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31 May

Local Initiatives Support Corporation – NFL Foundation Grassroots

  Grant Amount: $250,000


The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation, which provides funding for the Program, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the Program. The goal of the Program is to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.
In order to be eligible for a grant under the Program, projects must be sponsored by non-profit community-based organizations registered as exempt from Federal Income Tax under Internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c)(3) or middle or high schools. In addition, all organizations applying for funds must be located specifically and exclusively within NFL
Target Markets, listed in Attachment A of the RFP document, and serve low to moderate-income areas within those markets.
Strong preference will be given to those proposals that:
(1) seek to upgrade existing facilities that are in poor condition or otherwise underutilized;
(2) demonstrate active use of the fields;
(3) attract matching funding that exceeds the minimum required match of 1:1;
(4) involve local partnerships with non-profit community partners (e.g., USA Football, Parks and Recreation Departments, YMCA branches, etc.) to promote youth sports safety and community programming on the fields; (5) provide for continuing maintenance and field safety; and
(6) involve youth football programs that are currently registered and compliant with USA Football’s Football Development Model education program.
As noted above, grants are given only for capital expenditures. Applicants may request a maximum of $250,000 from the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program to be used for capital improvements. Please see “Availability of Funding” for stipulations involved with a $250,000 maximum grant request.
There are two levels of funding available: 1) general field support (e.g. irrigation, bleachers, lights, etc.); and 2) field surface grants.
General Field Support: applicants may submit requests of up to $50,000 for capital projects not associated with the actual field surface. This support includes the installation/refurbishment of bleachers, concession stands, lights, irrigation systems, etc.
Field Surface Grants: Matching grants of up to $250,000 are available to help finance the resurfacing of a community, middle school or high school football field. Matching grants of up to $250,000 will be available to applicants seeking to install new synthetic sports turf surfaces. The ability of these new surfaces to withstand constant use and require little ongoing maintenance costs makes this an attractive option for communities, schools and youth groups to consider.
A smaller number of matching grants of up to $100,000 will be available to help finance the resurfacing of a community, middle school or high school football field utilizing natural grass/ sod surfaces. If applicants choose to utilize natural grass/sod surfaces as opposed to the synthetic sports surfaces, a minimum five-year maintenance plan and corresponding financial budget must be provided in order to demonstrate that the applying organization will maintain the field despite projected wear and tear and potential overuse by youth sports participants. Funds from the Program may not be used to maintain field surfaces, as all grant funds must be used for capital expenditures.


To be eligible for the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program, organizations applying for grant funds must meet all the criteria listed below:
• Be a community-based organization, middle school or high school serving a neighborhood consisting primarily of low and moderate-income families and individuals.

Please note:
- Schools must demonstrate the ability of the community to also utilize the field
- Universities and college campuses are not eligible to apply for NFL Foundation
Grassroots grants and will not be considered for funding.

• Have at least one-full time staff person (all-volunteer organizations will not be considered)
• Be in existence for at least three years
• Have a proven track record in real estate development and/or parks programming
• Have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status/school status; and
• Located in an NFL Target Market (Please see the list of eligible Target Markets in Attachment A of the RFP document).

Additionally, the facility should recommend that all youth organizations require all youth football coaches earn USA Football Coach Certification for tackle or flag.


  • Education / Job Training
  • Youth / Children and Families