Kern Community Tennis Association

aka KCTA   |   Bakersfield, CA   |  https://www.kerntennis.org

Mission

Kern Community Tennis Association has served our community for over 50 years by promoting physical fitness for the young and old through the sport of tennis. KCTA provides youth development, organizes junior leagues, oversees adult competition, provides equipment to hundreds of high school student athletes who cannot afford their own, and supports the local community college. As a part its role, KCTA serves as the liaison with the United States Tennis Association to secure resources to grow the sport in our community.

Notes from the nonprofit

We recognize that "tennis" and "community need" do not often appear in the same sentence. Instead, "tennis" elicits mental images of affluence - fancy cars and exclusive country clubs. Our clients are actually student athletes from low-income families, and winning championships is not our mission. Winning is certainly fun, but our primary objective is participation. Hundreds of student athletes are denied the benefits of participation because they cannot afford proper equipment. Tennis is a lifetime sport that increases physical fitness. Joining a tennis team teaches interpersonal and leadership skills. Study after study show that student athletes achieve better academic performance (and graduation rates) than their peers. Those are very real benefits that address community needs. Tennis is a merely a (fun) means to achieve those ends.

Ruling year info

1967

Executive Director

Ms. Beth Kuney

Main address

PO Box 11915

Bakersfield, CA 93389 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-2418773

NTEE code info

Tennis and Racquet Sports Clubs/Leagues (N66)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Tennis and Racquet Sports Clubs/Leagues (N66)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

All but a handful of Kern County high schools have student populations where more than 50% are characterized as socioeconomically disadvantaged. Many of those students lack the means to participate in extracurricular activities. Each year hundreds of those students from low income families are unable to join their school’s tennis team because they do not have the basic equipment to participate in a safe and competitive manner. This barrier unfairly denies them access to those benefits. Beyond that, many studies have confirmed that student athletes achieve better academic performance (and graduation rates) than their peers.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

High School Equipment Program

Each year hundreds of student athletes are denied the physical and social benefits of participating in their high school's athletic program. They do not have and cannot afford the equipment necessary to be a member of their school's tennis team. KCTA has addressed this inequity by providing more than 700 racquets, 400 pairs of shoes, and 10,000 practice balls to 26 high schools over the past two years.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

United States Tennis Association 1998

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of hours of professional instruction provided to student athletes.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Low-income people, People of Central American descent, Adolescents

Related Program

High School Equipment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Professional instruction teaches student athletes to play this lifetime sport safely and successfully. That increases retention and the participation benefits. COVID disrupted 2020 activities.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

KCTA recognized the needs of these student athletes three years ago. After serving the community for over 50 years by promoting physical activity through the sport of tennis, we added the addressing of this need to our mission. An idea to collect a few racquets and donate them to deserving high school kids has grown far beyond those humble beginnings. The previously unmet need was far greater than we initially understood, and the support to fill that need has been greater than we could have dreamed. Our objective is to give every motivated student athlete across Kern County the tools s/he needs to be successful – not to win conference championships, but to learn this lifetime sport, become a member of a team, and enjoy the experience. Tennis is not the destination; it is a means to a greater end. These young people cannot make that journey without a decent racquet and a pair of shoes.

The donation of used racquets by members of our local tennis community has been important, but the demand soon outstripped that supply source. We have supplemented that by establishing a relationship with the largest on-line tennis retailer to secure an ongoing supply of their demo racquets. A local racquet technician is donating his time to refurbish these racquets at cost. After the first year, we added shoes to the scope of our initiative by establishing relationships with three major suppliers to purchase from their closeout inventory. Couple those tactics with over 1700 hours of volunteer labor in 2019, and we have been able to achieve cost efficiency ratios (original retail value : our cost) of 10:1 for racquets and 5:1 for shoes. In addition to the donated equipment, we have provided well-attended clinics for the high school coaches and drills for the players – many of whom have no other access to formal training. An important addition in 2021 was our ability to offer small group lessons provided by teaching professionals. Over 80 student athletes participated in a series of 5 to 10 lessons. All of this is provided at no cost to the student athletes or the schools.

This is not just a noble idea, it is an established program that needs financial support to grow or even be sustained. KCTA has provided this support for three school years. The requests and our ability to fulfill them have grown dramatically. Since inception, more than 900 racquets, 600 pairs of shoes, 20,000 practice balls, and an assortment of other equipment have been donated to 26 high schools – those schools with the greatest need being prioritized. The original retail value of that equipment approaches $250,000. KCTA has historically operated on a very modest budget – barely more than $20,000 per year before launching this initiative. Realizing we could not succeed without additional support, we have actively recruited new sponsors. After adding 19 in 2019 ranging from $100 to $3000, we have continued to expand or base. The result is that we have more than doubled our annual budget. We have created efficient and sustainable processes, but they do require a measure of ongoing financial support.

Our numerical accomplishments are substantial and are detailed in earlier sections. However, the most important may be the one that is hardest to measure – the growth in self-esteem that comes from having decent equipment to work with, achieving a measure of success on the court, and understanding that someone cares enough to lend a helping hand. The testimonials we have received range from heart-warming to hilarious, but the genuine gratitude has been evident in all of them. All appreciate the direct benefit of better equipment, but the number who talk about the impact on their self-esteem and joy they experience from discovering someone cares has been touching. Ironically, the most eloquent may have been the one without words – the young lady who broke into tears when her damaged department store racquet was replaced with a like-new competitive level racquet.

There is another story that stands out that was shared in a text from a player to her coach. Her words say it better than anything we could write,

“Hi Mrs. _______, this morning I went with my dad to some Bakersfield tennis courts, and we played for a few hours. We recently got in touch for the first time in years. It all started because he went to watch one of my matches and has been going ever since. Tennis brought my dad and me together again. It’s something we bond over. I just want to thank you and Mr. _______ for introducing me to such a beautiful sport. It’s brought nothing but positivity into my life, and I can’t wait to see how far I’ll go as an athlete.“

The real hero in this story and so many others are the coaches – the men and women who give generously of their time to provide a fun and often life-changing experience for their student athletes. Those coaches cannot, however, do it alone. This initiative gives them the tools they need to create an environment for success for the young people in their programs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Student athletes from low income families that cannot afford the basic equipment necessary to participate in their school's athletic program are the primary beneficiaries of our work. The conduit to those student athletes and secondary beneficiaries of this initiative are the coaches of those high school teams. We are providing them with training and the equipment necessary to create an environment of success for their team members.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Development outside of the high school season is critical to one's success. Most of the student athletes we serve to do not have the means to access this instruction or experience. We instituted two new programs in 2021. KCTA sponsored small group lessons provided by teaching professionals at private clubs. Over 100 athletes will receive 5 - 20 hours of this instruction. The second change is pay the entry fee for student athletes to gain the experience in local junior tournaments.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking for feedback has caused them to reflect on what value we are providing. That has served in many cases to increase their appreciation and feeling of being valued by members of the community. When we share this feedback, it has often increased the demand for our services, so we are able to support more student athletes. Their suggestions have caused us to tweak our programs to make them more useful to our clients.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Kern Community Tennis Association
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Kern Community Tennis Association

Board of directors
as of 10/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Robert Limpias

Stockdale Country Club

Term: 2015 - 2021

Melissa Sweaney

Jarrett Electric

Chris Campoy

Liberty High School

Sharie Holmes

Holmes Specialty Company

Austin Lee

Bakersfield College

Buddy Turl

Nabisco Foods

Vince Morales

Kern County Assessor

Jerry Matthews

Bakersfield Racquet Club

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/24/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/24/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.