This month, we’d like to spotlight one of our fantastic clients, the Natasha Watley Foundation (NWF).
Star softball player and two-time Olympic medalist Natasha Watley leapt at the opportunity to spread her love of the game to girls in inner cities. These young women might otherwise never get the chance to play. By providing an avenue to the sport, Natasha’s nonprofit sparks passion in young players.
While learning to play softball and developing a healthy lifestyle are perhaps the foundation’s most concrete goals, Natasha also seeks to inspire and motivate her athletes off the field. The sport fosters teamwork, sharpens problem-solving skills, and increases self-esteem. The NWF is creating young leaders each season – all while the girls have the time of their lives smacking softballs, running bases, and befriending new teammates.
We chatted with Natasha about her empowering nonprofit.
What drove you to create the Natasha Watley Foundation?
I started my foundation because I saw that there was a need to give girls in underserved communities a way to play softball. After the Olympics in 2008, I went on a speaking tour, and a young girl mentioned that she didn’t know what softball was. I knew she might just be a future Olympian - why not give her a chance to play?
Tell us about a day in the life of your nonprofit.
Our programming is seasonal. Our leagues run during the summer and fall. While we’re preparing for the season, we’re fundraising and recruiting coaches year-round!
What's your ultimate goal for the NWF?
I want to expand our reach and create leagues around the world.
What have you learned from starting this non-profit?
I’m constantly learning more and more about running a business and fundraising. I have personally learned a lot about leadership, as I lead my board as well as my coach mentors.
What has the process of working with Mockingbird Analytics been like for you?
It has been amazing! The NWF now actually has the proper surveys in place to help us tell our story through numbers, and we can clearly see exactly what demographics we’re serving.
How have you seen Mockingbird's work help you build your foundation's infrastructure?
Mockingbird has helped us with managing our board, putting a strategic plan together, and hiring interns. These fundamental improvements to our infrastructure help us move our organization forward every day.
What's the next part of the Foundation that you'd like to build out?
We would like to build out another revenue stream that allows us to sustain and eventually scale.
What's the most heartwarming story you can tell us about your work with the NWF?
One of my all-time favorites is this story about the NWF inspiring an entire family to get involved in the sport. We’re not just about softball; we’re also about fostering relationships between our teammates and their families.