• Life Ready Through Sport •

Grant Guidelines

The Foundation anticipates receiving many more requests than it will be able to fund. In order to help make the difficult funding choices, the Board of the Foundation has adopted the following Grant Guidelines.

To gain a better understanding of the Foundation’s funding priorities and interests, carefully review the Applicant Eligibility section below. The Foundation accepts and processes grant requests throughout the year, however, pay special attention to the Deadlines section below to make sure that your application is submitted and reviewed by our board prior to the beginning of your sport season.

A. Applicant Eligibility

The current objectives of the board encourage assistance to organizations that provide ongoing, structured youth sports programs. To be eligible the request must meet the following criteria:


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

  1. Request funding for a sports program for youth ages 6-17;
  2. Program must be located in one of Southern California’s eight counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, or Ventura;
  3. Request must come from an organization (no funding will be made to individuals);
  4. Grants will be made only to organizations with open, non-restrictive membership that operate open to all regardless of race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, religious belief, or nationality. Nothing in the Guidelines shall prohibit a program from specifying an age, sex, or physical capacity classification, as long as it is reasonable under all the circumstances, and is consistent with applicable law;
  5. The organization must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and is not a private foundation as defined in section 509(a) of that Code. The organization must be in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the California Franchise Tax Board through the California Secretary of State;To confirm that you are in good standing with the IRS and the CA Franchise Tax Board you may check the following websites:
  6. Applicant acknowledges that it has a written policy that addresses its commitment to keep children safe from sexual abuse by preventing, recognizing and responding to situations both on and off the playing field that in any way compromises their safety. View A Resource Guide On Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports.

The Foundation does not fund requests for:

  • Endowments
  • Travel outside of Southern California
  • Single, public or private schools
  • Routine operating expenses
  • Purchase of land
  • Debt recovery or incurring debt liability
  • One or two-day annual events

B. Program-Related Criteria

To be considered for funding, the program for which funding is being sought must be a structured youth sports program that combines the essential elements of teaching, learning and competition. This means that the program must have knowledgeable coaches to teach the skills, a minimum of one (ideally two) practices per week so that children can learn and practice the skills, and at least one day in which they can put the skills they have learned together in a game-type situation. The program must provide a safe and nurturing environment that supports the developmental, social-emotional and physical needs of all participants in the program.

  1. Choice of particular sports: The Foundation is prepared to consider requests for most individual and team sports programs.
  2. Quantity (Number of Youth Served): Other things being equal, we will give priority to programs that will reach large numbers, or large proportions of their targeted populations.
  3. Quality of Staff: The program should recruit and retain high quality staff and volunteers who are focused on creating a positive learning environment. Grant proposals should describe in detail the nature and background of staff who will operate the youth sports programs. We will prioritize programs run by experienced, trained personnel. The Foundation is also prepared to support programs that utilize, under appropriate supervision, older youth as role models for younger children.
  4. Non-Duplication: Our aim is to provide programming in needed areas, rather than to substitute for existing alternatives. Priority will be given to projects where the probability of duplication is low.

In addition to these major criteria for program support, there are others that, though perhaps of lesser import, will be given special attention wherever appropriate. These include:

  1. Measurability: Programs should have a method/system to assess the impact of the program.
  2. Overall Program Quality: The Foundation will give particular attention to programs that may have an especially meaningful impact upon their participants. By this we mean that participation in the program significantly enhances their health, physical abilities, sense of pride in self, cooperativeness, and sense of respect for others.  The program should use programmatic data to assess its strengths and weaknesses in order to continuously improve.

C. Cost-Related Criteria

  1. The Existence of Other Sources of Funding: Priority will be given to proposals where Foundation funding comprises only part of the total funding for the program. The remainder of the funding may come from the local group or community in question, or from other organizations, including foundations and corporations. Consideration will be given to programs that combine public and private sector funding, taking advantage of the benefits of each. This criterion is most applicable to established groups. It may be modified in the case of new groups in the most resource-deprived areas.
  2. Continuity: All Foundation grants are for a finite period of time. Priority will be given to those requests that show signs of planning for subsequent financing when our grant concludes.
  3. Cost in Relation to Impact: The Foundation will look closely at the overall costs of the program in relationship to the various other criteria, especially impact. Programs with high-dollar cost in relation to impact must be especially meritorious on other criteria if they are to be justified.
  4. Grants for Field of Play Improvements: These requests will be considered only when:
    1. A special need can be established;
    2. The majority of the funding should already be secured through matching grants, cash or in-kind fundraising;
    3. The cost is small relative to its potential service to the group or community in question; and
    4. The project must be completed within the grant period.

D. How to Apply

  1. Online Application Process

This two-step application process starts with Phase I. If it is determined that the request meets the Foundation’s priorities and interests, the applicant will be provided with a link to prepare and submit a Phase II application.

We strongly recommend that all applicants applying for a grant use our online application process. If submitting your request online is not an option, applicants may contact our offices at 323-730-4600 to request a paper copy of the application.

  1. Required Documents:

Please make sure you have the following required documents before beginning an application:

  • The organization’s most current annual operating budget (include income/expenses to date)
  • The most recent completed financial statement (If unaudited, then last two years of balance sheet, profit/loss statement and statement of cash flows)
  • The most recent IRS form 990
  • IRS tax status determination letter
  • California tax status determination letter
  • Detailed program budget
  • List of board of directors (include name, address and occupation)

Please Note: A program officer will conduct a site visit to confirm the information you have provided on your application. Also, if your organization is awarded a grant, you will be required to:

  • Supply the Foundation with a certificate of insurance naming the LA84 Foundation as an additional insured. (If you do not carry insurance, please explain in writing how you will cover liability issues that may arise from participation in your program.)
  • Send your coaches to a coaching education course presented or approved by the LA84 Foundation.
  1. Deadlines

The Board of Directors meets three times per year, usually in January, June and October, to approve grant requests. The Foundation accepts and processes grant proposals at any time throughout the year on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the number of requests we receive, it generally takes several months before the board takes action on the application.  If you wish your request to be considered for a specific board meeting you must submit the Phase I application by the deadline dates posted on the website.  Phase II deadlines will be determined by Foundation staff if the proposal moves forward.

E. Criteria for Assessing Grant Requests

  1. Population to Be Served: The Foundation intends to serve the same broad cross section that contributed so much to the success of the 1984 Olympic Games.
    1. Underserved Populations: The Foundation will give special attention to sectors of the population known to be underserved by current sports programs.
      • Within this broad arena, we anticipate giving special emphasis to those groups or communities that are most in need. These will often be communities of lower income. However, we will be careful not to duplicate services already being provided to those communities through other resources.
      • While serving all youth ages 6-17, the Foundation will give special attention to girls, minorities, the physically challenged or developmentally disabled, and youth in areas where the risk of involvement in delinquency is particularly high.
    2. Non-Elite Levels: Funding is aimed primarily to youth who are not at elite levels of sports accomplishment.
      • The Foundation recognizes that 60% of the total Olympic surplus went to the United States Olympic Committee and the various National Governing Bodies for the support of Olympic-level competitors. The funds that are part of the Foundation, accordingly, are aimed primarily to youth who are not at elite levels of sports accomplishment.
      • Priority will be given to programs that do not turn away youth based on level of skill and that encourage all levels of play.
  2. Geographic Priority – Los Angeles County: The Foundation expects to receive grant requests from all areas in Southern California, and it intends to serve the whole region. Special consideration will be given to those areas that provided Olympic venues. However, we recognize that the 1984 Olympic Games were awarded to Los Angeles, and we have a particular obligation to this community.
  3. Youth Football Organizations:  The safety of the athlete is a priority of the Foundation.  Recognizing that youth football can be made safer for participants, the Foundation will give priority to organizations that have adopted the following best practices:
    • Require training of all tackle coaches in the Bobby Hosea Train ‘Em Up Academy “helmet-free” tackling method or the USA Football Heads Up training.
    • Distribute information regarding the dangers of concussions to parents, coaches and players.
    • Provide flag football for 6-7 year olds and offer tackle no earlier than age 8.
    •  In pre-season, no physical contact is allowed. Spring practices are to be used for conditioning, strength training, skill development and recruitment.
    • In regular season 2-hour practices, the first 90 minutes should be non-contact or limited contact and the last 30 minutes can be full speed contact, but no more than a total 90 minutes per week. No full speed head-on blocking or tackling drills in which the players line up more than 3 yards apart are permitted. Chop blocking, face tackling or spearing techniques are strictly prohibited.
    • Have trained personnel as safety monitors at practices to help identify concussion or other injuries.
    • Have trained medics at all games.

F. Administration of the Grants Program

Grants are one of our principal ways of furthering the aims of the LA84 Foundation. Through grantmaking as well as our other programs, we intend to further the heritage of excellence passed on to us by the success of the 1984 Olympic Games. To help ensure that grant funds serve these purposes, the staff of the LA84 Foundation intends to be an active participant in all phases of the grants process. We hope to get to know the prospective grantee organizations, to provide help in the formulation of grant applications and where possible to help in the solicitation of matching funds. For the requests that are approved for funding by the Foundation’s board, we expect to stay informed about the program’s progress through reports, to monitor program expenses and to be available to help if problems arise.

Printer-Friendly Grant Guidelines (PDF)

The LA84 Foundation will be suspending the October grant cycle and as such not be accepting any grant applications for the remainder of 2016. Any grant applications in process must be completed by February 19, 2016 to be considered for the June 2016 funding cycle.

As the foundation begins its next chapter under new leadership, we will be revising our grant guidelines as part of a five-year strategic planning process currently underway. We expect to release the revised guidelines in July 2016. Under the new guidelines, we anticipate returning to our regular grant cycles to consider grants in January, June and October beginning in 2017.

The Foundation will continue to build upon our legacy as the leading funder of youth sports, education and outreach throughout Southern California. We are looking to reach new heights in our support of youth development through sports. To do so effectively, we are moving to an outcome based framework to better evaluate the impact that our funding has on the youth our grantees support.

Sports have the power to create a lasting positive impact on a child’s life, and we are inspired by all the kids and organizations that embody the values that have encouraged our organization to give back to our communities since the 1984 Olympic Games.

If you have any questions, please contact gtovar@la84.org