BIO Girls Participant Registration FAQ
*In 2018 BIO Girls is moving to a Lottery Style Registration for participant registrations and has implemented a registration fee. Answers to commonly asked questions can be found below.
What is a lottery system registration?
A registration period is assigned to each BIO Girls site. Once registration closes for a particular site all girls who submit a registration for that certain site will be entered into the site lottery, the registration software system will randomly select the 35 participants for that site.
How does the system work?
BIO Girls registration is through Raceplanner. Raceplanner is a third-party software system that protects confidential information and will be used to conduct a fair (family friendly) random lottery.
Registration for each BIO Girls site will be open for a 6-day period. Please reference the Locations page on the BIO Girls website for specific dates associated with each site.
If more than 35 girls are registered when registration closes, the registration system will randomly select the 35 participants for that site. The 35 accepted participants will be notified as soon as they are randomly selected by the software. All girls NOT selected will be notified the following day and placed on a waiting list. Should a girl drop-out before the 2nd session, BIO Girls will queue the system to randomly select a replacement from the wait-list for the open spot.
If the site does not reach 35 girls at the time registration closes, all girls will be registered participants of that site. Registration will then re-open on a first-come, first serve basis until the maximum capacity of 35 girls has been reached. Registration will then close 3 nights prior to the 2nd BIO Girls session for that site.
Why a lottery system?
Due to the popularity of the BIO Girls program, the first-come, first serve method of registration is no longer suitable. The lottery system provides a fair opportunity for all girls to participate and is not dependent on an adult’s availability to register at the exact time registration opens. Work conflicts, limited access to internet, time differences on clocks and more were all issues we experienced with a first-come, first-serve system.
We believe the lottery system will allow all girls the same opportunity to participate.
How are siblings handled with the lottery-style registration system?
The system is completely random and does not support an automatic roster spot to siblings. In other words, just because one sibling is selected there is no guarantee the other sibling(s) will be selected.
What about girls that have participated in the past? The lottery doesn’t seem fair to them.
Though we appreciate the passion and loyalty of girls that have participated in prior seasons, we are also committed to ensuring we can impact as many girls as possible through BIO Girls. We therefore do not offer preferential registration for BIO GIrls alumni. The lottery system provides every family an equal opportunity to register.
When am I charged for the program?
Once the lottery selection process is complete and registration is confirmed, your credit card will be charged. Your credit card will not be charged if you are wait-listed or were not randomly selected.
If wait-listed and a spot opens up, the system will randomly select a replacement participant. Once selected, your credit card on file will be charged.
Why is there a registration fee in 2018?
The reason for the registration fee is two-fold:
1. Financial Health of the Organization - when reviewing the budget and planning for growth, BIO Girls did not have a guaranteed source of income. The board viewed this as a red flag because you cannot guarantee donor income. Without introducing this source of income, it would limit the ability for the organization to continue to grow and scale. While it was a difficult decision because BIO Girls was founded on the 'free' principle, the program is not 'free' to facilitate.
2. True Cost of Program Facilitation – a financial analysis determined that either the Site Fee needed to increase substantially or a registration fee needed to be put in place. The board voted to raise the Site Fee slightly and implement the registration fee to ensure the fundraising expectation for the volunteer Site Director was not unrealistic. The board also spent time comparing costs of other 12-week programs - both athletic and non-athletic - and felt the $50 fee is very reasonable given it is a 12-week program and also felt that with a financial stake in the program, attendance MAY improve. If finances are a hurdle, a scholarship Fund is available. There is an application available for scholarships on the BIO Girls website and during the registration process. Full and partial scholarships will be available. In addition, to ensure that we are still serving a wide-range of demographics, we have introduced a referral program to seek out girls who may not otherwise participate. We have a board member focused on forming partnerships with professionals who work with 2nd - 6th grade girls. The professionals will identify girls who would benefit from the program and may or may not have the means to participate and refer them to BIO Girls. All referrals are covered 100% by scholarship.
What does the $3500 site fee cover?
BIO Girls has a vision to impact as MANY girls as possible throughout the Midwest and it takes a lot of resources to make that happen. We operate on a very lean budget and have very little overhead (mission support) costs, but the reality is – non-profit does not equal free. There are costs to running a non-profit, just like any other business. (Here is a good article discussing this topic.)
It’s a very exciting time for BIO Girls as we continue to grow. In 2018, we will impact more than 700 girls at 20+ locations throughout the Fargo-Moorhead region and beyond. As such, we have hired two part-time employees to provide support for our Site Directors and volunteers. More specifically, the $3500 fee helps, but does NOT fully cover the site costs outlined below. Corporate BIO Girls is raising nearly $40,000 in additional funds to help keep the fees (registration and site) as low as possible:
BIO Girls is a 501©3 organization as defined by the IRS and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. Any profit at the end of the fiscal year is used to further the mission of the organization (i.e. goes towards facilitating the BIO Girls sites the following year.)
If you have any questions, please contact Missy Heilman at firstname.lastname@example.org.