The USTA Foundation believes in giving back, in supporting programs that utilize tennis and education to build brighter futures and more vibrant communities.  To date, we have awarded more than $40M in grants to hundredes of programs, benefitting thousands of youth throughout the country.

The USTA Foundation awards grants to programs that support underresourced youth through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character and strive for academic excellence. Priority is given to enrolled NJTL chapters that offer formal educational curricula, such as A.C.E., improved tennis delivery and implementation of USTA products.  

 

Please review the current grant guidelines before submission.  

USTA Foundation Incorporated Grant Disbursement Guidelines

Adopted March 18, 2018; Amended March 24, 2019

Note: These guidelines are subject to change each grant cycle. Please be sure to review the final guidelines posted on the USTA Foundation Incorporated website prior to submitting an application.

Overview

Based on the Foundation’s current strategic priorities, grants supporting efforts in developing strong, sustainable NJTL chapters in key markets around the country is the main focus. The formal levels system was refined with more rigorous criteria, to create consistency across the NJTL network. Funding preference will be given to enrolled NJTL chapters that utilize the USTA Foundation/NJTL products and meet this criteria. The NJTL Levels document is included as a separate attachment.

Grant Categories

Program Grants – Grants ranging from no less than $5,000 and no more than $25,000 to support the implementation of qualified educational curricula, improved tennis delivery and/or health programming. Preference will be given to NJTL Chapters serving the desired “under resourced” target demographic. A portion of Program Grant funds ranging from $1,000 to no more than $5,000 will be available to new or smaller organizations to support the addition of tennis, education or life skills programming.

Capacity Building Grants – Grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to support the infrastructure of an NJTL chapter participating in the current Capacity Building Program. Funds will be provided as available to fund the hiring of a key staff member, implementation of a formal evaluation and tracking system, etc., and will compliment a rigorous consulting and technical assistance three-year program. All Capacity Building grants are by invitation only.

Excellence Team Grants – Grants of at least $20,000 to NJTL Chapters participating in the current Excellence Teams Program, to support a high- performance tennis, education, community service and leadership program. Excellence Team grants are by invitation only; however, special events, camps and activations will be offered to the entire NJTL Network.

Sustainability Grants – A ‘pool’ of grant funds for the general support of advanced NJTL chapters that have met the criteria as “Four-Star” organizations. Chapters will receive a minimum of $10,000 each.

Discretionary Grants – A category that preserves the option to fund special projects, court renovations, family programs, etc.

Executive Mentoring Stipends – A category to support peer-to-peer learning in areas of focus such as Board Development, Programming, etc. through stipends to offset expenses related to the relationship between mentor and mentee. The Mentor may receive $2,000; the Mentee may receive $1,500, and the amount will be capped annually.

Player Development Collaborative Grants – Grant funds may be awarded to support the coaching and high performance development of underserved youth who have demonstrated great potential on and off the court, on a case by case basis and from restricted funds received for this purpose.

From time to time, the USTA Foundation may pilot initiatives and programs to test their ability to be scalable nationally.

Occasionally, disbursements may be made in the category of Program-directed grants, based on a contribution made by an individual, corporation or foundation, awarded to a pre-determined organization. Documentation must accompany the request, supporting the donor’s intent for the use of the funds.

General Guidelines

  • Any request made for disbursement of funds in the categories outlined above, must first meet the following five initial requirements:
    • Support the mission of the USTA Foundation;
    • Adhere to the legal requirements for the USTA Foundation as a 501(c)(3) corporation; exceptions can be made on a case by case basis and must be properly documented;
    • Maintain the highest ethical standards;
    • Conform to the stipulation, or restrictions, made by the donor(s);
    • Meet the tests of public examination as to appropriateness.
  • Grant requests must be completed through the USTA Foundation’s online application, via the grants management system; however, in the case of a program-directed grant or stipend, a staff member may enter the request on behalf of the recipient.
  • Each request must include the following supportingdocuments:
    • IRS Form 990 or Audited Financial statements (External CPA Certified Financial Audit per state frequency)
    • IRS Determination Letter indicating the 501(c)(3) status.
    • Board of Directors list with a brief description of each member.
    • Project Budget outlining how the grant monies will be used
    • Overall Organization Budget for the current fiscal year
  • A letter of support from a partner or projectcollaborator
  • Requests will be reviewed initially by staff to ensure they adhere to the five initial requirements as well as include all required documentation.
  • The grant period for all categories is one year. Exceptions may be made by providing documentation requesting an extension of the grant period. All requests for such extensions must be approved by the Director of Programs & Services and the Grant DisbursementCommittee.
  • Each organization may apply for all categories of funding, but if awarded a Sustainability grant, the organization is prohibited from receiving a Capacity Building Grant in the same calendar year.
  • The annual cumulative amount the Foundation has given one organization will be taken into consideration,with the exception of a restricted gift from an individual to that specific organization.
  • Grant recipients should not rely solely on the USTA Foundation Incorporated for funding of a specific project. The Foundation prefers not to fund more than 50% of the project budget for Program Grantrequests.
  • In the event that the organization ceases to operate, or if the original purpose of the project changes, the grantee must contact the USTA Foundation.
  • All funded requests will require progress and final reports. Progress reports will be due after six months, and final reports at the end of the grant period. Organizations will be required to sign and return an award letter indicating that they understand and agree to the terms of the grant, including that they may forfeit their eligibility for future funding if they do not submit their mid-year and year-end reports. Additionally, for the year-end/final report, expense substantiation (copies of invoices, payroll records, etc.) may be requested.

Vetting of Grant Requests

  • All requests will be vetted according to the standards set by the USTA Foundation Board of Directors Audit Committee.
  • All organizations will be checked against the www.guidestar.org nonprofit database and respective state charity bureau website, for verification of good standing.
  • The request must adhere to the disbursement policy and fit the guidelines for the specific grant category.
  • All attachments will be reviewed for accuracy and questionable financial documents willbe routed to a subject matter expert.
  • NJTL enrollment will be verified and preference will be given to enrolled NJTLchapters.
  • When appropriate, input will be sought by the USTA Section staff where the organization is located.

Review and Approval Process

  • The Disbursements Committee Chairs will assign all subcommittee members for review of grant requests in all categories of funding.
  • The subcommittees will be provided a list of all grant requests and supporting documentation in their respective grant categories after review by staff.
  • A subcommittee will review the staff recommendations for program grants, after the vetting process and due diligence is completed.
  • A subcommittee will review the recommendations of the staff and account managers for Capacity Building grant requests, and will provide their selections to the DisbursementCommittee.
  • A subcommittee will review the selection of the Excellence Teams participants and will provide their recommendation to the Disbursement Committee.
  • All subcommittees will provide their findings to the voting members of the Disbursements Committee as a motion forvote.
  • All motions passed by the Disbursement Committee will be presented to the Foundation Boardof Directors at the meeting following the approved motion, for informational purposes.

 If you have any questions regarding grants or eligibility, please contact foundation.grants@usta.com.

 

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