applies to you and what forms are forms are necessary. For any tax questions/concerns, contact Tiffany or your accountant.
For any questions regarding accounting, expenses, how the Local Club can use their funding, how to pay trainers, acceptable compensation, how to calculate the cost of training kids, etc., please see our Accounting Guidelines. If you have questions beyond that, please contact the National Program.
If you're unsure about something in the areas of Legal, Insurance, Funding, or Finances, we strongly suggest contacting the National Program and/or independent counsel.
Please contact Steve Liberati (email@example.com) and Lee Knight