Player Matching Social Justice Grant

About the Program

This grant is designed to provide nonprofit organizations with funding of up to $5,000 on behalf of a current or former NFL player in the arena of social justice. This grant should be used to fund organizations, programs or initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity. Areas of priority include, but are not limited to, education, criminal justice reform, community/police relations and workforce/economic development. 

In order to be eligible for match funding (1:1 match must be provided by the current or former NFL player applicant), recipient organizations must be registered nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 status as determined by the IRS, or a federally recognized American Indian tribal government or agency. Recipient organizations must not be listed on the Federal Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) watch list and must provide certification to the NFL Foundation that they do not knowingly deal with or employ people of entities that violate the US Patriot Act. Recipient organizations as well as applicants should follow the guidelines set within this application to be considered for match funding.

Strong consideration will be given to those organizations that place an emphasis on grassroots leadership and community involvement as a vehicle for social change. 

Please note the NFL Foundation will only match funding given in the 2021 calendar year. We cannot match donations made in previous years.

2021 Player Matching Social Justice Grant Funding Criteria

  • Current players and Legends each may apply for a maximum total of $10,000 in Player Matching Social Justice Grants in 2021 if they provide personal financial contributions.  This may amount to two (2) $5,000 grants per player or Legend to support two (2) different nonprofit organizations, or multiple grants totaling $10,000 to support several different organizations.
  • Appearance fees will no longer be considered an eligible form of a financial contribution for the Player Matching Social Justice Grant program.
  • Each benefiting nonprofit organization may receive up to $10,000 total in Player Matching Social Justice Grants this year.  Personal financial contributions must be made by different players and/or Legends to qualify for funding.
  • Player foundations may receive up to $10,000 in Player Matching Social Justice Grants if more than one player donates personal financial contributions.  
    • If personal financial contributions are provided, players and Legends may apply for one (1) Player Matching Social Justice Grant (up to $5K) for their own foundations.

 

  • Legends who do not provide personal financial contributions to nonprofit organizations (but rather volunteer for the organization or provide in-kind or sponsorship contributions) are only eligible to apply for Player Matching Social Justice Grants up to $1,000 total. This may amount to one (1) $1,000 grant to support one (1) nonprofit organization, or multiple grants totaling $1,000 to support several different organizations. If a player or Legend has contributed BOTH financially and through volunteerism, in-kind contributions or direct sponsorship donations, the NFL Foundation will match whatever is greater of the two (either the player’s personal financial contribution up to $5,000 or his in-kind services / sponsorship contributions up to $1,000).
  • Only volunteer/in-kind or direct sponsorship contributions will be considered if personal financial contributions are not made.
  • Organizations applying for volunteer/in-kind or direct sponsorship contributions to be matched may only apply for 2 of these grants. Each organization applying for volunteer/in-kind or direct sponsorship contributions may receive up to two (2) $1,000 grants, or multiple grants totaling $2,000.
  • Organizations applying for volunteer/in-kind or direct sponsorship contributions may still receive up to $10,000 if personal financial contributions are made.
  • If a player has contributed both financially and through in-kind contributions or direct sponsorship donations, the NFL Foundation will match the player’s personal financial contribution only.

Important Dates

  • The Player Matching Social Justice Grant application will close at the end of Week 2 of the 2021 NFL regular season (9/21/21).
  • The NFL Foundation reserves the right to reopen the program for additional Player Matching Social Justice Grant application submissions if budget for the program allows.
    • This may include new player and/or Legend applicants, joint player/club Player Matching Social Justice Grant submissions up to a certain dollar amount and/or the opportunity for players and Legends to apply for additional Player Matching Social Justice Grants. 
    • Such activity will be based on budget availability.  The NFL Foundation reserves the right to match funding at a lesser amount if budget dollars become limited.
  • Grant decisions typically are made on a rolling basis.  However, some applicants may not be notified on the status of their grant applications until after the application deadline due to various reasons (e.g., many applications submitted at the same time close to the deadline, issues or deficiencies with the submitted information, etc.).

 

*Players and Legends may not apply for both a Player Matching Social Justice Grant and Player Matching Community Grant (another grant program offered by the NFL Foundation) for the same nonprofit organization.  

 

  • Social Justice
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