List Of Sports Nonprofits
To many people globally, sports are inaccessible. However, there are many wonderful organizations which make it their mission to help children around the world learn the values of teamwork and reap the benefits of fun competition and physical activity. They provide children with a safe environment to learn sports with the intention of building confidence, good sportsmanship, getting exercise, and keeping children out of trouble. Below is a list of sports non-profit organizations who make it their mission to help children and others in need.
List of Sports Nonprofits
- Athletes For Hope
- Ball to All
- Beyond Sports Network Foundation Inc.
- Challenged Athletes Foundation
- Fresh Air Fund
- Good Sports
- MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation
- National Football League Foundation
- PeacePlayers International
- Play It Forward
Athletes for Hope
- Year Established: 2007
- Website: https://www.athletesforhope.org/
Athletes for Hope was started in 2007 by a group of star athletes, whose mission was to get professional athletes working on charitable causes that help athletes around the world. Big names like Mia Hamm, Muhammad Ali, and Tony Hawk, to name just a few founders, have a commitment to providing opportunities to those in need.
They realized that many professional athletes want to give back, but they do not know where to begin. This is where Athletes for Hope steps in. They recruit athletes to encourage good sportsmanship practices in places that need it, as well as visiting hospital wards where children are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. As an organization, they harness the power of athletes who want to help the community.
Ball to All
- Year Established: 2013
- Website: https://www.balltoall.org/
Ball to All is a non-profit that helps children around the world receive balls for sports. Their goal is to help children in communities that are afflicted by war and violence. By providing sports opportunities, they hope to lead children away from crime and acquiring weapons.
Their focus is on countries where children suffer from a lack of resources. Their founder, Ori Eisen, believes that boredom and a lack of structure for children will lead to some children resorting to criminal behaviors. Ball to All ships balls and air pumps to communities most affected by poverty and violence to encourage community building and sportsmanship.
Beyond Sports Network Foundation Inc.
- Year Established: 2009
- Website: https://www.beyondsports.org/
The Beyond Sports foundation is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funding for organizations which encourage sports in underprivileged communities for social change. They provide support for over 300 organizations globally and believe in the importance of play and physical activity for children. Their work also helps to create jobs in other countries who need it.
In Africa, Beyond Sports provides ethical employment through the sale and manufacturing of sports balls. With the wage for these jobs being above the average national wage, employees are better able to provide for their families and provide them with medical insurance. They also do work bridging the gender gap and providing sports opportunities for young women, encouraging them to engage in exercise and sporting practices.
Challenged Athletes Foundation
- Year Established: 1997
- Website: https://www.challengedathletes.org/
The Challenged Athletes Foundation is committed to helping athletes with physical challenges to be able to participate in sports. The costs of being physically disabled make it so that physical activity is not always accessible to people around the world. As most insurance companies do not cover basic necessities for disabled people such as prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs, The Challenged Athletes Foundation makes it their mission to provide the disabled with athletic opportunities by funding this sort of equipment, especially equipment designed for physical exercise.
On their impact page, The Challenged Athletes Foundation shows statistics that 21 million people in the United States live with a physical disability, and that 50% of those who are disabled get little to no physical exercise, with obesity rates being higher in children with disabilities. This program provides opportunities to athletes who suffer from disabilities or life threatening illnesses at every level, from youth sports to Paralympian.
Fresh Air Fund
- Year Established: 1877
- Website: https://freshair.org/
The Fresh Air Fund helps underprivileged children in New York City to participate in summer camp experiences with sleepaway camps and host family volunteers. Over their more than 140 years, they have helped more than 1.8 million children in the New York Community be able to have great camp experiences every summer. The Fresh Air Fund makes sure that they fund the children who need their help the most, and 75% of these children’s families reapply after their children’s first session.
The Fresh Air Fund sees the importance in letting children explore nature and the outdoors, while also learning more independence and social responsibility. While not necessarily a sports nonprofit, it makes the list due to its emphasis on the importance of outdoor activities in nature for children.
- Year Established: 2003
- Website: https://www.goodsports.org/
Good Sports is a wonderful charity that provides sporting equipment to children that would usually not have access. They have partnered with many sports brands for their mission, with some of the bigger names including Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, Spalding, and Nike. Good Sports works with other charitable organizations to increase the number of children involved in sports and physical activity. Good Sports firmly believes that children in sports are able to learn lifelong lessons about teamwork and respect while also building their confidence.
MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation
- Year Established: 2016
- Website: https://www.mlb.com/youth-development-foundation
The MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation is a non-profit organization, spearheaded by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, with the intention of making youth baseball and softball more accessible. The foundation makes charitable contributions in the form of grants to organizations in the United States and around the world. In order to make the assistance provided by the foundation more fairly accessible, interested organizations can fill out a form requesting grant assistance. These grants mainly go towards the building or renovation of baseball structures including fields, practice facilities, and facility lighting, the reinforcement of youth baseball and softball leagues, and education initiatives.
National Football League Foundation
- Year Established: 2012
- Website: https://www.nflfoundation.org/
The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organized by the NFL that works to organize all 32 NFL organizations and enables them to jointly donate to charitable causes. This foundation was put together in 2012 following the reorganization of various NFL charities. The foundation has increased its outreach and grants administered year over year, with their range of donation recipients including player-founded charities, team-founded charities, and countless other causes that aim to improve local communities, the quality of youth football, and various other underserved causes.
- Year Established: 2001
- Website: https://peaceplayers.org/
PeacePlayers International is a basketball non-profit that helps disadvantaged children globally in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Israel, and the West Bank. Their focus is to bring together communities who experience divides based on race, religion, class, etc. They do this by encouraging sports for young people and offering peace education. Through the game of basketball, they hope to bridge the gap between divided communities by making great and dynamic leaders for the world of tomorrow.
Play it Forward
- Year Established: 2013
- Website: https://www.wecanplayitforward.org/
Play it Forward is a non-profit that focuses on providing sporting equipment to underfunded schools. Many schools do not have the basic P.E. equipment that children need such as balls, jump ropes, and hula hoops. It was started by 12-year-old Emily Eisner in 2012 with a goal of helping kids play sports in underfunded elementary schools. To this day, the non-profit is still run by children whose goal is to help other children in schools by supplying them with equipment that correlates to their school’s direct needs for physical education. Schools that are interested may inquire online to see if they qualify for support.
What is a sports nonprofit?
A nonprofit is an organization that does not operate with the intent of generating a profit for a single entity. When it comes to sports, a nonprofit is typically an organization or league that may turn a profit, but the profit goes back into the business. Sports leagues or organizations that operate and file as a nonprofit are exempt from paying taxes, as they are directly benefiting the public.
Can I donate to sports nonprofits?
Yes, anyone can donate to sports nonprofits, and most sports nonprofits encourage donations to help their causes. A good way to find sports nonprofits in need of donations is to research organizations based on the sports you enjoy or based on nonprofits that operate in your region. There are also many websites that provide lists and directories of various sports nonprofits to help prospective donors find a nonprofit that best fits their interests.
What sport is a nonprofit?
While it may come as a surprise, the NHL, NFL, NCAA, PGA, and Olympic Committee are all technically non-profit organizations. This is largely due to the fact that the league itself does not collect profits, but the teams within the leagues/organizations do. Therefore, each of these massive sports leagues or organizations falls under the categorization of “nonprofit.” Most notably, this means that none of these organizations or leagues pay taxes. The two other major sports leagues in the United States, the MLB and NBA, both operate as “for-profit” entities.