The clocks changed this weekend and the leaves are turning. Swim Across America hosted 20 open water charity swims and more than 70 charity pool swims in 2019. Our supporters raised over $8 million ‘Making Waves to Fight Cancer’ with us.
So, now what?
We view our role as stewards of donated funds meaning we do not invest what participants have solicited through our charity swims in the stock market. Our bank account is at its highest mark in November. And in December, we will be at our lowest point because the participant-donated funds will be wired to our beneficiaries for approved grant purposes.
While our travel slows down in the fall, the activities in other ways pick up. For example, here is a sampling of responsibilities in the fall and winter that require our focus:
- The reality is we do have costs such as permits, insurance, shipping, hospitality, merchandise and travel that need to be paid up.
- Once the expenses are settled, we have tie-out calls with each of our local charity swim committees. We determine a modest reserve to sustain each charity swim and then the balance becomes the grant.
In other words, we drain the bank account!
- We gather reports from each of our funded investigators. Our beneficiary and science committee then reviews the reports to ensure the grant was put to the intended focus. We look for successes and stories of breakthroughs that we can share.
- Some funded investigators such as those at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Rush University Medical Center (Chicago) are coming to their grant cycle completion so we are selecting promising new investigators within the hospitals we can help launch.
- We have new beneficiaries such as MD Anderson (Houston), Rogel Cancer Center (University of Michigan) (Detroit) and Hollings Cancer Center (Medical University of South Carolina) (Charleston-Kiawah) that we are selecting and awarding projects to fund.
- Fall is the heaviest for matching gifts as we request and process on behalf of supporters.
- We file the necessary legal paperwork to be recognized as a charity in each state.
- The puzzle of the next year’s season is created.
And then the first week in January, we publish the Swim Across America website with our 2020 charity swims.
We truly appreciate the trust you place in us
– Swim Across America