Playing organized youth sports provides many benefits for a child, including helping to fight obesity and instilling a work ethic that can last a lifetime. Local sports programs, though, are often on tight budgets. Fortunately, companies and national sporting organizations help with activities by awarding grants.
Finish Line Youth Foundation
The Finish Line Youth Foundation awards grants to youth athletic programs and camps that promote an active lifestyle, including sports. The foundation focuses on programs that help disadvantaged and special needs kids. Finish Line is a retailer of accessories, athletic apparel and footwear with 700 stores in 47 states. The foundation said it’s particularly interested in programs near Finish Line stores. Grants typically range between $1,000 and $5,000, with an occasional larger amount given out. The foundation accepts applications quarterly, and all applications must be submitted electronically (See Reference 1).
Finish Line Youth Foundation 3308 N. Mitthoeffer Road Indianapolis, IN 46235 (317) 899-1022 finishline.com/store/youthfoundation/guidelines.jsp
Liberty Mutual awards 20 Responsible Sports Community Grants of $2,500 twice a year to youth sports organizations. But an organization doesn’t simply apply for a grant. First, applicants must register their organization with Responsible Sports through its website. Then, an organization's members and supporters take a Responsible Sports Parenting and Responsible Coaching course online at their own pace. At the end of the course, a 10-question Responsible Sport Parenting quiz and Responsible Coaching quiz is administered. Test takers who pass earn a credited certification after confirming their e-mail address. The organizations with the most certifications get the grants. Three categories allow organizations of all sizes to have a fair chance at winning the grants (See Reference 2).
Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Community Grants 175 Berkeley Street Boston, MA 02116 (888) 373-0378 responsiblesports.com/community_grants/default.aspx
United States Golf Association
The United States Golf Association helps young golfers with its Junior Golf Grants Initiative as part of its For the Good of the Game Grants Initiative program. It looks for organizations that teach golf to children from underserved backgrounds. It favors programs that give affordable golf course access to kids. The money can cover instruction, equipment such as clubs and bags and driving range access. Applicants have to submit a detailed application and budget. The USGA does not pay for the entire program and often require that the organizations find matching funds for the program through additional community, individual and private sources (See Reference 3).
United States Golf Association For the Good of the Game Grants Initiative PO Box 708 Far Hills, NJ 07931 (719) 471-4810 usga.org/about_usga/philanthropy/grants/Good-of-the-Game-Grants
- boy playing catch image by sonya etchison from Fotolia.com