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Regional Partner Funding: How To Apply

The Regional Sports 4 Life Program

The Women’s Sports Foundation’s newly launched Regional Sports 4 Life Program is modeled after the success of our national Sports 4 Life Program. The Regional Program seeks to strengthen several community organizations within a geographic area simultaneously with a four-year program model that supports capacity building and direct service. The goal is to develop and/or expand quality youth developmental sport programs for girls with greater sustainability and stronger outcomes.  A signature part of this program is the technical assistance and youth development expertise that WSF will provide to Regional partners.

The Regional Sports 4 Life Program applications are currently closed.

Beginning in the 2017-18 cycle, the Women’s Sports Foundation will be accepting applications from organizations by invitation only. This will help to ensure that diversity of sport, geography, community need and different organizational capacities are well represented by the program.

Regional Funding Guidelines & Criteria

What is the purpose of the funding?

The Women’s Sports Foundation is currently funding organizations in the designated regions of Western New York and Southeast Michigan. Funds may be awarded up to $20,000 annually for up to 4 years through an invitation-only process. Guidelines and criteria are provided below. Factors that will be taken into consideration include: past recipients, past applicants (not funded), and capacity to fulfill program goals. WSF will evaluate applicants on a case-by-case basis with an emphasis on organizations in underserved communities with an emphasis on girls of color.

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?

  • Application to the The Women’s Sports Foundation Regional Sports 4 Life Program is by invitation only and geared toward 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.

Applicants must demonstrate that the program meets the following criteria:

  • Serve girls in underserved communities, with an emphasis on girls of color
  • 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?

The Women’s Sports Foundation will award a total of four programs in each of the following regions: Southeast Michigan and Western New York for up to four consecutive years.

What can the funding be used for?

Funding in the first two years of the program will be used for organizational capacity building. Funding in the remaining two years of the program will be used to support direct service and might include 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.

What if my program has already been funded?

The Women’s Sports Foundation is actively inviting previous Sports 4 Life applicants – both those that have received WSF funding as well as those that did not receive funding due to resource limitations during that funding cycle.  Programs that have received WSF funding should be able to demonstrate how funding has resulted in the growth of girls participating in sports. Past applicants that did not receive funding are strongly encouraged to reapply. WSF’s is actively seeking programs that show potential to achieve the goals of the Sports4Life program. All applicants that meet WSF’s current rules of eligibility and criteria may apply.

If you are invited to apply as a returning program, be sure that your application documents the outcomes of the original funding including the specific benefits that have resulted. Any subsequent funding is contingent upon receipt of a satisfactory final and/or mid-term report.

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

  • Participation in several site visit(s) by the Women’s Sports Foundation during the course of the program.
  • Participation in group conference calls and webinars
  • 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 program leadership and stakeholder surveys by the designated program administrator.
  • If requested, provide your organization’s most recent audited financials or IRS Form 990.
  • Completion of year-end reports detailing the impact of the program and how the funding was used. 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.

Technical Support:

Technical support webinars and office hours will be offered in February. Organizations invited to apply will be receiving dates and times to sign up for technical assistance to assist in the application process.

How to Apply

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 Dr. Julie Shaw at jshaw@womenssportsfoundation.org  or Karen Issokson-Silver at kissokson-silver@womenssportsfoundation.org.