The NFL Foundation funds and supports league-wide initiatives aimed at making a big difference in communities across the nation.


Recently, this work has been dedicated to youth health and wellness – the focus of the NFL PLAY 60 campaign. The NFL Foundation has awarded grants to organizations that are leading the way in the fight against obesity, including the American Heart Association (AHA) and The Cooper Institute.

The NFL Foundation has worked with the AHA since 2006 and provided more than $8 million in funding to promote physical activities and healthy environments for children nationwide through programs such as the "NFL PLAY 60 Challenge," which remains the core, in-school and NFL-club activated component of the NFL PLAY 60 initiative. In 2015, the program, which is supported by all 32 NFL clubs, worked with Discovery Education on a new digital platform featuring:

In the months leading up to Super Bowl 50, more than 12,000 fourth and fifth graders from the Bay
Area took on the challenge.

Since 2009, the NFL Foundation has worked with the Cooper Institute to implement its FITNESSGRAM physical fitness assessment tool which measures student fitness levels in more than 1,100 schools in the 32 NFL markets.  Since 2009, more than $4.3 million in NFL Foundation grant funding has expanded FITNESSGRAM into the largest, most comprehensive school fitness initiative in the United States, with training hubs operating in all 32 NFL franchise cities.

In summer 2015, The Cooper Institute launched a redesigned FITNESSGRAM with activity and nutrition components, giving students, parents, teachers and administrators even more insight for tracking, understanding and improving health behaviors. Learn more about PLAY 60.

Play60_web.gifTo help as many kids as possible PLAY 60, the NFL Foundation provides grants to its 32 clubs to support activities in their areas that help kids get active. To learn more about how your local NFL club is active in its community, visit the homepage and click on the team’s logo.



In partnership with the American Cancer Society we strive to make a positive impact in the fight against breast cancer through “A Crucial Catch.” The campaign focuses on raising awareness of the importance of screening among our fans. 

2015 marked the second year For the second year of A Crucial Catch Day and kicked off this year’s CHANGE grant projects. This national event on October 13 marked the first time $50,000 grants were awarded in all 32 NFL team markets.

Every October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the 32 NFL clubs do their part to raise awareness of breast cancer screenings supported by grants from the NFL Foundation. Learn more about A Crucial Catch.


Through our Salute to Service program, we honor the men and women who have served and currently serve our country. We salute them and their families for the sacrifices they make to keep us safe. Learn more about Salute to Service.

To recognize the men and women in uniform across the nation, the NFL Foundation provides its 32 clubs with grant funds to implement Salute to Service activities in their areas.


Through its Player Foundation Grant program, the NFL Foundation supports the charitable and community service activities of current and former NFL players in areas such as education and youth literacy, substance abuse prevention and assistance, health, nutrition, fitness and medical care. In 2015, the NFL Foundation awarded $830,000 in grants to 77 player foundations, benefiting more than 450,000 individuals across the country. For more information on this grant program click here.



The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. The award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and is among the league's most presitigious awards. Each team nominates one player as its Man of the Year who is then eligible to win the national award. These players represent the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact.

Eli Manning of the New York Giants (left) and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals (right) won the award in 2016.

This year, in addition to a donation to a charity of his choice, each nominee received a donation in his name to support the expansion of NFL and United Way's Character Playbook Program across all NFL markets. Character PlaybookTM, operated by EverFi, is a national education initiative focused on youth character development and building healthy relationships. 

As a result of the enhanced contributions and the fact that there were two award recipients—Arizona Cardinals wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD and New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING—a total of $1,250,000 will be donated on behalf of the 2016 Award winners. The funds will be allocated as follows: $625,000 in the name of each winner, with $312,500 going to a charity of Fitzgerald and Manning’s choice and $312,500 supporting the expansion of Character PlaybookTM.

Manning and Fitzgerald have joined an impressive fraternity including the likes of Roger Staubach, Joe Greene, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees and others—all distinguished winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

For a list of all 32 team nominees and to see how they create a positive impact in their communities click here.


To extend the league’s positive impact long after players and fans have left town, the NFL, via the NFL Foundation, contributes a $1 million Super Bowl Legacy Grant to each host city. 
Last year’s grant was matched by the 50 Fund to support a new initiative, PLAY 60, Play On. 
This initiative, in partnership with KaBOOM!, Playworks and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, reached youth across the nine-county region and encouraged Bay Area youth and communities to get active by playing
at least 60 minutes each day. Community grants supported the building of healthy play spaces, a series of play extravaganzas, physical activity training and UNICEF’s Kid Power in-school program.

To learn more about the project supported by the Foundation for Super Bowl 50, click here.



Youth Education Towns (YETs) were started in several Super Bowl cities nationwide and Waianae, Hawaii. Featuring classrooms, physical fitness zones, technology/multimedia labs and athletic and
recreation fields, these education-focused hamlets were developed with annual $1 million Super Bowl Legacy Grants and public-private match funding.
To maximize their impact for underserved youth, the 13 existing YETs receive continued support from NFL program grants and contributions from the NFL Foundation, NFL clubs and host committees in Super Bowl markets. Additional contributions have funded the refurbishment of youth football fields, capital improvements, youth football support and the development of health and wellness campaigns.