Yes, IFC is free to join.
Our players receive everything they would at San Francisco's high-priced private clubs, with zero fees!
Free? Don't you get what you pay for?
Yes. Because soccer is free. The moment you put a price tag on it it becomes a business. And then it's no longer free, because business comes before the game. Our children are treated as commodities, forgotten as soon as the last paying sibling heads off to college and the $25,000 a family pays a club over each kid's soccer-playing days has dried up.
Why does IFC ask for donations?
Because free does not mean without cost.
- Leagues cost money;
- Uniforms cost money;
- Tournaments cost money;
- Trainers cost money;
- Soccer associations and academies cost money;
- Coach training and education cost money.
We are very frugal, depend heavily on the efforts of many volunteers, and have very little overhead. Our current operating budget runs right around $500 per player per year. It's significant, but a lot less than the $2,000 and more that San Francisco's private clubs collect per family. It's low enough so that, through steady and relentless volunteer effort, we can successfully operate on a donor-based model.
We are working on several community-wide fundraising efforts. And we are on the lookout for national monies from groups that understand the value of our mission. And we'll be asking you for donations, and doing so often. But you do not have to donate and, to be honest, other than the psychic rewards for putting your money to work towards good (and maybe an occasional tee-shirt or beanie), you and your children will not get a single direct benefit from your donation.
Our families who can donate do so because they believe in what we are doing and are tired of shelling out thousands of dollars for soccer programs that effectively banish many great players through their exclusionary pricing.
IFC asks families for donations mostly after players have joined the club, and never as a condition of club membership. There are no consequences to a family or a player if nothing is donated. No suspension. No reduced playing time. No reduced access to service. No second-class status like the few families of limited means who get so-called scholarships to the private clubs often endure from their club owners and paying team families.
Often times we request specific donation amounts: $100 to pay for a playing kit; $500 to cover the cost of one player for an entire year. We do this because that's what good fundraising techniques call for. It is a suggested donation, not a required payment. Donors want to see what their contribution accomplishes. And at IFC, a small contribution goes a long way.