Our Grants

Grant Programs

Current Year Grant Summary

In 2019, the National Recreation Foundation has contributed $1,945,000 in support of charities providing recreational opportunities for youth from disadvantaged circumstances.

TNC
Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy of Illinois

Types of Grants

The National Recreation Foundation has made annual grants since its inception as a foundation in 1965. With a focus on youth development through recreation, grants generally are awarded through one of three grant programs:

  • Trustee Grants
  • Special Grants
  • Impact Grants

Every year, each member of the Board of Trustees is invited to recommend a program he or she believes fulfills the mission of the National Recreation Foundation. The sponsoring Trustee invites the organization to submit an application for Trustee Grant support. Trustee Grants are limited to $30,000.

The Foundation also accepts, based on Trustee recommendations, proposals for Special Grant funding. Special Grants are awarded for effective programs that are ready to be replicated in new geographies or scaled to the next level. These grants may not exceed $100,000 and are subject to stricter granting criteria.

Lastly, the Foundation periodically invites an organization to submit an application for Impact Grant support. Addressing critical needs with bold and innovative recreation programs, Impact Grants represent the Foundation's deepest investment in high performing nonprofit organizations. With strategies and outcomes that align with the Foundation's strategic priorities, the programs supported by Impact Grants are transformative to the youth and communities served.

Foundation support is limited to no more than three years for each of these grant programs.