Meet Moriah. Geek. Comic book artist. Derby girl. She’s in red, in the middle above.

Here in Fort Collins, we have our very own Roller Derby league, FoCo Girls Gone Derby. Girls form all walks of life come out to play and the community knows their Derby names by heart – Moriah’s is The Original Skankster.

In the game and beyond, they add a lot of value to our community. Every 3 months FoCo Girls Gone Derby picks a different charity and gives a portion of their bout sales to them. In Moriah’s words, “It’s just something we do to provide more support for our community.”

Tonight (Monday) at 7PM, you can come out to Rollerland Skate Center and support their Skate-A-Thon by sponsoring your favorite derby girl.

I didn’t know they did so much, so I interviewed Moriah about her thoughts on community. Below is our interview:

Nick: What can local charities do to connect more with their local community?

Moriah: It’s definitely hard right now because so many businesses are hurting, but Foco Girls Gone Derby is a little bit different than other non-profits because we can offer advertising in exchange for donations/sponsorship. I think local charities can connect more with their community by being more present. So many charities go unnoticed because their main focus is on what they provide for the community (which is good), but they need to spend so much time making sure people know they exist. I think local charities should spend a lot of time getting their name out there. People don’t give money to charities because they don’t know they’re out there, and therefore don’t matter enough to get money. It’s hard to say what each specific charity should do, but if you think you’ve marketed enough; you haven’t.

(Post-interview aside from Nick: social media for charities is a start, but connections create so much more leverage – Moriah is on-point here.)

Nick: How can you incentivize charitable individuals to make connections between local groups and local charities?

Moriah: The more information you have the better, so I think collecting some demographics from your supporters is very important. Find out where they eat out, where they shop, and what they believe in. If you know what they are passionate about, then you can team up with other charities in order to capitalize on donations.

Nick: How do you associate your local group with a charity without “charitywashing”?

Moriah: In terms of roller derby we feel like we don’t charitywash because we have an actual fan base, offer an actual service (or product if you will), and we are a non-profit. Everything we make gets put back into the league to make it better; no one makes a salary or pockets anything. We sponsor a local charity every quarter because we want to be involved in the community. We do this by being sponsored by businesses and advertising, but we also want to support our charities by giving them a portion of all of our proceeds.

(Post-interview aside from Nick: honest intent is a very powerful connecting tool. These derby girls have it in spades.)

Nick: Is there a special connection for you with the Boys and Girls Club?

Moriah: There’s no “special” connection. We’ve sponsored the bike co-op, the battered women’s shelter (which is something personal to all of us) but we pick charities that have a significant influence in the community.

Nick: What can people do to support you and donate?

Moriah: Come to our bouts! We love donations but we love fans for life way better. Come to our bouts, buy something from the bake sale, maybe buy a button, and bring your awesome energy! People can sponsor me for the Skate-A-Thon by coming tomorrow to Rollerland Skate Center at 6:45pm and asking for The Original Skankster. Admission is $3 and even if they don’t want to donate we would love it if they came.

Lots of great ideas for charities or businesses wanting to connect more with their community, and it all starts with associations.

Good luck to The Original Skankster and all the FoCo Girls Gone Derby girls tonight!