Nike—retail company known world-wide for producing sports equipment—also uses some of its profits to improve communities and promote healthy lifestyles, especially of youth. It provides grants to increase the promotion of sports as a means of engaging young people and giving back to communities in need. Over the years, Nike’s corporate responsibility includes awarding numerous grants to communities to promote youth involvement in sports and physical activity.
Nike Employee Grant Fund
In May 2010, Nike and the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced the creation of a $1.5 million fund (Nike Employee Grant Fund) to provide grants of $500,000 each to local nonprofits and schools that use physical activity to promote positive social and environmental change. Nike and OCF intends to award one grant over each of the next three years. Nike employees serve on an advisory committee to compose grant recommendations for OCF. In addition, employees volunteer time and experience to support grant recipients in achieving their program goals.
In 2004, Nike started the NikeGO Factory Store Grant Program. Its purpose is to help get kids active with involvement in sports and recreational physical activities. During the program’s first year, it provided 10 awards of $5,000 with $2,000 in cash and $3,000 in product to support youth sports programs. The program requires applicants to meet the following criteria: involve kids ages 8 to 15; increase youth physical activity; measure impact and be fun. The programs also must be sustainable and developed or requested by the kids involved. Nike plans to expand the grants and its marketing of the grant program over time.
Community-Involvement Grant Program
In 2009, Nike launched a contest to provide awards for local youth sports programs. It identified and awarded educational groups and community organizations with financial grants of $2,500 to support their efforts to engage youth in sports programs. An applicant had to have a 501 (c)3 status of a nonprofit to be eligible. Nike sought to give away $650,000 worth of grants through the program that began last year with grant applications accepted through August 24, 2009. It posted applications online for visitors to review and vote for their favorites. Groups and organizations with grants getting the highest vote totals, received a grant.