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.



Adopted March 18, 2018;  Amended December 12, 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.


The Foundation’s main strategic priorities include grants supporting enrolled NJTL chapters in developing strong, sustainable organizations. The formal star levels system was refined with more rigorous criteria to create consistency across the NJTL network. Funding preference will be given to enrolled NJTL organizations that demonstrate alignment with USTA Foundation’s Youth and Organizational frameworks. The NJTL Levels and framework documents are included as separate attachments.


Grant Categories


Program Grants


Grants ranging from no less than $2,500 and no more than $40,000 to support the delivery of tennis and education programming to enrolled NJTL organizations serving under-resourced youth. The USTA Foundation will consider supporting items to improve program impact (e.g., purchase and implementation of technology (hardware/software), professional development or training of program staff, wages of tennis coaches, education staff and the implementation of program evaluation). Expenses that the USTA Foundation will not considering funding include without limiting furniture, fundraising event expenses, sponsorships of events and chamber of commerce or other professional memberships.


For 2020, in lieu of Sustainability Grant funding, enrolled NJTL chapters that reach three or four-star status (2020 enrollment based on 2019 data) will be given the opportunity to apply for up to $40,000. Additionally, three or four-star level chapters may incorporate general operating support of up to 50% of their total ask while Network members, one and two star chapters may request up to 20% respectively. Applicants requesting general operating support must demonstrate how this funding will enhance their organization’s capacity as outlined in the USTA Foundation’s “framework” document and overall program impact.


Start-up Grants


Grants of at least $2,500 and no more than $10,000 to support newly enrolled NJTL Chapters. A total of up to $20,000 may be spread over two years upon meeting required annual progress goals.


Excellence Program Grants


Excellence Program Grants – Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for support of Chapter participants that have demonstrated significant financial need to advance in tennis; may be used for educational support where needed. These grants will be offered via a nomination process.


Excellence Coaching Education Grants – Grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 for NJTL coaches to participate in continuing education. These grants will be offered via a nomination process.


Transportation Grants


Grants ranging from $5,000 to no more than $25,000 for expenditures to support a chapter’s need for transportation, which further supports the participation of under-resourced youth in tennis and education programming. Transportation grants will not support repairs or other operational expenses such as maintenance, insurance, salaries and licenses.


Capacity Building Grants


Grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to support the infrastructure of an enrolled NJTL organization 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/Development Team Grants


Grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 for support of team events and overall team support, of a high performance tennis, education, community service and leadership program. All Excellence/Development Team Grants are by invitation only.


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:

        o Support the mission of the USTA Foundation;

        o 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 properlydocumented;

        o Maintain the highest ethical standards;

        o Conform to the stipulation, or restrictions, made by the donor(s);

        o 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 supporting documents:

        o IRS Form 990 or Audited Financial statements (External CPA Certified Financial Audit per state frequency)

        o IRS Determination Letter indicating the 501(c)(3) status.

        o Board of Directors list with a brief description of each member

        o Project Budget outlining how the grant monies will be used

        o Overall Organization Budget for the current fiscal year

        o A letter of support from a partner or project collaborator


• 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, with the exception of the Startup Grants. 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 Disbursement Committee.


• Each organization may apply for all categories of funding, but may be limited to the number of grants they may receive.


• 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 25% of the project budget for Program Grant requests.


• 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.


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 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 will be routed to a subject matter expert.


• NJTL enrollment will be verified and preference will be given to enrolled NJTL chapters.


• 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 for vote.


All motions passed by the Disbursement Committee will be presented to the Foundation Board of Directors at the meeting following the approved motion, for informational purposes.


Acceptance, Reporting and Evaluation


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 final reports.


All funded requests will require a final report at the end of the grant period including an actual accounting of how the funds were spent.


Additionally, for the year-end/final report, expense substantiation (copies of invoices, payroll records, etc.) may be requested and randomly selected for audit.

Should you have any questions regarding grants or eligibility, please contact



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