Founded in 2015 by Delrisha Hayes, At Bat is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) non-profit amateur sports agency that provides baseball and softball activities for at-risk youth in Michigan. The mission was set forth with the overall goal of increasing the number of minorities participating in the sports of baseball and softball. At Bat believes youth should be given the opportunity to participate in an organized sport no matter their income and geographic location.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I really enjoy motivating people to reach their full potential; however, I was inspired to start my organization while helping my nephew Jaden Bates practice baseball drills.
Tell us about your business.
At Bat offers baseball and softball activities for 6 to 13 year old youngsters. We host clinics that promote the fundamentals and have programs that help improve skills. In 2018 we’ll offer a summer league through Detroit Pal and enhance our STEM educational program by partnering with the Michigan Science Center STEMinista program.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We’re currently participating in Hour Detroit’s Give Detroit Challenge, a fundraising competition on CrowdRise, the largest crowdfunding platform for good. The Give Detroit Challenge is a friendly fundraising competition where organizations in Southeastern Michigan compete to raise the most money for their cause. Participating organizations will compete for over $25,000 in prize money.
Give Detroit Challenge launched on September 25th at 12:00PM EST and will run through November 6th at 1:59:59PM EST. If you join our fundraising team then we’re giving away prizes to those who raise $1,000 or more. Prizes include but are not limited to At Bat gear, gift cards and tickets.
Where is your business based?
The office is located in Southfield, MI but we conduct our activities in Detroit, MI.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
A lot of paperwork and donating majority of the funds to host my first baseball clinic. My first baseball clinic was on June 11, 2016 at Belle Isle Athletic Field. Although, I attempted to market my event beforehand I still had to literally get the kids from the park to come to my event. That day I learned to value quality over quantity.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Becoming a vendor at local events to interact with different people and personally tell them about the organization.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Getting people to take a chance with my organization. When I first started people were reluctant to donate and volunteer.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I realized that everyone was not reluctant to help it was just that I had to ask the right people. I narrowed my search for donations to a local level and reached out to companies for team volunteerism.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I constantly remind myself that I started this organization to service others so it’s bigger than me. Which means that the youth that I service depends on the organization to create opportunities for them. Who knows I may have the next Adam Jones, Anibal Sanchez or Ichiro Suzuki attending my programs.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I offer STEM educational drills which is baseball and softball activities with a learning curve.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
To take a prenatal class so I can get a better understanding of working with kids.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Ask yourself why you want to become an entrepreneur and if your main goal is to be rich, then you’re not ready. You should be so passionate about your business that you’re ready to make sacrifices.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
The library because it has information on hand and free space to conduct meetings.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Currently reading “Rest in Power” by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. So far I think it’s a great read because I’m hearing the point of view of the Trayvon tragedy from his parents.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m learning new ways to incorporate STEM education into my baseball and softball drills. Finding innovative and creative ways to teach it to children who participate in my activities.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I would like to host a winter baseball/softball clinic at a foster care center to raise funds to provide transportation so these children can be included in my activities. I plan to do this by hosting the clinic on Give Tuesday to bring awareness about providing services to include foster children in At Bat clinics and programs.
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