Safe Places to Play Grant Application Process
Submitting an LOI
Funding Support and Grant Use
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:
- 2019 Spring Grant Cycle
- LOI open - January 3, 2019
- LOI due - January 25, 2019
- Application deadline - February 8, 2019
- Awards announced - April 2019
- 2019 Summer Grant Cycle - Now Open
- LOI open - May 2, 2019
- LOI due - May 24, 2019
- Application deadline - May 31, 2019
- Awards announced - August 2019
- 2019 Fall Grant Cycle
- LOI open - September 3, 2019
- LOI due - September 27, 2019
- Application deadline - October 4, 2019
- Awards announced - December 2019
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.
- Lighting: Musco Lighting (Visit http://www.musco.com/soccergrant/ and complete the form)
- Irrigation: Hunter Industries (Lynda Wightman: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Modular Athletic Flooring: Sport Court® (Lauren Gillian: email@example.com)
- 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
- 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)
- Sport Court = Up to 33% of PowerGame™ 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
- Organization name and location
- Documentation of tax-exempt status
- Indicate what type(s) of funding your organization is requesting (Lighting, Irrigation, Modular Athletic Flooring) as well as the level of funding requested. You may request funding in multiple categories in a single grant cycle.
- Project budget from appropriate Foundation partner:
- Lighting: Musco Lighting (Visit http://www.musco.com/soccergrant/ and complete the form)
- Irrigation: Hunter Industries (Lynda Wightman: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Modular Athletic Flooring: Sport Court (Lauren Gillian: email@example.com)
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.).
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
Q: Is an organization that provides soccer, in addition to other sports, able to submit a Safe Places to Play grant application?
A: Yes. If the space is used for 50% or more soccer, the application will be considered.
Q: I have typed or written a letter as my LOI. Will that suffice?
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.
Q: May I send my LOI or application to the Foundation for review before submitting it?
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.
Q: My organization is interested in a grant but does not have 50% of the overall project currently funded that is needed to apply. How many cycles are there a year?
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.
Q: Can the Foundation help my fundraising efforts?
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.
Q: We are a local municipality without the standard non-profit documents (i.e. Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities). What should we do?
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.
Q: My organization is putting our project out to bid. Which vendors will honor our grant award?
A: Grant awards from the U.S. Soccer Foundation are eligible exclusively with our partner vendors:
- Hunter Irrigation
- Musco Lighting
- Sport Court
Q: Is there a sample application my organization may review outside of the grant period?
A: There is not a sample application, but you are encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.
Q: How do I know if my entity is eligible?
A: Applicants must be a non-profit entity (nonprofit organization, government, school, church, etc.). See our Past Recipients page to view comparable organizations.
Q: After applying, how long until my organization is notified of a choice?
A: Announcements are made via email about two months after the application deadline.
Q: If we are chosen for a grant, when does the project need to be fully completed?
A: Safe Places to Play grant recipients must complete their projects within one year from the date that the grant award is announced.
Q: My project is already complete. Can I still apply for a grant to be reimbursed?
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.
Q: Is the grant paid in cash?
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.
For questions about Safe Places to Play grants, please contact Drew Dubé at email@example.com.
adidas, the Foundation's Safe Places to Play - Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation, adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.
All Sports Enterprises, Inc.
All Sports Enterprises, Inc. is the U.S. Soccer Foundation's preferred artificial turf supplier and installer. Whether you are building a new, or renovating an existing facility, All Sports Enterprises, Inc. has the materials and professional installation crews to outfit your entire complex. With over 30 different manufacturers to choose from, All Sports Enterprises, Inc. will assist you in selecting the right products for the right application. Its intallation crews are experienced, certified, and will work with you and your staff to make sure your project is a complete success.
APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.
CHA Sports, the Foundation's Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport's full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com.
Hunter Industries, the Foundation's National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields. Hunter Industries' focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation's grants program.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.
Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.
MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.
MTJ Sports is honored to be a corporate partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and its Safe Places To Play program. We believe in working with our customers as a true business partnership. We cultivate & drive healthy relationships through our core business values and provide premier turnkey services for sports surfaces & equipment from design & manufacturing all the way through the installation process. For more information please visit our website at www.mtjsports.com or contact our president, Mats Jonmarker, directly via email at email@example.com.
As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.
SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.
Soccer.com, the Foundation's National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.
Sport Court®, the Foundation's Supplier for Futsal Surfaces, has been the industry leader in modular athletic flooring for over 30 years. With more than 50,000 installations worldwide, and the largest and most experienced network of authorized dealers, Sport Court® delivers innovative, durable, high-performance solutions for a variety of sports and activities. For more information, please visit sportcourt.com. Please contact Lauren Gillian at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding Sport Court's corporate partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
Target announced a national partnership with Safe Spaces to Play in 2017, along with a million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.
TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.
World Soccer Shop
Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.