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Community Partner Funding: How to Apply

The 2019 Sports 4 Life Partner funding cycle is closed. Please make sure you’re subscribed to our S.H.E. Matters E-Newsletter so you’ll be the first to know once grants are announced.

Community Funding Criteria & Guidelines

What is the purpose of the funding?

To create and expand developmental youth sports programs that serve African-American and Hispanic girls, ages 11 to 18 years old — high-risk and underserved populations.

Who administers the funding?

The Women’s Sports Foundation administers the funding and espnW is the founding sponsor of this program. More about Sports 4 Life >>

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

  • The program is geared towards non-profit schools, parks and recreation departments, non-profit organizations that possess 501(c)(3) status at the time the application is submitted, or an amateur sports league with a 501(c)(3) status located in the fifty (50) United States, District of Columbia or U.S. Territories.

Organizations must demonstrate that the program meets the following criteria:

  • Serve predominately African-American or Hispanic girls (representing more than 70% of the enrolled program participants)
  • The ability to deliver structured, developmental sports programming to girls ages 11 to 18 through experienced and committed leadership
  • The ability to provide ongoing funding to implement sports programming after the life of the funding has expired
  • Comply with all of the applicable Federal Civil Rights laws, including the requirements pertaining to developing and submitting an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEOP), reporting Findings of Discrimination, and providing language services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons.

How much funding is available?

Together, the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW will award a total program minimum of $250,000 in 2019 to help organizations across the United States create or expand developmental youth sports programs serving African-American and Hispanic girls ages 11 to 18. Funding for Sports 4 Life Partners will be at the $5,000 level and is available for organizations across a wide spectrum of scope, size and annual budget.

What can the funding be used for?

Funding can be used for coaching, curriculum, equipment, uniforms, transportation, facility rental, tournaments and/or team-building activities, all while fostering the Sports 4 Life benefits: leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance.

All of the following guidelines are applicable to the funding recipient (“partner”):

  • Participation in a Women’s Sports Foundation program evaluation webinars by a designated program administrator.
  • Completion of pre- and post-participation attitudinal surveys by the girl participants enrolled in the program.*
  • Completion of post-program surveys by the designated program administrator.
  • If requested, provide your organization’s most recent audited financials or IRS Form 990.
  • Completion of a final report detailing the impact of the program and how the funding was used. Recipients that request renewed funding will be asked to provide a mid-term report.
  • If requested, participation in a site visit(s) by the Women’s Sports Foundation during the course of the program.
  • Appropriate acknowledgement of Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW support in one or more of the following: program events, publications, videos, display onsite at facility or website. Usage guidelines will be provided to recipients.
  • Regularly provide photos, videos, press clippings and other relevant publicity information about the projects, services, operations, activities or programs in which grant funds were used on an ongoing basis and as attachments to the required reports.
  • Access to the program’s girl participants for evaluation and public education purposes.*
  • Acknowledge that public announcements of the funding award may be made by the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW.

*The funded program is responsible for securing appropriate parental consent, as needed.

Relevant dates?

WSF will adhere to the following schedule:

  • LOI application must be submitted by January 18, 2019
  • Target date for LOI feedback is January 31, 2019
  • Follow-up grant applications will be requested on an invitation-only basis
  • Final decisions will be made by April 30, 2019

How to Apply

The Women’s Sports Foundation has developed a two-step application process that involves an LOI application and a follow-up grant application.

Organizations interested in funding from WSF are invited to submit an LOI application. A selected group of organizations will be invited to submit a follow-up grant application. Please note that an invitation for an organization to submit a grant application does not guarantee that they will receive a grant.

Sports 4 Life Partners that have received prior funding should demonstrate how funding has resulted in the growth of girls participating in sports. Any subsequent funding is contingent upon receipt of a satisfactory final and/or mid-term report.

Sports 4 Life Partners that have received three years of consecutive funding will not be invited to apply until 2020.

What do you need to get started?

You will need your organization’s primary address, Employer Identification Number (EIN), IRS tax-exempt determination letter and IRS Form W-9 in order to apply.

Application Procedure

During the program application period, an authorized representative must visit Foundant GLM, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s grant-management system, and follow the directions to register a new user profile or update an existing profile. Limit one (1) profile per person/email address. Once your profile is registered, you will be able to save and submit an application on the website. APPLY HERE

You must be 18 years of age or older to submit an application and be an authorized representative of the organization. But if you are under 18, we encourage you to ask your coach, teacher or other adult staff member associated with your program to consider eligibility requirements and apply.

Notification and Application Acceptance

Conditions under which an application will not be accepted:

  1. Applications that are e-mailed, faxed, incomplete or late;
  2. Applications for programs that require compulsory religious participation;
  3. Applications requesting funding towards the purchase of land, construction of buildings, event sponsorships, providing scholarships to individuals and/or the purchase/care of animals with this grant;
  4. Applications requesting retroactive funding.

Still have Questions?

After reading the above guidelines carefully, if you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Flores-Amaya: 516-307-3915 or