Field Fund

This page includes details of Play NC’s Field Fund. A portion of these funds will be generated through registrations for our games, but most of the funds will come from our for-profit sponsorships. If you’re interested in sponsoring a Play NC team or game, please read below for information about where your money will be going and what you will get for helping support all of our partner causes. Thank you very much!

For our first 5 years, before we opened up the option to have for-profit team sponsorships, player registrations were the only source of funding for our Field Fund. Before 2023, we set aside just 5% of our excess earnings for this Fund to make sure we could properly support our non-profit partners. With the increased popularity of our games and sellout crowds for the past 5 seasons, we’ve been able to increase our Field Fund up to 20% of our total revenue.

  • 60% of total revenue goes towards expenses related to hosting games and running a charity. It costs money to play games, but we still keep 80% of more of all expenses paid within Durham. This includes items like field reservation fees (which are expensive), insurance fees, website fees, accounting fees, credit card fees, and championship tro-fees. (Sorry, that joke was just too good to pass up.)
  • 20% of total revenue goes into our Donation Pool. These funds are distributed to our non-profit partners at the end of each year.
  • 20% of total revenue goes into our Field Fund. These funds are held in an interest-bearing account, to be used at a future date to build the most beautiful park in Durham.

We don’t make tons of money, so it might take 50 years, but now is always the best time to get started!

What are we building?

Final plans will obviously be adapted to the land and opportunities we have at the time we’re able to fund this project, but we do have several guiding principles that will never change.

  • Land must be in Durham County, North Carolina.
  • Land must be large enough to fit a 300′ baseball field, 200′ baseball field, and a 100′ baseball field.
  • Project will feature an outdoor mini-golf course, running loop, and playground.
  • Project will include brick pathway with sponsor names, free art walls, and local artist installations.
  • Project will include the ability to host small outdoor concerts, in some way.
  • Project will be designed to support local non-profits, in some way.

Those are the basic features we are planning to include, but we also hope to add more unique features once we settle on the property. I’m expecting at least one or two of these features to become impossible, but we’ll try to get as close to the dream as we can.

When are we building?

Not for a long time, most likely. As of January 2024, Play NC has ~$11,000 in our Field Fund. We expect to add ~$8,000 per year from game registration fees, plus 100% of the sponsorship funds we receive from for-profit businesses. We have roughly $5,000 in annual sponsorships lined up for 2024, hopefully expanding that to $25,000 or more in the next 3 years. Here are a few simple projections and benchmarks that we hope to meet:

  • 2023: $11,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2024: $8,000 from games + $5,000 from sponsors = $24,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2025: $10,000 from games + $10,000 from sponsors = $44,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2026: $12,000 from games + $15,000 from sponsors = $71,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2027: $14,000 from games + $20,000 from sponsors = $105,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2028: $16,000 from games + $25,000 from sponsors = $146,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2029: $18,000 from games + $30,000 from sponsors = $194,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2030: $20,000 from games + $35,000 from sponsors = $249,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2031: $22,000 from games + $40,000 from sponsors = $311,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2032: $24,000 from games + $45,000 from sponsors = $380,000 in Field Fund.
  • 2033: $26,000 from games + $50,000 from sponsors = $456,000 in Field Fund.

We’re very likely to need $1 million or more, so we are a very long way from achieving our goal. Eventually, we’ll most likely try to partner with another organization that is looking to share land in some way, ideally cutting our funding goal in half.

Even if it takes 20 years, those 20 years are going to pass, anyway. Might as well build a park at the end of all that time!

Why should we help?

Aside from just being nice, everyone who contributes a significant amount towards this goal will be involved in the project and receive some type of recognition at the park, once complete. There are too many variables to promise too much at this stage, but early donors will receive priority benefits and the recognition will be based on the total amounts contributed.

Here are a few examples of ways we expect to reward those who help us reach this goal:

  • Main pathway for park will be red bricks, with the engraved names of anyone who contributed $200 or more to the project.
  • Main entrance wall will be designed to include the logos of all for-profit businesses that sponsored any team or league.
  • Fields and Park Features will be named for our most generous donors.
  • Parking Spaces, Benches, Bleachers, and Chairs will all be named after donors.

My son, Calvin, passed away in 2015. I promised him that I would build him a park, so that is what I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing. This park will be named after him.

We will be fair and generous with all recognitions and rewards for anyone who is thoughtful enough to help fund this half-crazy plan. Our track record of trying to do good things for people in Durham is solid and hope that grants us some wiggle room on the ambitious nature of this project.

It’s a huge mountain to climb, for sure, but you have to start the journey if you want to finish it. I hope you’ll join us!

Thanks so much for your support!