In April 1995 the United States Olympic Committee chartered USA Shooting, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting. The organization implements and sanctions events at the local, state, regional and national levels. It also manages programs for developing shooting athletes from grassroots to Olympic medals. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, USA Shooting has a full-time staff dedicated to furthering the sport and supporting athletes and members of the organization. The organization has public and member-specific Web sites and also publishes the USA Shooting News magazine.
Partially funded by the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Shooting relies on donations from supporters of the Olympic movement, membership dues, event fees and corporate partners. In 2008 it established the USA Shooting Team Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, to act as the fundraising arm of USA Shooting.
Albeit the case for some countries, the U.S. Government does not fund its national athletes. That means the funds have to be privately raised through corporate sponsorships, private donations or the athlete’s personal funds. The U.S. Olympic committee generously aids USA Shooting and covers about one-third of the annual budget. Fundraisers, sponsorships and an extensive direct mail program provide the rest.
It is the last element, the direct mail program that we are here to address. Although beneficial, the direct mail program is quite expensive. From material costs, printing and design fees to postage, collection and processing costs for the generous donors who respond, simply going electronic could eliminate this overhead. Those costs could then in turn be redirected to supporting the athletes who raise the American flag with each victory.
Cheaper Than Dirt recently made a financial commitment to support USA Shooting because, quite simply, the athletes are wonderful ambassadors for the United States abroad and some of the best representatives for the shooting sports and the proper use of firearms here at home.
Whether you are a shooting enthusiast, interested in self-defense, a waterfowler, upland or big-game hunter, we are all Americans and have an interest in showing the use of firearms in a positive light; one the national media cannot twist in an attempt to use against us.
Just to give you an idea of what an athlete is up against, in addition to the cost of daily training and living expenses there is the entry fees and travel cost to make a national or development team. Once on the team, there are four annual World Cup events for each discipline (rifle, pistol and shotgun). Shooters who qualify through performance at these events then go on to the World Cup Final. There is also the World Shotgun Championship every other year and, of course, the penultimate competition, the Olympics every four years.
Call to Action
Take a minute or two to get to know USA Shooting and our athletes through USA Shooting’s Web site—USAShooting.org. There are many easy ways to support our athletes. First, go to USA Shooting’s e-store and buy a rain jacket or range bag. Second, sponsor a shoot or banquet at your local shooting club take the proceeds and make a donation.