Characteristics of a Strong Application

Characteristics of a Strong Application

Well-Written Application

  • No typos or spelling mistakes; no evidence that answers were copied and pasted from another application; all questions are answered and all required documents are included. Please proofread all submissions.

Youth Development Focus

  • The mission of the Foundation is to use soccer as a vehicle for social change; programs and projects must have an intentional focus on one or more aspects of youth development (health, education, safety, etc.).


  • The priority of the Annual Grants program is to fund organizations that work with players in underserved communities. Underserved may be defined in the sense of socioeconomic hardship, soccer-playing opportunities, or both. Organizations from suburban or rural areas are welcome to apply (and the Foundation has funded such groups before).

Diverse Funding Sources

  • Diverse funding sources (other foundations, corporations, individuals, etc.) show the Foundation that an applicant is financially sustainable and is not solely dependent on one or two sources of funding.
  • The amount of funding requested from the Foundation should not account for more than 50% of a program or project budget.
    • Please use your best judgment on this guideline; if your organization provides strictly soccer programming, then this guideline applies to your entire budget. If you are applying on behalf of a soccer program run by a school district, this guideline applies to the budget for the soccer program, not the entire school district.


  • The Foundation wants to be confident that the programs and projects funded through the Safe Places to Play grant cycle are sustainable.
  • For Program Grants, one-time events (such as camps or clinics) are not eligible for funding.
  • Start-up and long-established programs are both eligible for funding; each organization should demonstrate what they have done in the past (if already established) and/or what they plan to do in the future (both financially and programmatically) to sustain themselves.

Community Impact

  • The Foundation seeks to fund programs and projects that have a tangible impact on their community; a thorough measurement and evaluation strategy is highly important.

Players Served

  • The Foundation strives to fund quality programming for the largest number of players possible; organizations need not serve hundreds or thousands of players, but the amount of the grant request should appropriately correspond to the size and scope of the program.

Funding Capacity

  • The Foundation’s resources limit the percentage of each Safe Places to Play project that it can fund through this grant opportunity. Applications should exhibit a strong funding capacity (applicants must possess at least 50% of project funds in order to apply). Applications that exhibit the ability to complete a Safe Places to Play project within 12 months (18 month maximum) are also deemed strong applications.