The LA84 Foundation believes in the transformational power of sport. As a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, the LA84 Foundation makes grants to organizations that focus on youth development through sport. The Olympic and Paralympic Values are fundamental to the work of the foundation and the organizations we support: Friendship; Respect; Excellence; Determination; Courage; Equality.
Please review Grant Guidelines and FAQs prior to applying for a grant.
The foundation welcomes applications from organizations and agencies throughout Southern California to support youth sports programs and activities.
We believe in using the power of sports to help children and youth develop into healthy and happy productive adults.
We focus our support on organizations that view sports as an integral way to develop children and youth to be healthy, happy, and engaged individuals.
We support approaches that have a Sports-Based Youth Development (SBYD) orientation in their work.
Sports-based youth develop programs are often described as out-of-school programs that use a particular sport to facilitate learning and life skill development in youth.
As part of our most recent strategic planning, we have more clearly centered equity as a guiding frame of our work and achieving equity in play as our North Star. Not all kids have equitable access to sport and play due in part to:
- Existing disparities in health, wealth, and education.
- Public policies that have not supported investments in park infrastructure, recreation, and sports opportunities.
The LA84 Foundation is guided by the following principles:
Sport is an effective tool in positive youth development.
- Sport can improve the lives of young people through positive social-emotional, health, and educational outcomes, and has important lifelong impacts.
- Coaching education greatly improves the sport experience for young people and youth development outcomes.
- No sport is risk free, but the health and safety of young athletes is a top priority.
- We are a learning organization, and we know involvement in sports has long-term positive impacts for children and youth. We expect to work with grantees and learn about their successes so that we may share with leaders in the SBYD ecosystem.
In our grantmaking we prioritize:
- Youth under 18 years of age with a focus on youth of color, youth living in low-income households, and girls and young women.
- Youth that are overlooked and underserved including youth living with disabilities, and LGBTQ or gender nonconforming youth.
- Organizations that use a sports-based youth development approach in their service model.
- Organizations that center equity in their service model and work to address the inequities by prioritizing children and youth that lack access to sport and play.
We support the following types of organizations and programs:
Organizations or programs focusing on sport that are school-based or -linked. Because children spend most of their days in school settings, we believe this is an ideal place to expand and enhance education through sport and play. We support programs in high need communities. High need communities can be as defined using several factors including:
- Designation as a Title 1 school
- A high number of participants that qualify for free or reduced lunch
We give special consideration to organizations and efforts that can impact at scale children and youth. This includes school district-wide or multi-school efforts. We do not support single schools but rather look to systems level programming and approaches to support in our grantmaking.
Programs that are free or very low cost and focus on providing exposure to sports and play. Because sport activities can become quite costly, we prioritize those programs that work to reduce or eliminate financial barriers completely. We also believe exposure to sport is more beneficial than deep specialization in any one sport. Finally, we pay particular attention to “non-traditional” sports that aim to expose children and youth of color in sports where people of color or are underrepresented.
Programs that increase access to sport and play for girls and young women. While much progress has been made to advance sport for young women and girls, there is still work to be done. Many girls begin playing sports and drop off around middle school which can lead to long-term negative educational and health outcomes. For young women of color, the drop off rate is even greater. Because we know the lifelong benefits of sport and play, we support programs that focus on girls engaging and sustaining involvement in sports. We also know how important an adult mentor or coach is for young women, so we also support programming that works to increase the number of female coaches.
While we support youth exploring and engaging in all sport and play, LA84 Foundation will not provide funding to organizations or programs that offers to children 14 years of age or younger rugby, football, boxing, soccer, or martial arts and allow, tackling or concussive injuries to the head. This is in response to increased understanding of the long-term impacts of head injuries.
Our grants can be used for the following:
- Program costs, including staffing
- Purchase of sports equipment
- Renovation of sports facilities
- SBYD programs that seek to test out new models, programs, or ideas.
What Won’t LA84 Fund?
Grants are not made to:
- Organizations that, in the delivery of programs and services, discriminate against certain groups or individuals based on race, religion, national origin, gender, or gender identity, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Individual public or private schools, or single-school sites
- Travel outside of California
- Purchase land
- Recover debt or debt liability
- Create endowments
Can My Organization Apply?
Yes! As a first step you must meet the following criteria:
- Organizations must provide structured sports activities for youth under 18 years of age.
- Organizations must provide programs and activities in one of Southern California’s eight counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, or Ventura.
- Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code and not as a private foundation, as defined in section 509(a) of that code.
- Organizations must be in good standing with the California Franchise Tax Board through the California Secretary of State.
- Organizations must be committed to keeping youth healthy, safe, and free from harm and must have a written policy that addresses this commitment. Written policy must seek to prevent, recognize, and respond to situations that in any way compromise a child’s safety, both on and off the playing field. For more information and resources please see: A Resource Guide on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports.
- Organizations or programs applying for a grant to support any of the following sports soccer, hockey, lacrosse, boxing, rugby, martial arts, or football, must follow sport-specific standardized guidelines. Please click here for additional guidelines.
How Do I Apply?
We take requests in the form of a letter of interest (LOI). The portal to apply can be found here.
Once we receive your LOI, staff will review and either decline or advance it to the next stage. Regardless, you will receive a response to your LOI within 90 days.
If you are advanced to the next phase, you will be asked to submit a full proposal. In that proposal you will also need to have the following:
- Current annual operating budget
- Recent audited financial statements—if your organization does not have these documents, two years of statement of financial position and statement of financial activity can be submitted
- Program budget and narrative
- List of the board of directors, including affiliations and occupation
- Demographics of board and staff
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For additional questions, please visit the LA84 Grantmaking Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Page.
GRANTEE REPORT FORMS
IRS Compliance Guidelines for Tax Exempt & Governmental Organizations
2022 Youth Sports Participation Survey
LA84 Foundation Youth Sports Survey: Los Angeles County, 2016
Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment
Interventions to promote physical activity among young and adolescent girls: a systematic review
PREVENTING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN YOUTH SPORTS
The LA84 Foundation requires its grantees to have a written policy addressing their commitment to keep children safe from sexual abuse. For assistance in developing a policy, please view our resource guide below.
Resource Guide on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports
Take a deeper look into the remarkable work, impact and stories of LA84’s grantee programs as they transform the lives of youth across Southern California through sport.