The daily life of most under-resourced youth is marked by uncertainty. Providing a stable, positive influence that integrates educational support, life skills, and physical activity through tennis is the hallmark of the USTA Foundation network of NJTL chapters. In its fifty year history, the NJTL network delivers the USTA Foundation’s mission to change lives through tennis and education. As a steward of the NJTL network, the USTA Foundation is dedicated to maintaining a healthy, sustainable network for the next 50 years so that these organizations remain a stable, positive influence and presence for the at-risk and under-resourced youth in their communities.

NJTLs complete a two-stage competitive screening to earn a spot in each three-year Capacity Building Cohort and receive ongoing assessment via various quantitative and qualitative methods. Each chapter is assigned an Account Manager who mentors and guides them through multiple monthly deliverables/exercises, and both staff and Board Members of the chapters attend bi-annual trainings.

The NJTL Capacity Building Program gives NJTL chapters the ability to strengthen and develop a roadmap for their organization to have a long-term impact. Capacity Building is an organizational development course for chapters within the NJTL network composed of grassroots youth tennis and education programs. Launched on the national level in 2014, the program is currently composed of four cohorts, one on the national level, two on the USTA Section level and one within a USTA District. 

Cohort members complete a multi-stage vetting process and receive ongoing assessment via various quantitative and qualitative methods. On the national level, the three-year program of study focuses on developing Executive Directors and Board Chairs. 

Through workshops, on-going intensive training, and expert guidance, local USTA Foundation NJTL chapters grow stronger and more sustainable. The USTAF have supported more than 50 NJTL chapters that have impacted 95,000 kids.


Launched in 2014, the inaugural Capacity Building Cohort succeeded in assisting 29 chapters.

  • 76% of the 2014 Cohort increased their NJTL budget
  • 66% increased their NJTL Star Level
  • 5 chapters achieved the highest NJTL Star Level of Four Stars
  • Additional increases in weeks of programming, partnerships, participants and staffing
  • The cohort increased its capacity across 5 benchmarks measured annually for leadership capacity, learning capacity, management capacity, operational capacity and tennis capacity

Key Areas of Growth and Training

1. Organizational Identity

2. Strategic Thinking and Planning

3. Tennis & Educational Programming

4. Organizational Development

5. Human Capital

6. Evaluation & Assessment

If you would like to be a part of making change for NJTL chapters, please donate to the Capacity Building program.