Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Sports

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 @ 16:02 PM

9907016965_25da1b3eec_q.jpgThe Super Bowl champs have been crowned. Hockey and basketball teams are looking toward the playoffs. Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, which for some baseball fanatics may be bigger than that other holiday that occurred this week. We want to keep that momentum going and help out sports teams that may not get all the headlines. Below read about a few hand-selected grants for athletic teams of all sizes and types.

  Insider Tip: Most professional sports leagues, teams, and even players have foundations that support sports causes. A good place to start for funding for your team is your specific sports major league.  Two prime examples are The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Major League Baseball, both which have grant programs.  

DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation

This sports retailer believes every child should have the opportunity to participate in a sport. That is why it operates the Sports Matter grant program. The program supports leagues, teams, athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts. Items like equipment, facility rental, transportation, lodging, player or team registration fees, sports camp registration fees, and more are covered expenses. Due to the large volume of inquiries, all requests must be submitted at least one month prior to the start of your season. Applications are accepted year round. Additionally, public and public charter school teams also have the opportunity to submit a Sports Matter crowdfunding project through For a limited time, the DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation will fund the project once donors fund the first half on eligible team sports projects.


Large-scale non-profit organizations inside and outside the United States are eligible to apply for grant funding from ESPN. Public K-12 or school districts are included in this eligibility. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. This program has four program funding priorities:

  1. Good Neighbor – ESPN tries to make a difference in communities where they have a presence. They also hope to support organizations that provide social services to those in greatest need, make arts and cultural experiences accessible, and work to protect and preserve the environment for generations to come.
  2. Access to Sports – Programs hoping to fund the creation of safe places to play and youth sports programs, as well as equipment for these teams, are preferred.
  3. Leadership Through Sports – Programs that use sports to help youth develop physically, mentally, emotionally, as well as those that help bridge the gaps between gender and socioeconomic status, are favored as well.
  4. Environmental Sustainability – Grant money is aimed toward organizations that are working to protect and preserve the places where fans, employees and communities will play sports for generations to come.

International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI)

This grant program through the U.S. Department of State is open to U.S. public and private non-profit organizations. Proposals must be for exchange projects designed to reach underserved youth and/or their coaches/sports administrators who manage youth sports programs. These eligible programs could aim to reach a wide variety of people including at-risk youth, women, minorities, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers. This year the organization is seeking proposals that address social change. The website goes into further detail about that goal. The proposal submission period is now open with applications accepted until March 17. Three $600,000 grants will be awarded. An example of a recently funded program is a group of female youth basketball players and coaches from the country of Georgia and Moldova visited George Mason University.

If you are interested in any of these grant opportunities, or want to find out if there are more grants that can help your organization, please contact us today. The first consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers is always free!


Photo Credit: Willy Lange

Topics: youth sports, sports, grants for sports, youth sports grants, grants for youth sports, grants for athletics, athlete foundations, athletics grants, youth grants, healthy youth, grants for youth, youth fitness, youth recreation grants, grants for youth recreation, grant, grants, grant opportunity

Grants from the Gridiron

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 09:01 AM

The Super Bowl is just days away. Hostesses are prepping the chips and dip. footballFootball fans are preparing for the biggest game of the year. Players and coaches are game planning. The media is talking about the amount of air in the footballs.

At the we want to take this opportunity to share with you grant-making foundations led by current and former NFL players as well as coaches. These individuals are making an impact on the field and off the field as well. Take a look at some of these foundations when you are planning your project or program.

Like most foundations in general, NFL player’s foundations also have specific causes they fund. Don’t make the assumption that the professional athletes only fund sports activities. Most do fund youth sports. However, a lot of them also fund other topics including those that focus on overall community well being.  

One unique aspect of these foundations is that they are usually focused on specific geographic locations. The athletes mostly support their hometowns, college towns, or community where they are currently playing or have played. Seek out local athletes, or those from your area, when looking for grants from these foundations.

Wes Welker Foundation

Denver Broncos’ wide receiver Wes Welker is dedicated to supporting and encouraging at-risk youth. Through his foundation, Welker awards grants to schools and non-profit organizations within Oklahoma City or the geographic limits of the Oklahoma City Public School District. The grants must be used to serve high school-aged youth or younger. There is no maximum or minimum grant amount. Applications are accepted twice a year, before Sept. 15 and Feb. 15.

Justin J. Watt Foundation

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was a college football player at the University of Wisconsin when he realized not every child had access to athletics. That was the beginning of his foundation. Schools and organizations that provide athletic opportunities to middle–school-aged students (6th-8th grades) during or after school can apply for these grants. The funds must be used to purchase uniforms or equipment for the athletic programs.  Applications are reviewed quarterly (January, March, June, and September). There is no minimum or maximum grant amount. The foundation has awarded over $600,000 in grants since its inception.

Jason Taylor Foundation

Non-profit organizations in south Florida (Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties) can apply for funding from the Jason Taylor Foundation. Taylor is a former Miami Dolphins defensive end. The foundation funds creative, innovative projects that fill an observed need for children in the south Florida community. Projects focused on improved health care, education, and quality of life initiatives are preferred.  Past projects have included reading rooms, school supply donations, and learning centers. Grant amounts depend on the organization’s project budget. Current deadlines are unavailable so check the website for updates.

Kelly Cares Foundation

The Kelly Cares Foundation, founded by Brian and Paqui Kelly, supports health, education, and community through its grant-making foundation. Brian Kelly is the head coach of Notre Dame football. The health component funds breast cancer awareness, prevention, and research. The Foundation supports education at all levels and capacities. Additionally, the Foundation supports projects and initiatives that encourage the engagement of individuals in their local communities. Eligible organizations must be non-profit. The deadline for grant applications is Dec. 31st each year. There is no maximum or minimum grant award. The Foundation has distributed more than $1.2 million in financial support since 2009.

Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism

Non-profit organizations and schools in New England, New York, New Jersey, Southern California, and select parts of Canada that provide services, education, and advocacy for children with autism spectrum disorder can apply for grants from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation. Flutie was a quarterback in the NFL for several years. Grant guidelines are posted on the website every July. Applications are accepted from the time the guidelines are posted until the end of September. The maximum grant award is $20,000.

NFL Foundation

The NFL Foundation also provides grants to support youth football programs, health and safety initiatives for young athletes, and community programs. The Foundation has nine different grant programs. Some of the money is funneled through the individual NFL teams though the foundation directly offers several grant programs to community organizations and athletic programs as well.

Additionally, the NFL provides grants to organizations in the city where the Super Bowl is played. This year six non-profit organizations received a combined $600,000 in legacy grants through this program. Funds awarded helped with the purchase of athletic equipment, the placement of athletic trainers at local tournaments, student mentoring, protecting the water supply and restoring forest health, full-time coaches in schools, and nutrition education. So whatever the final score of Super Bowl XLIX, Arizona charities are guaranteed a win.

There are many, many more NFL players and coaches that have grant-making foundations. If you don't see your geophraphic location or grant focus above, contact us. We can help pair you with the right foundation.


Photo Credit: Tim Donovan

Topics: athlete foundations, grant notification, education grants, grant opportunity, grant publicity, football grants, grants for football, grants for breast cancer awareness, grants for athletics, autism grants, NFL, breast cancer grants, health care grants, quality of life grants

Grant Opportunities from Professional Athletes

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 15:06 PM

Professional athletes are more than just game changers on the field. Athletes from a wide variety of sports have foundations that support an assortment of causes. Unlisportske the majority of grants we normally write about, these grants don’t always come in the form of money. Visits from the athlete and supplies for programs are other forms of grants from these types of foundations. Grants from these foundations can still have huge impacts on communities and organizations. Whether you are a school, non-profit, or municipal organization, don’t forget to check into these foundations for potential funding. Below is a hand-selected list of these type of grants.

Greg Biffle Foundation

Grants from this NASCAR driver’s foundation go toward helping our furry friends. Non-profit humane societies, spay/neuter clinics, and no-kill animal shelters throughout the United States are eligible to apply for grants for spay/neuter initiatives, vet care/medical supplies, pet supplies, and operating expenses. The maximum grant amount is $5,000. Organizations dealing with animals other than dogs and cats are not eligible. The deadline for submitting the 2014 grant application is Friday, Aug. 29. Funding decisions are made each December.

Deion Branch Charitable Foundation

This football player’s foundation is dedicated to supporting children’s mental, physical, and emotional health by assisting programs that help these causes. The foundation actively supports organizations committed to assisting meningitis victims, particularly infected children, since Branch’s own son was diagnosed with this infection as a child. 

Strike 3 Foundation

The Strike 3 Foundation, established by Craig Breslow of the Boston Red Sox, offers grants to hospitals and other healthcare agencies to help improve the delivery of care to pediatric cancer patients and their families. The foundation also aims to eliminate healthcare disparities and to ensure that all children with cancer have access to necessary treatment. The grant process starts with a Letter of Intent, which can be submitted at any time throughout the year.

Courts 4 Kids

The Carmelo Anthony Foundation and Syracuse University coach’s Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation have paired up to build basketball courts for kids. The program is targeted toward disadvantaged children in Syracuse and Puerto Rico. The program builds new basketball courts as well as refurbishes old courts. For more information on how to get involved with the Courts 4 Kids program, please contact Mike Bristol at

Balkman Buddies Foundation

NBA player Renaldo Balkman created the Balkman Buddies Foundation to help create educational and recreational opportunities for children. The foundation assists community centers, after-school programs, and schools by providing academic scholarships, books, educational incentives, field trips, toys, tickets to games, and other essentials necessary to operate. The foundation also runs a program called Balkman Gives Back, in which the basketball star shows up at a deserving place to interact with participants and volunteer to help in any way possible. It is all done as a surprise, and organizations across the country are eligible.


Chicago Bear Lance Briggs has been making an impact on youth in our home state of Illinois. Briggs4Kidz is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds to help alleviate the emotional and financial struggles of today’s poverty-stricken youth. Most funds and supplies support those children in Chicago, but recently the foundation expanded to help children in Sacramento, California and Tucson, Arizona. Last year, Briggs’ Foundation donated 300 bikes to the Sierra Vista low-income housing complex in Sierra Vista, Arizona. can assist you in finding grants, developing programs, applying for grants, managing grants, and everything in between. Contact us today and we will customize our services for your individual needs. The first consultation is always free.


Photo Credit: See-ming Lee

Topics: athlete foundations, grant notification, foundation funding, grant opportunity, foundations, foundation grant, foundation grant money, foundation grants