Our History

The National Football League has a long-standing tradition of giving back to the community. In 2012, the National Football League Foundation was established after the NFL’s philanthropic organizations were restructured. While the NFL Foundation is new, its commitment to philanthropy builds on the history of NFL Charities and the NFL Youth Football Fund.

In 1973, NFL Charities was created as a way for the League and the 32 member clubs to collectively make grants to charitable and worthwhile causes on a national scale. Since its inception, NFL Charities granted more than $148 million to more than 1,400 different organizations.

In 1998, the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) formed the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF) — a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation which supports the game at the youth level, promotes positive youth development and ensures the health of football in future generations.

Through NFL Charities and the NFL Youth Football Fund, the NFL provided hundreds of millions of dollars to worthy causes and organizations. In 2012, the NFL decided to make changes to the structure of its philanthropic organizations. The NFL Youth Football Fund was merged with NFL Charities and then renamed NFL Foundation. The decision to restructure the NFL’s philanthropy efforts under one, nonprofit entity, allows the charitable organization to be more efficient and make a greater impact.

Today, the NFL Foundation supports more than 45 grant and recognition in support of its mission. In 2018, the Foundation issued a record number of grants to the charitable endeavors of current and former players, clubs and organizations across the country supporting community wellbeing.