Community Improvement, Capacity Building

It Starts With Soccer

aka It Starts With Soccer

Austin, TX


IT STARTS WITH SOCCER is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on the development needs of impoverished communities in Africa. Our goal is to help break the cycle of poverty and our mission begins with children. Most children born into poverty will continue that cycle throughout their life and we have discovered how combining education with community outreach projects in these communities is an effective way to facilitate a prosperous future for them. We use the sport of soccer to educate the children about the importance of good decision making both on and off the field. Additionally, we use the popularity of soccer to bring communities together at large and create a perfect segue for addressing larger community needs. We then focus our attention on long term projects such as installing reserve water systems alternative sources of energy, providing immunizations and medical care, delivering text books, computers and other educational materials, helping with construction and renovation projects – the list goes on.

Ruling Year



Doug Brown

Main Address

613-B Rocky Ledge Road

Austin, TX 78746 USA


Africa soccer education community service poverty water solar medical food supplies construction orphanages schools





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Rural (S32)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Clean water

Alternative energy


Educational supplies

Construction / Renovation

Soccer clinics

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Charting Impact

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

1. Educate children, who are trapped in the cycle of poverty in impoverished African communities, the importance of good decision making, teamwork, trust, responsibility, strong work ethic, good sportsmanship and self-esteem, so they can lead successful and prosperous lives.

2. Complete community outreach projects at under-served schools, orphanages and pediatric medical clinics that will give the children they serve advantages and opportunities that will allow them to break from the cycle of poverty and lead to prosperous and successful lives.

We achieve success by combining soccer with community outreach projects to promote lasting change. Through experience, we find the best chance for success, involves a two part strategy: What we do "on the field of play" and "off the field of play."

On the field of play:

Most children born into poverty continue the cycle of poverty throughout their lives. One of the best ways to reach a child is through sport and we use the most popular sport in the world. Soccer. While we provide children jerseys, balls and shoes, the goal is not to simply provide them with material goods. Our goal is to provide them with the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty in their communities for generations to come. We have found that putting on soccer clinics and tournaments for these children is not only a good forum to achieve this goal, but also serves as a way to bring the communities together as a whole.

Off the field of play:

While we understand the benefits of educating children through sport, we also understand that the cycle of poverty in these communities is perpetuated by many variables. These variables, including the epidemic lack of access to education, fundamental healthcare, clean water and proper nutrition, strangle African communities unnecessarily.

We create community transformation by implementing self-sustaining measures empowering children to dramatically improve their basic quality of life. Before we plan an outreach initiative, we assess the particular needs of a school or orphanage and then begin to develop projects which meet the needs in ways that will have lasting effects.

Some of our projects and plans include:

• providing access to clean water through the drilling of new wells; installing water purification systems; installation of reserve water tanks and water catchment systems.
• providing access to education through scholarships; supplying schools with text books, computers and other educational materials.
• providing access to healthcare including, direct care, immunizations, medication and healthcare staff education.
• providing access to electricity through installation of solar panels
• assisting in construction and renovation of orphanages, school buildings and health clinics.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable