List of Physical Education Grants

Matt Salter
students playing basketball

Funding for Physical Education (PE) can be a struggle. The amounts available tend to be small, and programs are often tightly tailored to specific interests. Still, good options exist. There are also tools that allow physical education programs to find just the right kind of funding for their needs.

Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids works with schools to guarantee that every student is healthy. They offer three grants, two of which are specific to sports: The Game On grant, and the Game On for Parents grant. These grants support school PE as well as after-school athletics and other school programs. Game On grants are for teachers and administrators and Game On for Parents grants are predominantly for local PTA groups (although other parent groups are eligible to apply) that want to implement a program.

About the Grant

Funds can be used towards the purchase of equipment, evaluation costs (printing/copying) or incentives (no more than 10% of total budget). The grant proposal must include a nutritional component as well. Grants range from $500 to $1000, with most schools receiving a full $1000. You can use the grant money for:

  • Improving facilities used for sports
  • Buying equipment for recess
  • Improving or creating playgrounds/play-spaces
  • General physical education program (but money cannot go towards administrative costs like salaries or stipends)
  • Intramural and/or before/after-school programs that promote a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Nutrition initiatives such as nutrition education and gardening

How to Apply

Only schools, PTO/PTA, or school health & wellness teams can apply for and receive grant funds. If you are a teacher, you need to work with your administration to ensure that you are the correct person to apply for the grant. School districts can apply as well. The grants range from $500 to $1,000 and while all schools are eligible to apply, schools that serve a K-12 population where at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free/reduced priced lunch may receive priority. Applications are typically available in January of each year and are available online.

Clif Bar Family Foundation

students running in grassland

Clif Bar Family Foundation supports physical education programs as part of a comprehensive funding strategy to improve community health. The grants average around $7,000 and are for programs that encourage outdoor activity, good nutrition and community building.

About the Grant

The foundation's funding goals are broad. Depending on curriculum priorities, PE programs could fit either "Preventative Approach to People's Health" or "Sustainable Community Development." With that said, they state explicitly that they want to give money to programs the address several of their areas of focus including:

  • Protect Earth's beauty and bounty

  • Create a robust, healthy food system

  • Increase opportunities for outdoor activity

  • Reduce environmental health hazards

  • Build stronger communities

How to Apply

Application deadlines are February 1, June 1 and October 1 yearly. The foundation website runs applicants through a short quiz to confirm they're a good match for the grant. The application is available online.

Fund For Teachers

Fund for Teachers gives grants to teachers, including PE teachers, to fund fellowships, networking and continuing education. Available to any educator in the United States, Fund for Teachers' mandate is to help teachers, including PE teachers, continue their studies and build expertise that improves student outcomes.

About the Grant

The organization is a nationwide program with different resources available in different places but consistently emphasizes teacher independence, funding fellowships designed by applicants to meet their specific needs. The program is unique in funding for PE teachers, because the funding is for the professional development of the teacher as opposed to grants for programming or equipment.

Examples of past projects include:

  • Participating in a dance retreat in Kauai, Hawaii to learn how to incorporate self-awareness and social-emotional learning techniques into a teen wellness program
  • Go to Outward Bound in Colorado to learn how to put together a backpacking unit study
  • Touring the western United States to learn how to incorporate challenging physical (and mental) activities into curriculum
  • Going to Europe to investigate fitness habits and low obesity rates in a few European countries

How to Apply

The Fund For Teachers website provides a clickable map for PE teachers to explore options in their area. Before you begin your application, you'll also want to peruse the Application Learning Center which answers questions you might have. Deadlines and exact amounts depend on location, but grants are generally limited to $5,000 for an individual, or $10,000 for a team.

Good Sports

Boy running a slalom race

Good Sports is a nationwide program that donates clothing, equipment and other resources to physical education programs in need. The organization works to make sure every PE program and after-school sports team in the country has the gear they need to play.

About the Grant

Through partnerships with professional sports teams, other charities and state and local government, Good Sports provides in-kind donations of sports equipment to programs. Donations are open to any sport, recreational or physical fitness program in the United States that serves children ages 3 to 18. Recent donations include $30,000 worth of equipment to the Jersey City Soccer Program and $10,000 to PE programs at Lake Highland Church in Florida. Good Sports does not provide monetary donations. Instead, an accepted program gets the opportunity to choose from a catalog of all the resources Good Sports has available.

How to Apply

To apply, you must be serving kids in an economically disadvantaged area. Programs are expected to pay a shipping and handling fee for their donation equal to 10 percent of its value. Good Sports has rolling deadlines, so programs can apply at any time. The application is available at their website. Programs are limited to 3 applications per year.

Kelly Cares Foundation

The Kelly Cares Foundation is a wide-ranging donor that funds programs at the intersection of health, education and community building. Kelly Cares started as a breast cancer-specific charity in 2003 but has expanded to include all aspects of community wellness including physical education.

About the Grant

Co-founded by Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, Kelly Cares invests heavily in PE and sports-related causes, including PE programs at schools and universities, after-school athletic programs and fundraising event sponsorships. Kelly Cares has close ties with South Bend, Indiana and the University of Notre Dame, but donates nationwide. While the organization grants funds to a wide variety of schools, and community-based endeavors, you might best be able to see if you're a good fit by looking at their priorities.

How to Apply

Kelly Cares' yearly deadline is December 1, and you can start your application online. Programs are limited to one grant every three years, but you can apply every year if you don't win a grant. Kelly Cares gives monetary grants, generally ranging between $5,000 and $10,000.

Kids in the Game

Kids in the Game collaborates with PHIT America to provide grants to physical education and nutrition programs at K-6 schools. Kids in the Game manages the GO! Grant program, supporting elementary school programs that keep children active.

About the Grant

Kids in the Game provides grants specifically to schools for the purpose of sustaining or kickstarting programs that include physical fitness before, during and after the school day are. All invited to apply. Grant money can be used for:

  • Equipment
  • Facilities improvement
  • Professional development

The grant only requires that it be used primarily to serve children ages 5-12, so the scope of what the money can be used for is broad.

How to Apply

Applications are closed for the year but will reopen in 2018. Kids in the Game provides monetary grants of $1,000 to $5,000.

Tommy Wilson Memorial Grant

wheelchair basketball player

Funded through SHAPE America, the Tommy Wilson Memorial Grant provides a wide range of support for PE programs serving children with disabilities.

About the Grant

Founded by Dr. George Wilson in memory of his son, the Tommy Wilson Memorial Grant makes small grants available to physical education and recreation programs that serve disabled students. Funding goes specifically to direct services for the disabled, including:

  • Equipment
  • Facilities
  • Programming
  • Registration fees (ie your program can use these funds to provide scholarships to cover registration fees for disabled students)

This grant would be most appropriate for a school that serves disabled students exclusively.

How to Apply

Grants are offered throughout the year, with a deadline of December 1 of the year for which funding is sought. Application and further information are available online. The grants are from $500 to $1,500.

Walmart Community Grant Program

Walmart makes small, sustainable grants to a wide variety of programs in any community containing one of its stores, including physical education programs.

About the Grant

The Walmart Community Grant Program is designed to be highly accessible and community-focused. Public and private schools, churches and 501(c)3 organizations are all equally eligible. Walmart puts particular emphasis on supporting local programs having to do with community and health, making them an ideal match for a PE program in need of a modest amount of support.

How to Apply

Walmart grants generally range between $250 and $2,500, and you can apply online. Walmart has a yearly open grant period from February 1 to December 31, accepting applications throughout. Funding amounts vary by location, but programs can usually apply once per grant period.

Get the Funding You Need

With the rising incidence of obesity, diabetes and other nutritional illnesses in the United States, funding for physical education has never been more important. It's also accessible. Tight focus on a specific subject like PE may seem like a limitation at first, but it can prove to be a major advantage in the search for funding. A broad request, sent to a donor that supports a little of everything, may get lost among hundreds just like it, but if you want to fund sport stacking, fencing or a triathlon, there's a grant for that.

There are also tools available to help with the search. CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) provides free assistance with finding and writing grant applications. AchievePE and SparkPE are search tools designed to match PE programs with the perfect funder. Between them, there are many ways for your PE program to find the Goldilocks grant that's just right for your needs.

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List of Physical Education Grants