Interested in launching a new squash and education program and becoming a member organization of SEA? If so, we look forward to speaking with you to learn about your organization and your vision. To become members of SEA, organizations need to meet a range of programmatic and organizational criteria, designed to help ensure that our member organizations are organizationally sound and deliver best-in-class programming. But equally important to us is building a relationship with the people who are leading an organization, and knowing that the organization has the ability to grow and be an enduring source of support in a community.
Before inviting organizations to apply for membership, SEA focuses on three areas.
We spend time getting to know the people who are running organizations that are interested in becoming a part of SEA. Nothing is more important between people than trust, and SEA invests a great deal of time building relationships with the organizations that are interested in becoming our member organizations before inviting them to apply. We sometimes spend years getting to know the board members and staff of an organization before inviting them to apply. This process enables us to ensure that all of the people in our network are people of integrity and committed to this work for the right reasons and for the long-term.
A critical element of our evaluation process is thinking about what the long-term sustainability is of an applicant organization. Is it in a location where a sufficient amount of support — financial and otherwise — can be invested in the organization? Can it grow by two or three times its current size and enroll a group of students of a wide range of ages and grades?
The Squash and Education Alliance has developed a set of criteria that programs must meet before joining. The criteria address adherence to the SEA model – a long-term, intensive model focused on young people’s growth as individuals, students, athletes, and community members – and on the leadership and sustainability of the organization. See below for the criteria list for new programs in the US. For international program criteria, please refer to the link at the top of the page.
Programming Criteria – New US Programs
Enrollment – Enroll at least 20 children in year-round programming
Long-Term Program – Provide all participants with year-round support from the time that they join in elementary and middle school through college graduation, or the age of 24.
School-Year Sessions – Run required programming at least five days a week throughout the school year, with participating students attending required, program-led, academic and/or squash sessions at least three days a week
School-Year Weekends – Run practices or events on at least half of school-year weekends
School-Year Academics and Squash – Provide participants with 100+ hours of regularly scheduled, supervised academic support and 100+ hours of regularly scheduled, supervised squash instruction throughout the school year (i.e. 4 hours of squash and 4 hours of academics a week for 30 weeks)
Academics – Track and support students’ school performance
Summers – Ensure that 70% of your elementary, middle, and high school students participate in 20+ days of summer programming (academic, athletic, professional or other enriching summer experiences not directly run by the program count toward a student’s total)
Community Service – Require students to participate in 10+ hours of community service and/or health and wellness programming each year; students must complete a minimum of five hours of community service annually
Population – Enroll students from schools that have a student body of which at least 70% is eligible for the federal government’s free lunch program (if required, other data may be used to demonstrate economic need)
Attendance and Retention – Record attendance daily and track student attrition
Child Safety and Protection – Have a child safety and protection policy that is reviewed annually with staff and that addresses appropriate training and screening of volunteers, including background checks
Leadership, Finances, and Administration Criteria – New US Programs
Staff – Employ at least one full-time staff member
Board of Directors – Have a Board of Directors with 100% giving whose contributions account for at least one third of the program’s operating budget
Community – Be located in a community with enough underutilized squash courts or potential facilities, and enough fundraising potential, that the organization can grow financially and someday serve 50-100 students with a full-time staff of three or more people
Balance Sheet – Have at least two-thirds of the year’s operating budget in the bank in the four months leading up to the application’s submission
Budgets – Possess projected budgets for two years of operation and track revenues and expenses
Staff Evaluation – Provide at least 1 formal, written review of all full-time staff, including the Executive Director
Insurance – Own directors and officers, liability and other appropriate insurance policies
Transportation – Possess a sound transportation plan
Partnerships – Develop and maintain strong partnerships with families, school(s), volunteers, and facility partners
Vision for Growth – Have an articulated vision for program and organizational growth for the next five years