The Chattahooligans have launched the second version of a campaign to raise money for the LGBTQ+ community. The platform is being used by other soccer fan bases throughout the nation.
Prideraiser uses the Chattanooga FC home games to help promote awareness and funding for an LGBTQ+ advocacy.
This year, the money benefits the Nooga Diversity Center, which provides “an affirming environment with a connection to a network of local area resources” focused on LGBTQ+ patrons and their families.
Pride Month is a series of events and celebrations that “recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally and internationally.”
As of this week, over 90 supporters have pledged a total of $581.50 per goal. CFC has scored two goals this month so far, so the total amount pledged — with 4 games remaining — is $1,163.
Galen Riley, Prideraiser founder, is also the “head cheerleader” for the Chattahooligans. He said he’d like to see at least 150 people join the campaign locally by the end of Pride Month.
“It will be up to the girls and boys in blue to put some balls in nets, but I am hopeful that the final numbers will have a real impact on the critical work being done at the Nooga Diversity Center,” he said.
In addition to raising money, Riley said Prideraiser is also about expanding the CFC audience through outreach to the LGBTQ+ community.
“Anyone and everyone is welcome at CFC matches,” he said. “We have a great relationship with the Nooga Diversity Center to facilitate that effort. The NDC has placed flyers promoting CFC, The Chattahooligans and Prideraiser at bars and other spaces frequented by the local LGBTQ+ community, and we will be hosting their youth group at matches later this month.”
No money will be collected by the Chattahooligans or Riley. At the end of the month, pledgers will receive a “gentle nudge” to make submit their donation to the Nooga Diversity Center.
Kat Cooper is executive director and founder of NDC. She said the organization is thrilled to be the beneficiary of this year’s campaign and for The Chattahooligans to be so supportive of their efforts.
“This simple gesture speaks volumes to our community,” Cooper said. “It creates so much more of a safe environment and an accepting environment. It means so much to us, as a community, to have a place to go where we feel welcome.”
Cooper said an amount of $6,000 would pay their rent for an entire year, allowing the group to focus on expanding their outreach services and work toward building a permanent home for the NDC.
Almost 30 Prideraiser campaigns are happening throughout the country. About 800 pledges have been made and $16,337 raised thus far for local LGBTQ+ organizations.
Participating cities include Detroit, Chicago, Mobile, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Little Rock, Nashville and more.
Riley worked closely this year with Dan Ryan, a local web developer and founder of Dryan web development & consulting. He said the result is a streamlined process that is applicable to a variety of fundraising campaigns.
“[Ryan] built out a cutting-edge software platform that powers Prideraiser and takes away all of the busy work,” Riley said. “Last year, I was recording pledges into a spreadsheet and contacting every individual at the end of the month one at a time.”
Riley also said the scaling-pledge model — only asking for a few dollars per goal — is easy for fans to understand and engage with.
“It’s easy to ask someone to pledge a few dollars, and they feel even better cheering on the home team,” he said. “More success on the field means a greater charitable impact. We are already looking at ways to use that model for other purposes.”
Remaining home games in June:
Chattanooga FC Woman vs. Peachtree City on June 17 at 6 p.m.,
Chattanooga FC Men vs. Atlanta Silverbacks on June 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Chattanooga FC Men vs. Georgia Revolution on June 23, 7:30 p.m.
Chattanooga FC Men vs. Greenville FC on June 30, 7: 30 p.m.