Grant Opportunity

Laureus USA Funding Opportunity in Illinois

created: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

General Overview

Funding Opportunity

Laureus USA is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for sports-based youth development organizations operating in the state of Illinois. The total amount of the funding pool will likely be between $2,200,000 and $2,400,000. This program is funded by the Department of Human Services.


Laureus USA funds non-profit sport-based youth development organizations that intentionally address a particular and relevant social issue facing youth, while increasing physical activity and enhancing social-emotional development. This grant opportunity will focus on organizations creating impact in the following two ways:

  1. Organizations working on violence prevention and intervention services/ focused on creating access to safe spaces, building protective factors for youth through positive relationships, and developing transferable life skills/competencies
  2. Organizations with expertise in providing training and technical assistance (TA) on sports-based youth development program quality, healing-centered coaching/programming, and/or restorative justice practices and implementation

Organizations can only submit one application for this funding opportunity and must choose between the two eligibility pathways.

Organizations must meet the following criteria to be considered for funding:

Organizations that meet the following criteria will be prioritized for funding:

  • Operate in an R3 Zone. R3 Zones were identified via an analysis of community-level data on gun injury, child poverty, unemployment, and state prison commitments and returns. Organizations from these areas will be prioritized for meeting the intended impact of this program to expand equity of access in youth sports and impact levels of youth violence.
  • Intentionally prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruiting, hiring, and engaging program staff/ participants
  • Demonstrate a sustainable organizational structure
  • Demonstrate commitment to leadership and resource development in the field of sport for development  

We do not fund:

  • Organizations that do not emphasize positive youth development through their programming
  • Other foundations or intermediaries that do not provide direct sports-based youth development programming or training
  • Pay to play organizations such as for-profit youth sports leagues
  • Projects focused on training for elite-level athletic achievement
  • Government Agencies (Including Parks, Schools and/or scholastic sports leagues)

Important Dates

Task Date
Request for Proposals (RFP) Opens July 10th
RFP Informational Webinar July 23rd at 11am CT
Applications Due August 9th
Applicants Notified September 6th
Contracts Signed October 31st
Estimated Period of Performance October 1st, 2024– June 30th, 2025


Please register for the RFP Webinar here.

Grant Amounts

These funds must be spent between October 1st, 2024 and June 30th 2025. Expenses will be reimbursed monthly rather than a lump-sum grant payment. Organizations should only submit for a total amount that they currently have the monthly cashflow to support (I.e. $100,000 grant = $11,111 per month). While organizational budget is only one indicator of readiness, our general recommendation is for organizations to follow the guidance below.

  • Organizational Budget <$500,000 – Apply for $50,000 funding
  • Organizational Budget >$500,000 – Apply for $50,000 or $100,000 funding

*Note that there is no match requirement for this award.



To apply, go to Note that you will need to create an account to begin the application, and will need to select whether you are applying as a ‘youth serving’ or training/technical assistance’ organization in the ‘Applicant Organization’ section to view all accurate questions.

We will begin accepting applications on Wednesday, July 10th at 8am and will accept applications until Friday, August 9th at 11:59pm. Late submissions or submissions made outside of the provided link will not be accepted under any circumstance given State regulations.

Successful applicants will:

  • Highlight their work in violence prevention and intervention
  • Demonstrate basic standards in the areas of child protection, governance, monitoring and evaluation, partnership, and financial stewardship 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across internal practices (leadership, staffing, and governance) as well as in programming and community engagement
  • Commit to meeting all data collection guidelines outlined in the application

In accordance with DHS’s policies and procedures, organizations will be selected purely based on their application and rubric scores.


Questions, Debrief, and Appeal Process

Questions – Organizations may submit questions via email to Ben Schornack at until Friday, August 3rd  at 5pm. All questions and answers will be posted on this Google Document

Debrief –Applicants who do not receive funding may request a debriefing for feedback to improve future applications. Debriefings include written advice on the strengths and weaknesses of applications using the evaluation and review criteria

Requests for debriefings must be made via email to Ben Schornack at and submitted within seven calendar days after notice of declination. The written debriefing requests shall include:

  • The name and address of the requesting party
  • Identification of grant program
  • Reasons for the debrief request

Appeal – Unsuccessful applicants may request a formal appeal of the evaluation process. Evaluation scores and funding decisions may not be contested and will not be considered – this is only to appeal the process itself. The appeal must be submitted via email to Ben Schornack at within 14 days after notice of declination The appeal must include the following:

  • Statement indicating request for formal appeal
  • Name and address of appealing party
  • Identification of the grant program
  • Statement for reason of appeal

Once the appeal is received, Laureus will acknowledge receipt within 14 days and will respond to the appeal, in writing, within 60 days by including:

  • Review of the appeal
  • Appeal determination
  • Rationale for the determination
  • Standard description of the appeal review process/criteria

About Laureus USA
Laureus USA works to change the lives of youth and empower communities through the power of sport. We are a part of the global network of Laureus Foundations using sport to tackle violence, discrimination, and disadvantage.

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