In our home state of Illinois, “Go Cubs Go” is being sung across the land. The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series for the first time since 1908. In honor of this historic accomplishment we have decided to highlight grants that can help get baseball fields and equipment to children across the country.
Major League Baseball awards grants to non-profit organizations involved in the operation of youth baseball or softball programs or facilities. Money from these grants is intended for programming and facilities, not for daily operating expenses. The funds may be used to finance a new program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for youth baseball or softball programs. Grants are reviewed on a quarterly basis with the most upcoming deadline of Jan. 1. Other deadlines are April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1. To date, an average of 400 requests are received annually; approximately 10 percent are awarded grants. In the most recent round of grants, World Baseball Academy in Indiana was awarded a grant to install new lighting equipment on three baseball fields.
Baseball and softball programs can apply for funding from the Finish Line Foundation. This foundation has three different categories of funding. A programmatic funding grant is up to $5,000 for organizations that establish youth athletic programs. Special consideration is given to those programs that are focused on disadvantaged or disabled children. A legacy grant is for new facilities improvement and/or renovations to existing grounds, buildings, and property. These grants total between $10,000-$75,000. The last grant category, founder’s grant, is for emergency needs that would keep the entity from providing current services. These grants range from $5,000-$25,000. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis with the next deadline being Dec. 31. Other deadlines are March 31, June 30, and Sept. 30.
If you need equipment for your ball team, then the Good Sports grant program is worth considering. Eligible organizations are those that serve economically disadvantaged children aged 3-18. Both schools and non-profit organizations are eligible. Funds cannot be used for sports camps or tournaments. Winners of this equipment grant will gain access to the catalog of available inventory, which displays the equipment, apparel, and footwear that is available for donation. Winners will receive six donation requests over a two-year period.
We can’t write this blog without mentioning the good the World Series Champions Chicago Cubs organization does in its hometown of Chicago. Cubs Care, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, has granted more than $20 million to Chicago non-profit organizations since 1991. Cubs Care grants are awarded to 501(c)(3) designated organizations. The program has several funding priorities. Organizations that support Child/Youth Education are eligible. This funding area supports agencies with established academic intervention program strategies in one of four transition stages that serve academically underperforming children and youth. Health and wellness initiatives are also funded. Priority in this category is given to community health centers, K-12 school-based health centers, and childhood obesity prevention and/or treatment programs.