Safe Places to Play Grant Application Process

Safe Places to Play Grant Application Process

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Safe Places to Play Grant Applicants
Eligibility Requirements
Submitting an LOI
Funding Support and Grant Use
Insurance and Grant Agreement Requirements

Safe Places to Play
Grant Applicants

1.  Applying for a Safe Places to Play grant is a two-step process. First, you will need to submit an online Letter of Interest (LOI) to the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Grants department. Second, if the Foundation approves the LOI, your organization will be invited to complete an official application.
The Safe Places to Play LOI is an online form, accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. LOIs submitted according to the following schedule will be considered during each grant cycle:

  • 2020 Spring Grant Cycle – Now Open
    • January 2, 2020 – Letter of Interest (LOI) open
    • January 31, 2020 – Letter of Interest (LOI) due
    • February 7, 2020 – Application deadline
    • April 2020 – Awards announced
  • 2020 Summer Grant Cycle – TBD
  • 2020 Fall Grant Cycle – TBD

2.  As part of your LOI submission, you must obtain and submit an official project quote from the appropriate U.S. Soccer Foundation Corporate Partner(s) relating to your project.  Before submitting your LOI, please contact the appropriate partner(s) for your project from the list below.  Your request to the appropriate partner(s) should contain specifics of your project such as field measurements, including square footage, timeline, and your organization’s financial capacity and plans for covering the project’s cost beyond the assistance of the Foundation’s grant funding.  Please allow a minimum of 7-10 business days for each corporate partner to return a completed project quote to you. Organizations contacting a corporate partner less than 7-10 business days prior to an LOI deadline may not be accepted for that particular grant cycle.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Land Ownership – application must own or hold a 10+ year lease on the field space
  • 50% Funded – at the time of application, 50% of project funding must be in hand
  • Project Timeline – project should have clear timeline, with plan to complete project within 1 year of potential grant award
  • Non-Profit Status – applicants must be a non-profit entity (nonprofit organization, government, school, church)
  • Soccer-Specific Play Space – field space must be majority-use soccer

Funding Support and Grant Use

  • Maximum support by category (Amounts may vary depending on availability of funds and established funding agreements with the Foundation’s preferred vendors):
    • Irrigation = $15,000, which could cover 100% of irrigation material costs (excludes installation)
    • Lighting = $25,000 of product material cost for single field projects; $50,000 of product material cost for multi-field projects (grantees are eligible for up to 50% of product material cost)
    • Sport Court = Up to 33% of PowerGame™ material cost
  • Grant Use:
    • All Safe Places to Play grants function as product credit towards the grant project
    • Adjustments to scope of project must be approved by the Foundation

Submitting an Online LOI

The Safe Places to Play LOI is an online form that is made available on the date noted above. The following items are required to submit the online form:

  1. Organization name and location
  2. Documentation of tax-exempt status
  3. Indicate what type(s) of funding your organization is requesting (Lighting, Irrigation, Modular Athletic Flooring) as well as the level of funding requested. You may request funding in multiple categories in a single grant cycle.
  4. Project budget from appropriate Foundation partner:
  5. Construction timeline including completion date
  6. Description of your project, including who the project will serve, why the community needs the project, and the current funding and planning status of the project.

Within three weeks of submitting an online Safe Places to Play LOI, organizations will receive one of two responses:

(1) An invitation to complete a full application for a Safe Places to Play grant, which will be completed online.

(2) A brief explanation of why an organization was not invited to formally apply (i.e. – eligibility issues, does not match the Foundation’s mission, etc.).

Insurance and Grant Agreement Requirements

All grantees that receive a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation must meet the following insurance and grant agreement requirements:

  • Provide Proof of Commercial General Liability insurance for at least $2,000,000 in aggregate
  • Provide Proof of Automotive Liability insurance for at least $1,000,000 each accident
  • Provide Proof of Workers Compensation insurance for at least $1,000,000
  • Provide Proof of Umbrella and/or Excess insurance for at least $2,000,000
  • Add the U.S. Soccer Foundation as an “additional insured” to all insurance coverages prior to grant execution
  • Submit bi-annual reports, accounting for how their grant money was spent and noting specific outcomes related to the use of the grant money. The U.S. Soccer Foundation will provide the report forms to each grantee.

For all field-building projects:

  • Provide proof of Builder’s Risk Property insurance during course of installation
  • The field project must be able to include the U.S. Soccer Foundation logo, as well as other potential funder logos


A: Yes. If the space is used for 50% or more soccer, the application will be considered.

A: The LOI is an online form that must be submitted using the link at the bottom of this page during the LOI period. Unfortunately, we cannot accept an LOI that is not submitted using this online form.

A: In fairness to all applicants, we’re unable to comment or give guidance on the specific content of your LOI or application prior to their due dates. We are, however, glad to answer questions regarding the overall application process.

A: We have three yearly cycles beginning in January. We encourage all applicants to select the cycle that best fits both the construction timeline and fundraising level. Foundation support amounts do not change cycle by cycle. 

A: No. We’re humbled to facilitate grants that help make an impact through soccer in your community, but we do not give guidance about fundraising strategy.

A: If you are a non-profit organization, we still request a Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Activities, along with your W-9, 990, and BOD Certification letter. If you do not have these documents, an annual financial report or budget sheet may be submitted as a Statement of Financial Position and annual city reports may be submitted as a Statement of Activities. Any sort of confirmation of budgeting for the project may be submitted as a BOD Certification letter. 

A: Grant awards from the U.S. Soccer Foundation are eligible exclusively with our partner vendors:
  • Hunter Irrigation
  • Musco Lighting
  • Sport Court
Please note in the application if you plan to put the project out to bid.

A: There is not a sample application, but you are encouraged to reach out to with specific questions. 

A: Applicants must be a non-profit entity (nonprofit organization, government, school, church, etc.).
See our Past Recipients page to view comparable organizations.

A: Announcements are made via email about two months after the application deadline.

A: Safe Places to Play grant recipients must complete their projects within one year from the date that the grant award is announced.

A: No. Only future projects that aim to be completed within one year are eligible for grants. Safe Places to Play grants may not be used retroactively.

A: No. Each grant serves as a product or services credit to be used with the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play partners. Thus, the grant is contingent on completion of the grant project and may not be used for other purposes. 

A – Yes. This opportunity falls outside of the traditional Safe Places to Play grants covered on this page. More information about the synthetic turf opportunity can be found here.

For questions about Safe Places to Play grants, please contact Drew Dubé at


Join U.S. Soccer Foundation in the movement to create change.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Partners

  • adidas

    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit

  • APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit

  • AstroTurf

    For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, – See more at:

  • CHA

    CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit

  • Hunter

    Hunter Industries, the Foundation’s National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries’ focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grants program.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit


    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • MTJ Sports

    MTJ Sports is honored to be a corporate partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and its Safe Places To Play program. We believe in working with our customers as a true business partnership. We cultivate & drive healthy relationships through our core business values and provide premier turnkey services for sports surfaces & equipment from design & manufacturing all the way through the installation process. For more information please visit our website at or contact our president, Mats Jonmarker, directly via email at

  • Musco

    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit

  •, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit

  • Sport Court

    Sport Court®, the Foundation’s Supplier for Futsal Surfaces, has been the industry leader in modular athletic flooring for over 30 years. With more than 50,000 installations worldwide, and the largest and most experienced network of authorized dealers, Sport Court® delivers innovative, durable, high-performance solutions for a variety of sports and activities. For more information, please visit Please contact Lauren Gillian at for any questions regarding Sport Court’s corporate partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

  • Target

    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Spaces to Play in 2017, along with a million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit or contact Mike Squire at / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit