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Need: Call for Funding - A documentary charting the positive effects (success stories) of sport on the empowerment of girls throughout the world

Title: Starting with Sports: A global look at the empowerment of girls through sport

Media Type: Photo Documentary, Book, Online Community

Book Brief:
Starting with Sport will walk readers through the engaging potential of using sport as a tool for the empowerment of girls and women throughout the world. The resulting book will not simply be a coffee table photo documentary, but instead, will urge the reader to action, using "Game On" action sidebars, community links and resources, and limited text to tell our story and enhance the global readability of our message. Our book will capture the attention and excitement of young, action-focus readers with a short attention span and energy in surplus.

Long Term Goal:
Our long term hope is to create an online community resource that builds on our initial world study and book. A resource that will create an effective tool for collaboration between the sporting industry, individual athletes, and NGO's and 501c(3)'s worldwide, and ultimately utilize the myriad stakeholders involved on a high level in the sporting world to build capacity and provide continued opportunities for women in the world of sport, and in the industry of sport. This stakeholder involvement can take many forms including but not limited to project and program funding, consulting, capacity building, sponsorship of internship opportunities for women globally, in kind donations, etc.

Our team will consist of two world-bound researchers, writers, and photographers, and one in-country support and logistics person.

Team Leaders:
Kirstin Gunderson: Kirstin will act as our team's lead planner and research associate. She will also be heavily involved in orchestrating the graphic representation of our findings and writing copy. With over 6 years of experience working in the area of development and sustainability abroad in South America, Europe and East Africa, Kirstin brings a wealth of development and policy experience to the team. She currently works as an Environmental Consultant, and she is working to develop sustainability certification for sporting events both locally and globally through a local 501c(3).

Marisa McGilliard: Marisa will be our primary photographer and creative director. She will also be responsible for writing book copy and evaluating the legal and social policies pertaining to the rights of women. Marisa has been involved in the sporting industry for over 11 years, beginning as a student athlete at the University of Michigan and culminating in positions with Nike and the Nike Foundation. Her legal studies encompassed sports, human rights and conflict dispute resolution. She is Staff Attorney for an IP company and the Managing Director of a local 501c(3) working to green the sporting industry.

Offsetting the travel costs for our 2-person team will allow us to focus our energy, and minimal existing capital on the building of an intentional and effective resource. In our travels we hope to document the successes, both small and large, of sport in the empowerment of women, as well as build relationships with local in-country organizations for addition in our resource library that will support our online community. Although we plan to live frugally while traveling, the costs of transportation, food, housing, and technical equipment will be considerable, and are currently prohibiting us from taking action.

If you would like to support our efforts to bring the empowerment on girls through sport to the world, please contact Kirstin Gunderson at

Thank you so much for this opportunity to serve the world of women through the eyes of its citizens.


This would be an opportunity to fund a project that will serve as an incredible resource for all current NGO's and future NGO's looking to secure capital for their programs aimed at the empowerment of women. We both bring a great deal of experience, enthusiasm, contacts and international travel to this endeavor. Our goal is to mirror the work the ICRW did on the "Girl Report" which essentially reaffirmed the claim that adolescent girls are being underutilized in bringing about change to their community and to humanity as a whole. Since the Girl Report has been unveiled, numerous policy shifts and funding has gone to support efforts to educate and empower this population of the world, especially in developing countries. What the ICRW did not do is focus on how sports can be a vehicle for such empowerment of adolescent girls.

Sports for Social Change is a worldwide movement. This movement is not new but it is evolving. Sports-centric programs, up to this point, seemed to be directed at boys and men, as a way to speak to issues of HIV/AIDS, emotional distress, conflict...but outside the few programs that have proven success with sports and women (ie: Association of Kigali Women in Sports, CARE and GoGirlGo), there is a void for a detailed compilation on this very synergy of women's empowerment and sport.

We are ecstatic to offer our time, sweat, passion and skill-set to further this cause. We thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Kind Regards,

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