The Lake Michigan Junior Golf Association was established in December of 2006 to provide junior golf tournaments in West Michigan to all youth. In 2011, The Lake Michigan Junior Golf Association shifted its focus to establishing a chapter of First Tee – West Michigan. On June 23, 2011, First Tee – West Michigan officially became a chapter of First Tee.
First Tee – West Michigan is one of 150 chapters worldwide that are part of a global non-profit youth initiative. First Tee was created in 1997 by the World Golf Foundation to use golf and character education to provide young people of all ethnic and economic backgrounds an opportunity to develop life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. By engaging youth in a combination of life skills, leadership and golf activities, they are exposed to positive traits that will help them become valuable assets to their community and eventually achieve success in life. First Tee’s Life Skills & Golf Experience is the unique component that sets it apart from many other successful junior golf programs.
At First Tee – West Michigan, we are highly focused on reaching out to at-risk and disadvantaged youth. We want our participants to see the beauty of the golf course, learn the skills they need to succeed in life, and build relationships with those who care for their well-being. In 2019, we worked with more than 1,200 participants, and manage a nonprofit donor base of more than 3,000 active individuals.
In 2020, First Tee – West Michigan was approved to expand into Kalamazoo County for the very first time. Since 2019, a group of local advisors has been leading the efforts to launch First Tee in Kalamazoo, in partnership with the Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association and the Kalamazoo Municipal Golf Association. These two organizations have run strong junior golf tournaments for decades, and have also run a modified version of First Tee, (called LINK) since 2016. The KJGA’s instructional arm will be taken over by First Tee, and will come with nearly 200 active participants. In the spring 2021, programs will launch in Kalamazoo, predominantly at Red Arrow Golf Course.
This newly created position will be charged with cultivating, developing and stewarding relationships in the Kalamazoo area, including with potential donors, parents, participants, and volunteers. In addition to raising the funds necessary for the area (a projected $105,000 in 2021), The Kalamazoo Area Director provides overall management of fiscal and program operations in the Kalamazoo community as well. The ideal candidate for this position has outstanding communication skills, is entrepreneurial by nature, a self-starter, has strong interpersonal and organizational skills, an optimistic ‘can do’ attitude, and can work alone without direction. The ideal candidate also has fundraising experience, a knowledge of the game of golf, experience working with kids, and strong writing and communication skills.
Essential Job Functions:
Increasing, strengthening and diversifying the organization’s funding sources in Kalamazoo, including individuals, corporations and foundations.
Donor and volunteer development and cultivation
Participating in public speaking engagements on behalf of
First Tee and represent the organization at events, meetings, and conferences.
Recruiting new volunteer/mentors for the program, as well as Lead Coaches to lead class
Can work on Saturday mornings.
Must enhance the relationship between First Tee and its families and volunteers in Kalamazoo
Leading (Coaching) First Tee’s six-class sessions and various other parts of programming with students age 7-17 multiple evenings per week (2-3), and
Communicating frequently via electronic communication with headquarters in Grand
Commuting to Grand Rapids 2-3 times per month for staff meetings
Sending email and communicate via phone with various constituencies on a frequent basis.
Ability to quickly learn systems and technology to leverage existing relationships and create new ones, all while keeping others on the team informed.
Represent the Chapter’s brand image to the public Governance/Operations
Recruiting a diverse and hard-working group of individuals to serve on the Kalamazoo Advisory Committee
Willingness to work from a co-working space or another office in partnership with a golf course.
Foster and develop the relationship between the Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association and the
Kalamazoo Municipal Golf Association to ensure all students know the opportunities available.
Managing First Tee – West Michigan’s Kalamazoo budget, including monitoring and submitting receipts, donations and program fees.
The following characteristics are necessary for success in this position:
Strong use of the written English language, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Quick response time via phone, email, text, and other electronic communication
High emotional IQ
Not afraid of ‘the Ask’
Ability to engage and built trust with students from all backgrounds
Ability to type quickly and effectively (60 words per minute minimum)
Comfortable learning online database systems
HubSpot, G-Suite (Google), Asana, Salesforce, Slack, and all social media platforms are
used with frequency
A love for youth (age 7 to 17)
A heart for students from challenging life circumstances
A passion for the game of golf
A servant heart
High attention to detail
Ability to focus in a high-energy environment (open office)
Personally Accountable to high standards of achievement
Mileage reimbursement for in-work travel
3% Simple IRA Match
Ability to create your own schedule, outside of structured class time
Paid Time Off, in addition to major holidays off (New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day,
Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve,