We have been talking a lot lately about how important community coalitions are to local government. Today's guest blogger, Kristal Johnson, brings us tangible examples of what they can accomplish. Although the Finish Line Youth Foundation funds nonprofits, collaboration between foundations, charities, and government have resulted in new opportunities for youth in Oakland and Indianapolis!
Finish Line Youth Foundation
According to the BMC Public Health, participation in sports can improve academic performance and increase employability prospects. Finish Line Youth Foundation is making a difference by providing more than $17 million in funding to support youth initiatives. Finish Line is able to do this through the generous support of customers who care deeply about youth in the community and beyond. Finish Line has three funding opportunities available for nonprofit organizations.
Three Grants Types
The Programmatic Grant supports organizations that provide an opportunity for children with special needs to participate in youth camps and athletic programs in their community. The award for this grant is up to $5,000.
The Legacy Grant is for organizations that need to renovate facilities or make improvements to existing buildings, grounds, and property. The Legacy Grant award range is $10,000 - $75,000.
The Founder's Grant is an emergency assistance grant for youth organizations that have experienced flooding, hurricanes, or any natural disasters. These funds are set aside to help organizations resume operating at full capacity.
Coalitions That Made a Difference
Although this foundation exclusively funds nonprofits, creative partnerships with public entities enabled Finish Line to become involved in the following two projects:
- The basketball courts at Lincoln Park Square in Oakland's Chinatown were in serious disrepair. Thanks to the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, the Golden State Warriors Community Foundation, the Good Tidings Foundation, the LISC/ESPN Pilot Home Court Program, the Finish Line Youth Foundation, and the City of Oakland, these public facilities were resurfaced so that park visitors have refurbished courts to play on.
- The playground equipment at the Warren Early Childhood Center in Indianapolis was outdated and unsafe. This time the Finish Line Youth Foundation partnered with KaBOOM! to help the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township make the necessary upgrades. Watch the three minute video "KaBOOM! and Finish Line Build a Playground" to see how it all came together.
Selected NonProfit Recipients
- YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit (Detroit) – $73,500 for the Finish Line for Youth Riding Stables barn renovation at Camp Ohiyesa serving 3,000 youth.
- Beat the Streets Wrestling (New York, NY) – $5,000 to support summer wrestling camp for 250 at-risk youth.
- Camping Unlimited (Boulder Creek, CA) – $1,118 for an outdoor camp archery program for 200 youth with special needs.
- Jameson Camp (Indianapolis, IN) – $5,000 to support residential summer camp for 450 at-risk and disadvantaged youth.
- The Grand Strand Miracle League (Myrtle Beach, SC) – $5,000 to support 2016-2017 Team Sports for Special Kids program serving 500 mentally and physically handicapped youth.
- U Make A Difference Foundation (Fishers, IN) – $5,000 for leadership and anti-bullying summit impacting 3,000 youth.
- Muscular Dystrophy Association (Dallas, TX) – $5,000 for MDA summer camp for 107 children with muscular dystrophy.
Click here for a complete list of grant recipients.
Applying to the Program
Eligible applicants are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Please take the Finish Line Youth Foundation online eligibility quiz to determine your if your organization qualifies. Direct-service organizations located near Finish Line stores are preferred. There are four deadlines throughout the year, the next two are September 30, and December 31, 2017. Local governments who have not set up nonprofits may want to explore opportunities for partnerships and coalitions.
About Kristal: Founder and Principal of Fundjoy LLC, Kristal is a fundraising consultant for nonprofit and startup organizations. She has served as a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations throughout the nation, including Florida, Virginia and Texas. In addition to being a successful fundraising consultant, Kristal provides training in fundraising, marketing, and social media for nonprofit executives and small business owners in a number of workshops, seminars and conferences. Kristal is published in Grant Professionals Association Journal and Nonprofit Communications Report. She can be reached at email@example.com.