Safe Places to Play Grant Application Process

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Safe Places to Play Grant Applicants
Eligibility Requirements
Funding Support and Grant Use
Submitting an Online LOI
Insurance and Grant Agreement Requirements

Safe Places to Play
Grant Applicants

1.  Applying for a Safe Places to Play grant is a two-step process. First, you will need to submit an online Letter of Interest (LOI) to the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Grants department. Second, if the Foundation approves the LOI, your organization will be invited to complete an official application.
The Safe Places to Play LOI is an online form, accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. LOIs submitted according to the following schedule will be considered during each grant cycle:

  • 2020 Spring Grant Cycle
    • January 2, 2020 – Letter of Interest (LOI) open
    • January 31, 2020 – Letter of Interest (LOI) due
    • February 7, 2020 – Application deadline
    • April 2020 – Awards announced
  • 2020 Summer Grant Cycle – TBD
  • 2020 Fall Grant Cycle – TBD

2.  As part of your LOI submission, you must obtain and submit an official project quote from the appropriate U.S. Soccer Foundation Corporate Partner(s) relating to your project.  Before submitting your LOI, please contact the appropriate partner(s) for your project from the list below.  Your request to the appropriate partner(s) should contain specifics of your project such as field measurements, including square footage, timeline, and your organization’s financial capacity and plans for covering the project’s cost beyond the assistance of the Foundation’s grant funding.  Please allow a minimum of 7-10 business days for each corporate partner to return a completed project quote to you. Organizations contacting a corporate partner less than 7-10 business days prior to an LOI deadline may not be accepted for that particular grant cycle.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Land Ownership – application must own or hold a 10+ year lease on the field space
  • 50% Funded – at the time of application, 50% of project funding must be in hand
  • Project Timeline – project should have clear timeline, with plan to complete project within 1 year of potential grant award
  • Non-Profit Status – applicants must be a non-profit entity (nonprofit organization, government, school, church)
  • Soccer-Specific Play Space – field space must be majority-use soccer

Funding Support and Grant Use

  • Maximum support by category (Amounts may vary depending on availability of funds and established funding agreements with the Foundation’s preferred vendors):
    • Irrigation = $15,000, which could cover 100% of irrigation material costs (excludes installation)
    • Lighting = $25,000 of product material cost for single field projects; $50,000 of product material cost for multi-field projects (grantees are eligible for up to 50% of product material cost)
  • Grant Use:
    • All Safe Places to Play grants function as product credit towards the grant project
    • Adjustments to scope of project must be approved by the Foundation

Submitting an Online LOI

The Safe Places to Play LOI is an online form that is made available on the date noted above. The following items are required to submit the online form:

  1. Organization name and location
  2. Documentation of tax-exempt status
  3. Indicate what type(s) of funding your organization is requesting (Lighting, Irrigation) as well as the level of funding requested. You may request funding in multiple categories in a single grant cycle.
  4. Project budget from appropriate Foundation partner:
  5. Construction timeline including completion date
  6. Description of your project, including who the project will serve, why the community needs the project, and the current funding and planning status of the project.

Within three weeks of submitting an online Safe Places to Play LOI, organizations will receive one of two responses:

  1. An invitation to complete a full application for a Safe Places to Play grant, which will be completed online.
  2. A brief explanation of why an organization was not invited to formally apply (i.e. – eligibility issues, does not match the Foundation’s mission, etc.).

Insurance and Grant Agreement Requirements

All grantees that receive a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation must meet the following insurance and grant agreement requirements:

  • Provide Proof of Commercial General Liability insurance for at least $2,000,000 in aggregate
  • Provide Proof of Automotive Liability insurance for at least $1,000,000 each accident
  • Provide Proof of Workers Compensation insurance for at least $1,000,000
  • Provide Proof of Umbrella and/or Excess insurance for at least $2,000,000
  • Add the U.S. Soccer Foundation as an “additional insured” to all insurance coverages prior to grant execution
  • Submit bi-annual reports, accounting for how their grant money was spent and noting specific outcomes related to the use of the grant money. The U.S. Soccer Foundation will provide the report forms to each grantee.

For all field-building projects:

  • Provide proof of Builder’s Risk Property insurance during course of installation
  • The field project must be able to include the U.S. Soccer Foundation logo, as well as other potential funder logos


A: Yes. If the space is used for 50% or more soccer, the application will be considered.

A: The LOI is an online form that must be submitted using the link at the bottom of this page during the LOI period. Unfortunately, we cannot accept an LOI that is not submitted using this online form.

A: In fairness to all applicants, we’re unable to comment or give guidance on the specific content of your LOI or application prior to their due dates. We are, however, glad to answer questions regarding the overall application process.

A: We have three yearly cycles beginning in January. We encourage all applicants to select the cycle that best fits both the construction timeline and fundraising level. Foundation support amounts do not change cycle by cycle. 

A: No. We’re humbled to facilitate grants that help make an impact through soccer in your community, but we do not give guidance about fundraising strategy.

A: If you are a non-profit organization, we still request a Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Activities, along with your W-9, 990, and BOD Certification letter. If you do not have these documents, an annual financial report or budget sheet may be submitted as a Statement of Financial Position and annual city reports may be submitted as a Statement of Activities. Any sort of confirmation of budgeting for the project may be submitted as a BOD Certification letter. 

A: Grant awards from the U.S. Soccer Foundation are eligible exclusively with our partner vendors:

  • Hunter Irrigation
  • Musco Lighting
Please note in the application if you plan to put the project out to bid.

A: There is not a sample application, but you are encouraged to reach out to with specific questions. 

A: Applicants must be a non-profit entity (nonprofit organization, government, school, church, etc.).
See our Past Recipients page to view comparable organizations.

A: Announcements are made via email about two months after the application deadline.

A: Safe Places to Play grant recipients must complete their projects within one year from the date that the grant award is announced.

A: No. Only future projects that aim to be completed within one year are eligible for grants. Safe Places to Play grants may not be used retroactively.

A: No. Each grant serves as a product or services credit to be used with the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play partners. Thus, the grant is contingent on completion of the grant project and may not be used for other purposes. 

A – Yes. This opportunity falls outside of the traditional Safe Places to Play grants covered on this page. More information about the synthetic turf opportunity can be found here.

For questions about Safe Places to Play grants, please contact Drew Dubé at